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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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The Real Stars of SSA Con :: This Week

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Have you seen our speaker lineup for SSA Con? It’s pretty great. We’ve got an awesome assortment of professional speakers with a wide array of expertise, from PEW Research Center and Dogma Debate to Americans United and the Satanic Temple. But we’re just as excited about all the student speakers!

Matt Enloe
, Sam Farooqui, Sean Rivera, Nicole Niebler, and many more! All of these students have done awesome things, are frequently featured in mainstream and secular media, and are respected by the SSA as leaders, experts, and activists. If you want to learn how to run your group better, you NEED to come to SSA Con to hear these student speakers. View our complete SSA Con lineup and register today!

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We just finished our Affiliation Renewals last week. However, we know some of your elections still haven’t happened yet, which means we’ll soon have the wrong information for your group! If your group is one of those who are about to select their new leadership, don’t forget to tell us who they are! Fill out a Leadership Update at any time of the year so we can redirect our communications to them!

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Service is one of the pillars of the SSA, and Foundation Beyond Belief has an excellent opportunity for you to practice that. Join the Humanist Disaster Relief team and be part of the rebuilding efforts in Louisiana after storms and flooding. Between May 27 and June 7, 2017, you can provide vital relief efforts, and they'll provide you with breakfasts, lunches, and lodging! Do some good without a god and apply to be on the Humanist Disaster Relief Team!

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We're Proud Of

We had so many groups join the March for Science last week, and we’re stoked! There was great domestic and international participation in this important show of support for science, and you were a part of it! Here are some of the pictures we’ve gotten from some of our groups. Send your own by replying to this email or submit a Brag It Up!

Southeast Missouri State University SSA!

Secular Humanist Association of University of Puerto Rico!

Secular Students and Skeptics Society at the University of Colorado - Boulder!

The Ohio State University SSA!

University of Michigan SSA!

Sam Houston State University SSA!

Let us share your story! :: This Week

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Last week was Ask An Atheist Day and the March for Science! Did you do one, or both?! Did you create a great table? Did you make some witty signs? Did you have some great interactions with people? We want to hear your stories about this past week, and see your smiling faces! Send us a Brag it Up with photos of your group, table, and signs for us to share!

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THERE IS ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT TO COMPLETE YOUR GROUP'S AFFILIATION RENEWAL. Every group that wants to retain its affiliation with the SSA MUST fill out its form by April 30. If we don’t get it, your group will lose access to our Speakers Bureau, tabling supplies, and funding! This form also helps us keep our leader contact information updated, and see how your group is doing. Fill out your group's Affiliation Renewal today!

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Our programming lineup for SSA Con is complete! We’ve got a fantastic assortment of student and professional speakers with a wide array of expertise to make this one weekend you don’t want to miss! Find out who you should be getting excited about when you come out July 7-9 for SSA Con!

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We're Proud Of

Furman University Secular Student Alliance!

"Wanting change and taking action to make that change are two separate entities, but I really feel that this event palpably created change, and I am very grateful to have been a part of that."

Kristen Murdaugh, President

FUSSA held an “Atheism for Lent” event discussing why religious people should adopt atheism for Lent. Since the purpose of Lent is to help one come closer to the god Yahweh and understand why they believe what they believe, giving up the religion and seeing how one lives outside of it can be extremely beneficial. The non-religious can also adopt a religious tradition temporarily to help them better understand the practice and perhaps even benefit from adding it to their secular lifestyle. Members of the Furman Philosophy Club, Mere Christianity Forum, and Jewish Student Alliance attended the event alongside FUSSA members, other students, and faculty. When the topic of good and evil came up, and how those moral ideologies are not strictly dictated by religion, many of the students' long-held opinions on the illegitimacy of atheism were immediately reversed. As the attending faculty seemed to be enjoying the event, the students became less shy and asked questions they might not have otherwise. The overall feedback was that it was a really interesting event on an important subject and that the event should be an annual thing.

Affiliation Renewals Due April 30 :: This Week

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AFFILIATION RENEWALS ARE GOING ON RIGHT NOW. Every group that wants to retain its affiliation with the SSA MUST fill out its form by April 30. Why keep your affiliation? If you’ve ever used our Speakers Bureau, ordered tabling supplies, or received funding, then you've taken advantage of services that are available only to Affiliates or Chapters. This form also helps us keep our leader contact information updated, and see how your group is doing. Fill out your group's Affiliation Renewal today!

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The SSA now offers branded postcards that your group can order! Postcards are widely regarded as one of the best ways to make your voice heard by lawmakers. Postcards allow for quick reading and counting of constituents' opinions, and are easy for you to write. Order your group some SSA postcards!

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Join Kristin Wintermute, Executive Director of The Humanist Institute, and Chris Stedman, Humanist community organizer, at SSA Con for a conversation about how to build, and be in, a community. In building Humanist communities, you will look at defining the purpose of community as an essential element to understanding members' needs, desires, and wants. This is a special day-long session on Friday, July 7 from 10 AM to 4 PM, that’s only $15 for students (and lunch is included!). There is limited seating, so you must register in advance.

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We're Proud Of

Missouri State University Secular Student Alliance!

"Everyone loves puppies - so everything was positive. This is the time of year when things start to pile up and students get stressed, so being able to slow down and play with a dog for a little bit made everyone's day."

Hayley Werth, Secretary

MSU SSA partnered with a local animal rescue to have a Rent-a-Puppy on their campus! People paid a small donation and were given a rescue puppy to play with for a short period of time. Not only did the rescue get their name out there, the rescue dogs got lots of attention, too! The group had never worked with the rescue group before and both did a lot of collaboration and logistics work together. The event went so well that both groups want to partner up to run an even better event next semester!

March for Science Tips n' Tricks :: This Week

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The March for Science is next weekend, on April 22. We’ve told you how to find your satellite march, and many of your group members want to go. So just show up, right? Well, yes, but also make sure you do it right. Follow these 6 steps, and you’ll all have a great time:

  1. Sign making party! Get together as a group before the march and make some signs to bring with you. This will let you share supplies, brainstorm creative signs, and keep the messaging on point. Order an SSA Protest Sign Packet so you have extra, ready-made signs for anyone that didn’t bring their own.

  2. Bare necessities. Use the bathroom before you go. Check the weather forecast to see if you need to bring umbrellas or sunscreen. Have everyone bring a water bottle regardless. Use the bathroom before you go.

  3. Carpool! Save everyone money and the headache of parking by going together as a group. Not only that, but it’ll save space for all the other attendees too.

  4. Set a meeting place. Phones love to stop working when you need them most, so plan ahead for that. Set a specific meeting time and place, and let all the group know where it is days before the march. That way, if people come in more than one car and they can’t be reached by phone, they still know where to go. Use a landmark, like a restaurant, that can be easily found on Google Maps. Don’t just say “Meet at the coffee shop by the protest.” Instead, say “Meet at the Starbucks on 10th & Broad Street at 10:30.”

  5. Protest! Be civil, respect other protesters, and especially stay safe! Know your rights as a protester, but also don’t be an antagonist, especially against law enforcement or counter-protesters. Go over expectations set by march organizers with your group before arriving.

  6. Take a group picture at the end! Far too many people forget to memorialize these events by taking a simple picture, and regret it later. Take selfies and spontaneous pictures at the protest, but also take a few precious moments to get everyone together for a group shot. Take several shots, getting everyone close in the frame, because it’s easier to delete some bad takes than it is to go back in time to take another. Everyone will thank you later!

We’re so excited by how many SSA groups are going, and we hope you’ll tell your Campus Organizer or submit a Brag it Up about your time at the March for Science! Together, we can defend science and represent our secular values!

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We're Proud Of

Secular Student Alliance at Southeast Missouri State University!

"We have seen several other SSA Chapters host an interfaith panel, and we were inspired to do the same!"

Martha Taylor, Vice President

SEMO SSA teamed up with the Diversity Peer Educators and hosted an interfaith panel on campus. Ten panelists spoke about their beliefs and answered some general questions so the audience could seek understanding, tolerance, and acceptance of varied and diverse belief systems. SEMO put a lot of effort into organizing the event by vetting panelists, letting religious and cultural organizations know about the event, and getting members to share the Facebook event. The work they put in, as well as partnering up with an organization they hadn’t worked with before, created the largest and most successful event SEMO has ever put on, with several audience members and panelists hoping to see it return next year.

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