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Secular Student Movement Update 3/5/2015

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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

As stated last week, ACPA—College Student Educators International's conference—is next weekend, March 5th-8th, in Tampa, Florida. This is the Secular Student Alliance's third year at ACPA. Our presence at ACPA allows us to meet the growing demand of college administrators to know how to make their campuses welcoming to the growing body of students without religion.

Lyz Liddell, Director of Campus Organizing, will be attending and providing two presentations. There will be a Secular Safe Zone Facilitator training and a workshop on religious privilege. For more information on the Secular Safe Zone and information on becoming an Ally, please visit http://secularsafezone.org.

sccAs a result of their Sex-Positive Week last February, the SSA at Sacramento City College, along with allied organizations, raised an official Campus Issue with the administration regarding the need for gender-neutral restrooms on campus. They asked that all single-stall restrooms be converted to gender neutral and that all new buildings include them as well. The purpose of this initiative is to make Sac City's campus more inclusive of transgender students. SCC President Kathryn Jeffery signed a letter directing the Campus Development Committee and Facilities Office to do exactly that. For their efforts, we have awarded SSA at Sac City College an Award for Outstanding Activism. Check it out!

The Secular Student Alliance has awarded an individual student project grant to Amanda Scott in Alabama. She plans to use the project grant to become a Humanist Celebrant and to officiate same-sex marriages in Alabama. We are very excited about this project and hope to be able to award more individual project grants in the future! 

That's all for this week! For more information, questions, comments or additions to student-led efforts in the secular movement, contact ssa@secularstudents.org.

Secular Student Alliance at Sacramento City College is Outstanding!

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Every year, the national Secular Student Alliance hears about the amazing things our affiliate groups are doing. When we hear of a group doing something especially awesome, we give out an Award for Outstanding Activism for their exemplary work. Today, we're spotlighting the Secular Student Alliance at Sacramento City College and all the amazing things they have done this semester, which have earned them an Award for Outstanding Activism!

sccIt's really amazing when our affiliate groups do something that affects the policy of their campus administration, but that's just what happened at Sacramento City College. Last February, the Secular Student Alliance at Sacramento City College, the Sac City Feminists, the Queer/Straight Alliance, and the Sociology Club put together a four day event entitled SEX + CITY: Sex-Positive Week at Sac City. The goal of their event was to promote healthy concepts about topics related to human sexuality through a stigma-free educational environment.

scc2Throughout the week, they had different events such as a Sex, Love & Health A-Faire which kicked off the week (and featured a sexy reading of the Biblical book Song of Solomon!), afternoon seminar sessions dealing with safe sex, transgender issues, polyamory, pornography, sex & aging, and virginity (to name a few). Their Thursday night event, the Thursday Night Threesome, was a fundraising event and was hugely successful. It featured talks from Dr. Darrel Ray, Laci Green, Jaye Cee Whitehead, and was hosted by comedian Keith Lowell Jensen. 

scc3While this event in and of itself is very impressive, it is not why the Secular Student Alliance at Sacramento City College has been presented with an Award for Outstanding Activism. Following the success of their Sex-Positive Week, Secular Student Alliance at Sac City College, Sac City Feminists, and the Sac City Queer/Straight Alliance decided that they needed to raise an official Campus Issue with administration regarding the need for gender neutral restrooms on campus. They asked that all single stall restrooms be converted to gender neutral, and that all new buildings include them as well. The purpose of this initiative is to make Sac City's campus more inclusive of transgender students. In February of this year, president of Sacramento City College, Kathryn Jeffery, signed a letter directing the Campus Development Committee and Facilities Office to do exactly that.

Death with Dignity: Students for Free-thought at the University of Michigan-Flint

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SSA affiliates and members are doing awesome stuff on their campus all the time. We brag about their work here on our website through the Brag It Up series. If you or your affiliate group has done something awesome, Brag It Up!

Part of being an organization on campus is holding regular meetings, and each year our affiliate groups impress us with the challenging topics they tackle. The University of Michigan-Flint recently held a meeting (with over 20 students in attendance) to discuss death with dignity. They invited a medical ethics professor to their meeting, focused on the story of Brittany Maynard, and showed videos from Compassion and Choices.

"We were happy to see so much enthusiasm and worthwhile discussion. Quite a few of our members currently work in the healthcare field and plan to continue to pursue careers in healthcare, so they had a lot of personal experiences to share, which made the event even more exciting," stated Sarah McCarter, Students for Free-thought at UM-Flint president. 

Students for Free-thought also discussed the work of Jack Kevorkian (who graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor), as well as the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, the Hippocratic Oath, terminal illnesses, suicide, and mental illnesses including Alzheimer's Disease and depression (as they relate to the right to die).

Secular Student Movement Update 2/26/2015

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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

Last year at Sacramento City College, a group of students from the Secular Student Alliance at Sacramento City College, Sac City Feminists and the Sac City Queer/Straight Alliance decided that they needed to raise an official Campus Issue with administration regarding the need for gender neutral restrooms on campus. They asked that all single stall restrooms be converted to gender neutral and that all new buildings include them as well. This cause came up as a direct result of the Sex-Positive Week of events the clubs produced on campus in February of 2014. Last week, SCC President Kathryn Jeffery signed a letter last week directing the Campus Development Committee and Facilities Office to do exactly that. We are very proud of the efforts of the SSA at Sac City College and friends to create a more welcoming, inclusive environment on their campus!

ACPA—College Student Educators International's conference—is next weekend, March 5th-8th, in Tampa, Florida. Lyz Liddell, Director of Campus Organizing will be attending and we will be running two presentations. There will be a Secular Safe Zone Facilitator training and a workshop on religious privilege. 

We are also exceptionally proud of our affiliate group at the University of Montevallo in Alabama! This past week, the Secular Student Alliance at the University of Montevallo organized protests in response to Shelby County's refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses. They received press coverage from several local and state-wide news outlets. 

That's all for this week! For more information, questions, comments or additions to student-led efforts in the secular movement, contact ssa@secularstudents.org.

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