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We think ATSU Secular Student Alliance is Outstanding!

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Every year, the National Secular Student Alliance hears about amazing things that our students, affiliate groups, Secular Safe Zone Allies, and advisors are doing. When we hear of an individual or group doing something especially awesome, we present them with an Award for Outstanding Activism for their exemplary work. 

University of Cincinnati SSA and Freethinkers and Skeptics at Missouri State are Outstanding!

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Every year, the National Secular Student Alliance hears about amazing things that our students, affiliate groups, Secular Safe Zone Allies, and advisors are doing. When we hear of an individual or group doing something especially awesome, we present them with an Award for Outstanding Activism for their exemplary work. 

Earlier this year, the inaptly named Center for Medical Progress released highly edited videos where actors pretended to be from a biotechnology company and talked to Planned Parenthood staff about fetal tissue. The videos have since shown to be false, and every investigation into Planned Parenthood has shown that there has been no wrong doing, but that hasn't stopped legislators around the country attempting to defund Planned Parenthood at the state and national levels. Defunding Planned Parenthood would not lower the abortion rate, but would rather withold funding from vital programs like breast and cervical cancer screenings, STI testing, education, and more. Defunding Planned Parenthood would take away low cost health care to people who need it most. 

We at the Secular Student Alliance national office are proud to stand with Planned Parenthood, and this is why we are proud to present both the University of Cincinnati Secular Student Alliance and Freethinkers and Skeptics at Missouri State University with Awards for Outstanding Activism! Both groups were a part of rallies or protests in favor of Planned Parenthood.

The University of Cincinnati SSA teamed up with a local off-campus group, the Tri-State Freethinkers, for their rally on the University of Cincinnati campus! They gathered in front of the Tangeman University Center and held signs in support and shared stories of how Planned Parenthood has helped them. What was great about this event in particular was seeing all types of people involved in this rally - parents, children, university students, and people from the community all came together in support. They even got some local media coverage! Great work, University of Cincinnati SSA and Tri-State Freethinkers! We hope that your organizations continue to work together to pursue such great work. 

Alumni Spotlight: Scott McLean

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In our Alumni Spotlight series, we highlight alumni of our affiliate groups and the awesome things they have been doing since they graduated. Are you a Secular Student Alliance alum? Tell us how you've been doing! We'd love to spotlight you!

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This month's featured alumnus is Scott McLean, a lead Development Representative for a Colorado-based anti-virus company, Webroot. Scott is an alumni of the University of Colorado - Boulder, where he co-founded the Secular Students and Skeptics Society (SSaSS). The SSA provided tools for helping them get established, and he very fondly remembers the first meeting the group ever had.

"For some background, I was raised fairly secular, and so religion was never a big deal for me. It wasn't something that I gave much thought to, let alone considered its impact on people's lives. We put up flyers for our first meeting all around campus. I had started groups before, so I kept telling the other two founders that if 1 or 2 people showed up to that first meeting, then we could consider the group a success. I believe our first ever meeting had 20+ people show up. When I asked people to tell us a little about why they came, I was blown away by their stories, and how they saw this as the first time they were allowed to ask these questions. What followed was several years of good (and bad) times. There were a lot of learning experiences, and I cherish every one of them. All those experiences still resonate with me today."

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