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This Week

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

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SSA Scholarships are OPEN! :: This Week

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The Secular Student Alliance is excited to offer scholarships for secular student activists! Any current SSA student member enrolled in a US college or university can apply!

The Secular Student Alliance will be awarding thirteen scholarships for student activists! Eligible applicants can receive $2,500 or $1,000 just for doing activism!

2016 winner Adam Mano said of the scholarship: “This isn't just an opportunity to get some extra money; you have to be committed to proving to the scholarship committee, and most importantly to yourself, that you're in this for the right reasons.”

That’s right! We aren't just looking for people who write well or can appeal to their mission. We want to see students who live out their values and will take the time to tell us about it! You’ve done the work to create a better world—now take advantage of this chance to get something back.

Claire VanValkenburg, another 2016 winner, offers this advice to anyone wanting to apply: “Be you in the essays, and don't be afraid to tell your story. The secular community has a whole lot of brain and drive, but what we are missing is heart. This is an opportunity to show the community real stories about real secular lives. Take advantage of that!”

Apply by September 1 for your chance at winning a 2017 SSA Scholarship!


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READ THIS FOR SSA CON DETAILS

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Here are some essentials for SSA Con, especially on Friday:

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer :: This Week

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With summertime here, This Week is going to go on its summer hiatus! We’ve got some SSA Con updates for you, but we’ll be back with the resources and services when it’s time to start planning for fall semester. But don’t think that means your group should go inactive for 3 months!

Summer is the best time to really ramp up your group's social activities and community involvement. Here’s some things your group can do during this down time to stay active:

  1. SSA Con! (Obviously we’re going to bring this up.) You should go. No really, get yourself and your group out to Columbus, Ohio this July 7-9 for the most fun, memorable, and impactful conference a secular student could go to. You won’t regret it!
  2. Hikes! Whether you have forests, mountains, plains, or desert near you, go out and experience some nature! Don’t forget water and sunscreen.
  3. Cookouts! Many parks have grills and picnic tables available to reserve. It’s simple to get members to bring burgers, hot dogs, chips, sodas, and all the other summertime goodies. Throw a frisbee, sunbathe, play a game, or even have a reflection exercise!
  4. Community service! Work is the last thing you want to do, right? But doing service projects is a proven way to provide you and your group with a sense of life satisfaction and pride, and is a great bonding experience. Clean roads or rivers, build ramps for seniors, help out at food pantries or women's shelters. There’s all kinds of ways to be good without a god!
  5. Go out! Museums, libraries, sightseeing, water parks, concerts, beaches, movies, dog parks, whatever! Go have some fun in your town together!
  6. Stay in! Host game nights, watch a movie, have a party, hang out! You don’t always have to spend money to have great memorable experiences.
  7. Plan for next semester! The first few weeks of fall semester are the prime time to promote your group. Try to plan something awesome to do, either a table at the campus org fair or a gimmick in a public spot. The earlier you plan, the better it will turn out.

Find out more about how your group can stay active over the summer!

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A lot can happen between now and fall semester. If your group changes any part of your leadership, you need to let us know! If you don’t, we’ll keep contacting you (which you’ll find annoying) and we won’t contact the person we should (so they’re left in the dark). It’s not hard to do: simply fill out a Leadership Update, through the link at the Update Info button on the bottom left of every This Week email, or tell your Campus Organizer! Fill out a Leadership Update at any time of the year so we can redirect our communications to the people that need them!

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We're Proud Of

Secular Student Alliance at Morehead State University!

"At the end of the event, participants said they were moved by our SSA's performance in the Tunnel of Oppression, and didn't know how oppressed nonreligious folks really are."

Kayla Bowen, President

MSU SSA hosted the Tunnel of Oppression in collaboration with Spectrum, a local LGBTQ* organization, and SAGE, a local feminist organization. The Tunnel acted as an interactive “museum” of underrepresented students lived realities and experiences using skits, theatrical performances, and artifacts on the walls. Attendees were educated on the systemic nature of oppression and its impact on dominant and non-dominant groups, and created awareness about the intersections of oppression. MSU SSA put a lot of hard work into the building, painting, advertising, and practice it took to put it on, but the genuine reactions of people were well worth it. The event brought so much positive awareness to the oppression secular individuals experience that the group plan to host the event  again next spring!

SSA Con costs less until Friday! :: This Week

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This is the one time we’re going to do this: SSA Con registration rates are going DOWN! But ONLY THIS WEEK!

You’ve got until Friday, May 12, to enjoy our early bird registration costs one last time! That’s $34.99 for a single student or $124.99 for a group of 5 students!

After this week, you’ll still be able to register, but you’ll spend that much more to be a part of the most fun, educational, and inspiring conference secular students could ever attend!

If you’ve thought at all about coming to SSA Con this July 7-9 in Columbus, Ohio, THIS is the week to register for it!

Don’t put it off any longer! Register for SSA Con today with this-one time early bird rate offer!

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After you’ve registered for SSA Con, don’t forget to apply for Travel Aid! We’ll help you with the costs to get to Columbus, Ohio - you just have to tell us you want us to. That’s FREE travel money! The deadline to apply is May 31, however, which only gives you a few days left. Apply for your SSA Con Travel Aid soon!

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We're Proud Of

University of West Florida Secular Student Alliance!

"We learned that having a 'master to-do' list that all E-Board members can see helped us get things done. All you have to do is have a Google Document shared among all those who should see it. It allowed all Board members to see what still needed to be done, who was doing what, and provided a sort of 'fact sheet' for us so we could limit the number of questions like, 'What was decided on this?'"

Chase Baker, Former President

This year, the SSA at UWF hosted the second annual Southeast Secular Student Regional Conference (S3RC)! They had local and national speakers come to the UWF Pensacola campus on April 16 to talk about STEM, legal activism, sociology, humanism, and more. Even six months in advance, the group discovered that’s hardly enough time to get everything done! Their Campus Organizer, Gordon Maples, was a primary source of support. He provided resources to help them set up the conference, contacted the speakers when requested, and offered general advice throughout the planning. If your group ever wants to run its own conference, UWF has one piece of advice for you: START EARLIER!

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