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2015 Board Election Results

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The highest governing body of the Secular Student Alliance is its Board of Directors.  We are excited to announce that Matthew Bulger, Richard Stravinsky, and Jennifer Ibrahim were elected to four-year terms. Miri Mogilevsky was elected to a two-year term in one of the two student and recent student seats. Sarah Henry was elected to a one-year term in the other student and recent student seat. Additionally, Harry Shaughnessy, Alex DiBranco, and Evan Clark were re-elected to two-year terms, and Nancy Martin was re-elected to a one-year term.

Secular Student Movement Update 3/19/2015

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Every week, the SSA prepares a summary of what the secular student movement is doing. To hear this update and news from the secular movement, tune into the SCA's National Secular Movement Update every Thursday at 12PM ET.

Presented by Kelley Freeman, Communications Associate at the Secular Student Alliance

This week at the Secular Student Alliance, we are thrilled to announce and unveil our new Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Strategic Priorities! This is the culmination of several months of tireless work from our staff and board. To take a look, please visit our statement where you'll also be able to co-sign in support.

This past weekend, several of our affiliate groups held regional conferences. There was Freethought Festival in Madison, WI hosted by Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at UW-Madison, as well as SASHAcon hosted by SASHA at the University of Missouri. Another affiliate group, the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics at the University of Kansas, will be hosting ReasonFest the weekend of April 18th, 2015. Great work to all groups involved in planning conferences! It's a lot of work, but it's also a testament to the kinds of awesome things students can put together.

We also want to congratulate our friends at the Freedom From Religion Foundation! White Oak High School in Texas had been reading Bible verses every morning during morning announcements, but FFRF filed a complaint to the school district on behalf of a student. The school district decided to follow the Constitution and has decided to cut scriptures from morning announcements. Great work, FFRF!

Executive Corner Piece: The Rise of the Nones is an Opportunity, Not a Victory

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August E. Brunsman IV is the Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance. This essay is part of a series we called our Executive Corner Pieces. These are generally published the second Tuesday of each month and give you a little insight to the thoughts of our Executive Director. 

augSince the 1930s the percentage of Americans claiming no religious identification has risen from around 5% to over 16%. These folks without a religious identification are called “Nones.” A 2013 study focusing only on college undergraduates found that 33% of them had no religious identity and that 28% identified as “secular” (as opposed to “religious,” or “spiritual”).

And it is certainly the case that the “secular movement” is building momentum. At the Secular Student Alliance, 2014 was our most active year in our fifteen-year history, with our students holding more debates, featuring more speakers, and educating their communities more than ever before, and we are so proud of them! We are clearly reaching more students than ever.

I’m not satisfied.

I want us making connections with the millions of students who don’t resonate with religion. I want to hand them all a model and a vision for what it looks like to be joyfully, passionately, and intentionally secular. I want them to tell me what they want and need and how we can make the Secular Student Alliance better and our movement more useful.

Secular Student Movement Update 3/12/2015

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Every week, the SSA prepares a summary of what the secular student movement is doing. To hear this update and news from the secular movement, tune into the SCA's National Secular Movement Update every Thursday at 12PM ET.

Presented by Kelley Freeman, Communications Associate at the Secular Student Alliance

The Secular Student Alliance is working with the Interfaith Youth Core to put on a webinar about engaging non-religious students in interfaith initiatives next Tuesday, March 17th, at 1:00 pm EST. How are Atheist, Agnostic, Secular Humanist, and “spiritual but not religious” students finding community on campus? How is this demographic engaged in matters of value and worldview orientation? In what ways can staff and faculty allies be hospitable and welcoming to these students, particularly around inclusive language and shared activities? Join this conversation, led by staff members from the Secular Student Alliance and the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), to engage in these core ideas. This event is also sponsored by the NASPA Spirituality & Religion in Higher Education Knowledge Community and the ACPA Commission for Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Meaning. For more information, and to register for this webinar, check out ifyc.org/webinars. 

We also have a write up on our website about a recent staffer's experience at the Interfaith Leadership Institute in Atlanta this past January.

This past weekend was the ACPA—College Student Educators International's conference—in Tampa, Florida, where Director of Campus Organizing, Lyz Liddell, held a Secular Safe Zone Facilitator training. There were seven new Secular Safe Zone Facilitators trained who are very excited about putting the program into place on their campus. Lyz also lead a workshop on religious privilege, which had awesome attendance and participation. To learn more about our Secular Safe Zone, visit http://secularsafezone.org

We wanted to remind you that information about our annual conference has been released and that we are looking for exhibitors interested in tabling. SSA Con is an amazing opportunity to interact with over 300 student activists from around the country. Interested in tabling or otherwise advertising with us for the conference? Check out secularstudents.org/advertising.

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