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SSA eMpirical No. 33 - Fighting for Separation

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2008 In Review: The Secular Student Alliance Year-End Activity Report

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The Atheists, Agnostics and Freethinkers of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign earned the SSA Best Service Project Award for partnering with the Campus Crusade for Christ to repair homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Secular Students Are Counting on You

Please consider a generous financial gift to the Secular Student Alliance. The SSA -- like many non-profits -- is experiencing a significant downturn in contributions from our supporters in this difficult economy. As an independent organization, we rely entirely on donations from atheists, agnostics, humanists, and others who want to safeguard the future of secularism. You are a critical part of that future, and we need your support.

JOIN - student or not!

DONATE ONLY

Hemant Mehta
Hemant Mehta
Chair, Board of Directors

August E. Brunsman IV Executive Director
August E. Brunsman IV
Executive Director

Lyz Liddell Senior Campus Organizer

Lyz Liddell
Senior Campus Organizer

Nov. 19, 2008 - The past year has been phenomenally successful for the Secular Student Alliance. Most notably, our affiliate count has gone up by over 40%. This report details our 2008 activities, from campus group affiliate support and a great conference to our electronic newsletter and summer internships.

Direct Campus Group Affiliate Support


We presently have 129* campus affiliate groups in twelve countries. This time last year we had 90; at this time in 2006 we had only 65. Our affiliates range in size from just a handful of students to groups like the Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists (CASH) at the University of Minnesota, who obtain thousands of dollars a year from their student activities board, and have organized their own conferences. Regardless of size or resources, each group receives individual attention from our staff. Providing these services is the core of our work.

Affiliate Tracking and Listing


We ask all of our affiliates to update their contact information with us twice a year. Because we do this, we are able to publish the most up-to-date list of active humanist/atheist student groups of which we are aware . This helps campus groups connect with each other and makes them more accessible to off-campus groups in the movement and the media.

Campus Organizers

We have a full time Senior Campus Organizer (SCO), Lyz Liddell, who coordinates the delivery of services, develops new services, advises campus leaders and helps them troubleshoot problems, and maintains our relationships with our affiliates.

Our SCO also supervises our Campus Organizing Interns. These are temporary positions filled by students who work ten hours a week supporting and starting groups in their geographic region. This spring we had Campus Organizing Interns in Northern California, Southern California, and New York City.

Media Assistance


With a subscription to Bacon's Media Database (courtesy of the American Humanist Association) and technical assistance from the Institute for Humanist Studies' Communications Director Duncan Crary, the Secular Student Alliance is able to send out press releases for campus events to local media markets. Over a dozen media mentions about SSA campus affiliate groups resulted-many of which we republished on our website (with permission).

Additionally, the Secular Student Alliance itself was covered in the following stories this academic year:

Atheism services on the rise at colleges - 9/21/07
The Daily Free Press - Boston, MA

Faithlessness on the rise? - 11/7/07
Brown Daily Herald - Providence, RI

Cake and controversy for Darwin's birthday - 2/12/08
Brown Daily Herald - Providence, RI

Losing Faith in Modern America - 5/7/08
New Zealand Herald - Auckland, New Zealand

Affiliation Renewal

Check Out the New SSA Campus Events Calendar

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Our affiliate groups hold dozens - if not hundreds - of events every semester. Most of these events are open to the public, and often feature speakers, debates, or other fun and interesting material. At the SSA, we hear about a lot of these events, but oftentimes we're too far away to attend.

However, even if we can't make it to everything ourselves, we can at least let everyone know about these great events! We've put together a public calendar of events using Google's Calendar application. You can search the calendar for events in your area, add them to your own calendar, share them with your group, and get involved. New events are added daily, so check back often, or add the Secular Student Campus Events Calendar to your own collection of Google Calendars.

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