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This Week

Weekly news, emails, and group-running articles for student leaders. Check in every week for new postings!

Subscribe to receive "This Week" emails in your inbox here.  Leaders and members of affiliate groups, off-campus supporters, and others are welcome!

How to Host A Speaker :: This Week

This Sunday, October 23, is the last day to submit your Affiliation Renewal! If you want a chance to win a $50 pizza gift card for your group, make sure to include your group's roster with it. Renewing your group's affiliation will ensure our continued hands-on support with your group; also including access to tabling supplies, SSA Con travel aid, our Speaker's Bureau, and so much more. Don't wait - fill out the renewal today!
Planning to host a speaker is a big responsibility - but it comes with a potentially big pay off! Hosting a speaker can engage your student members in a specific topic, as well as potentially recruit many new members! On our website, you can find and request a speaker as well as get tips on how to successfully host the event and information on applying for funding. Set up your next speaker event!
Graveyard of the Gods (or Great Minds!) has been both a creative and successful way for student groups just like yours to interact with other students. By having a 'graveyard' on campus, topics such as culture/sociology, anthropology, and mythology can be discussed in a light-hearted and open-minded way. This is your last chance to order a GOTG kit before it's too late!   

Secular Student Alliance at Southeast Missouri State University!

"People in our community are more receptive to atheists when you put a smiling face to the term."

Martha Taylor

SSA at Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO SSA) held a t-shirt design event to combat the negative stereotypes that are held against secular individuals, especially those who identify as atheist. Hundreds of people saw their shirts that day, with many more seeing them on their social media. Martha stated that SSA National "helped us to achieve this because it has continuously inspired us and reminded us of the importance of being openly secular". We love how pro-active and positive SEMO SSA is!

National Coming Out Day is Here! :: This Week

We love being able to provide our services and resources to you all. We are here to help your group succeed with tabling supplies, our Speakers Bureau, activity guides, and so much more. In return, our only requirement is that your group must renew your affiliation twice a year. By doing so, your group will continue to qualify for SSA support and access to all resources and services. We will also be offering $50 pizza gift cards to a few lucky groups who complete the renewal and include their group's membership roster. Affiliation Renewals are due by October 23, so fill it out soon!
Did you know Openly Secular Day is only a month away on November 15? This is the perfect time to encourage group members to be open about their secular values and secular identity with their friends and family. Openly Secular Day also gives theists an opportunity to show support for their secular friends and family members. When people realize that they know someone who is non-religious, they are more likely to hold favorable views about others who identify as secular, agnostic, humanist, freethinker, or atheist. Download our Openly Secular Day Guide to spread the word!
The Secular Student Alliance is proud to be a supportive advocate and ally for the LGBTQ community. We'd like to let all of our group leaders know that this week, on October 11, is National Coming Out Day. If there is an LGBTQ student group on campus, you can find a way to co-host an event together, or ask what support you can give them. Please note that not all LGBTQ individuals are secular, so it is important to be mindful about welcoming individuals of all backgrounds. Read more about Coming Out Day and watch an inspiring video by the Human Rights Campaign!

SSA at Sam Houston State University!

"I want people to know that Blasphemy Laws should matter to everyone, and that this is a great example of [how] secularism is so essential to the lives of every person in every country."

Keira Tademy

Secular students at Sam Houston did a wonderful job celebrating Blasphemy Day! The group baked cupcakes with 'blasphemous' words on them, had a moment of silence for those who lost their lives because of blasphemy laws, held a Q&A session (followed by an open forum), and allowed students to display their talents in a way that could be considered blasphemous (such as music, painting, poetry, and dance). The audience was "enthusiastic" by asking questions and wanting to learn more about blasphemy laws. Not only did this day give them an opportunity to learn about the importance on this issue, but it allowed them to bond as a group. Members are excited about the possibility of this becoming an annual event at Sam Houston (and so are we!). We are so excited to see what more you'll do, SSA at Sam Houston State University!

Get Your Group Affiliated Today! :: This Week

If you want to be eligible for unlimited tabling supplies, hands-on support with media training, ensure that your members are eligible for scholarships, and even more, then you should upgrade your group's status to be an SSA Chapter. The only thing your college group has to do to be an chapter, other than renewing your affiliation twice a year, is to send us your roster. This can be done easily by having a sign-up sheet at your next meeting and including it in the upcoming Fall Affiliation Renewal. Read more to learn more about how SSA supports you as an affiliate.
Important days can easily sneak up on you! To avoid rushing to put together last-minute events, use our handy planning calendar to help your group prepare for SSA National events as well as other important dates, like National Coming Out Day, Carl Sagan Day, and International Women’s Day. Download your own 2016-2017 Academic Planning Calendar here!
A creative way to get your group into the Halloween spirit is to have a Graveyard of Great Minds display. Some groups prefer this over Graveyard of the Gods so that they can recognize and celebrate all of the incredible people who have contributed to human knowledge and scientific advancement. See our resource guide for more information on this event and order supplies today!

University of Montevallo Secular Student Alliance!

"This event was important to me personally because books are something I've always loved and want to work with. The people in my group loved these titles throughout school, so we wanted to use our freedom of expression and show the silliness behind book censorship."

Leslie Smith

SSA at University of Montevallo organized a Get Caught Reading a Banned Book photo booth for Banned Books Week! For two days, they asked students to pose for a "mugshot" with their favorite banned or challenged book in order to raise awareness about censorship in America. They had over 220 participants - including professors, a campus police officer, and a University contractor. In order to pull off this event, they set up their table and photo backdrop each morning and handed out flyers, explaining who they were and why they were having this event. They also utilized the student literary magazine, who announced the event to the student body. Leslie Smith, President, says that their experience "will be used to help with new officers, as this was the first time we've ever done anything like this." Read on, SSA at University of Montevallo!

Having An Event? Read This First! :: This Week

We hope your group is planning at least one awesome event this year, whether that be a conference, hosting a speaker, or collaborating with another group to host an event. After the event, however, is a very important time. It’s greatly beneficial to have your members reflect on the event to build meaning and learn about the needs of individuals to better host future events. There are both pre and post-event exercises you can host for your group. Download the event reflection guide here.
Halloween is only four weeks away! This is a fantastic opportunity to get creative about promoting your secular group. Our Graveyard of the God packet is a way to show how many deities have ‘existed’ over time but cease to be worshiped. Some student groups like to do Graveyard of Great Minds instead, to focus on individuals throughout history who have contributed greatly to intellect. To ensure that you get your Graveyard of the Gods/Great Minds kit in time, you’ll want to order it now!
To keep getting access to things like tabling supplies and project grants, you will need to fill out an affiliation renewal twice a year. You’ll want to make sure you have things ready such as a roster of all members as well as any leadership updates documented. Start preparing now by reviewing the Affiliation Renewals FAQ.

Secular Student Alliance at Pasadena Community College!

"This is our second semester and we learned quite a few things from last semester about being open and present. Many students are aware that we exist and quite a few of them expressed gratitude that we have a group on campus."

Terri Smith

Pasadena City College held a tabling event during Clubs Week on their campus. They had many great conversations with believers and non-believers and made plans to collaborate with other campus groups. Terri stated that it was "very rewarding to receive positive feedback from almost everyone that approached the table". With hecklers, Terri said that the group handled them "calmly and with good humor". Great job SSA at PCC!


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