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How to Talk to People: 5 Tips for Success in Moving Conversations Forward

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Ben G. Williams is a senior Music Education major at Jacksonville State University. He founded the Secular Student Alliance at Jacksonville State University (SSAJSU, which was later honored with the Organizational Council “Organization of the Year” award. He is also a member of the SSA National Leadership Council, a select group of students and recent alumni who are chosen annually based on their exceptional leadership and experience.

Hey folks! Do you find that your conversations with people who just don’t view things the way you do tend to get a little heated? Do you ever feel like throwing your hands up in the air, shrugging, and saying, “I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree?” Maybe you’ve felt like some people are hopeless. Well, I spend a lot of time considering ways to help conversations move forward. I firmly believe that nobody wins if we leave conversations unfinished. So, here are my top five bits of advice on how to talk to people intentionally.

National Voter Registration Day

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National Voter Registration Day is a national holiday celebrating American democracy. It was first observed in 2012 and has been growing in popularity every year since. Held on the fourth Tuesday of September, National Voter Registration Day will be observed on Tuesday, September 26th in 2017.

Many People Like Me on Your Campus

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Summer is coming to an end, which means you or someone you know is getting ready for the school year.

In between finding their classes and learning to cook ramen in the coffee maker, they are going to be barraged with modern day crusaders hell-bent on forcing their beliefs onto new students. These will be anti-abortion protestors, alt-righters, street preachers, new-agers, and dozens and dozens of religious groups.

It’s open season for these folks, and they will be hawking their snake oil to everyone.

But that’s why the Secular Student Alliance is here, to be a voice of reason, skepticism and secular values on campus.

Check out our new video “Many People Like Me on Your Campus” to see and hear what we bring to a campus. Please share the video with any students who would be interested in joining or starting an SSA student organization.

Be sure to check out our Group List to see if there is an SSA group at your school, or if not, to find out how to start one!

Finally, September 1 is the deadline to apply for the Secular Student Alliance Annual Scholarships! Thirteen outstanding students will earn $2,500 or $1,000 for their secular and intersectional activism!

Make sure to share this with any secular students you know!

Matt's Top Five Recruitment Tips

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Matt Enloe led an SSA group during his undergrad, at Oregon State University, and remains involved at University of Chicago Law School. He is also a member of the SSA National Leadership Council, a select group of students and recent alumni who are chosen annually based on their exceptional leadership and experience.

Hello, Secular Student Alliance leaders! A new year school year is coming soon upon us, and it's time to start thinking about how to approach it. As you start your preparations, here are five tips to help you along your way. Between undergrad and now law school, I've been a president of an SSA group for over four years, now entering my fifth, and I hope that sharing my experience can also help you succeed.

  1. Table early, table often
  2. Start social
  3. Pick your next leaders
  4. Don't overdo it
  5. Invest in your group, and they'll invest in you

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