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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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Our Sacred Tradition :: This Week

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Secular students still face marginalization and stigma by much of society, but there’s one thing that definitely helps combat them: openness. The more that people realize there’s a secular presence in their community, the less prejudice against atheists they feel. That’s why your group should participate in Ask an Atheist Day on April 20. This is a special opportunity, outside your normal tabling, to engage with people who have never met an atheist or who don't know what atheism is really about. Groups have historically gone all out with special decorations, interactive games, fundraising, and more in order to make it as impactful an event as possible. We strongly recommend letting religious groups and other campus organizations know about your table to help bring people to you to maximize your impact. Find out how else you can run your own awesome Ask An Atheist Day!

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Your group is going to the March for Science on April 22 right? Of course you are, because fighting for publicly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity is one of our biggest secular values! It’s going to be an awesome event, but don’t get too caught up in all that protesting and forget to take pictures! Pictures are one of the best ways to retain group institutional memory, and it’s really awesome to share that memory with others. Learn how you can take the best kind of group photo when you go to the March for Science!

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Did you know that SSA Chapters receive more benefits and resources than SSA Affiliates? It’s true! They get more funding, exclusive service access, unlimited tabling supplies, and more! So how do you become an SSA Chapter? All you have to do is send us a roster! Your members will become SSA Student Members, and your group will become a Chapter. You can do that at any time, or during the upcoming Affiliation Renewal on April 17. Find out how you can send us your own group roster and become an SSA Chapter!

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We're Proud Of

Arizona State University Secular Student Alliance!

"Our legislators are beholden to their constituents and protesting/lobbying them is effective. If we do not make our voices as secular citizens heard, our government will not consider us."

Angel Garcia, President

ASU's SSA participated in Secular Day, an advocacy event in Phoenix, Arizona, where secular organizations from all over the state come together at the capitol to lobby their representatives to respect the separation of church and state and to raise awareness of secular voters. At the event, the SSA tabled and marketed their group, met with their local representatives, attended sessions of the state house and senate, listened to speeches, and protested in front of the capitol. Some of their representatives are openly atheist, and were open to meeting and offering feedback based on their own concerns regarding state politics. Local news stations came to cover the event, and some representatives even came out to show their support! This experience gave ASU SSA first-hand experience with approaching legislators, lobbying/protesting in front of the capitol, and successfully marketing an event and representing the group.

We're Hiring :: This Week

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Gordon Maples, our beloved Senior Campus Organizer, is moving on after SSA Con 2017 to pursue his master’s degree. He’s been a guru of organizing know-how for several years, both as a volunteer and as paid staff with the SSA, and has maintained deep contacts with student groups all throughout the South. These are big shoes to fill, but fill them we must.

We’re seeking a full-time Campus Organizer who will work directly with approximately 150 SSA-supported student groups in the eastern United States. This position will be the direct liaison with SSA groups in their designated regions and will support them in their efforts to build community, engage in advocacy, participate in service opportunities, and educate their campuses. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree or equivalent education by June 1, 2017, when the position starts.

Read the full description and apply on our jobs page
. We look forward to working with YOU!

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Our Affiliation Renewals are coming up on April 17. This is a REQUIRED form for SSA Chapters and Affiliates to fill out to keep their good standing in the SSA, and to continue to receive access to services and resources like tabling supplies, grants, and the Speakers Bureau. It’s not a scary form, but there is some information you can work on compiling now so that you’ll be able to breeze through it. Visit our Affiliation Renewal FAQ page to find everything you need!

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The March for Science is coming up on Earth Day, April 22! It’s a very appropriate day, given the current administration's hostility towards climate science and desire to defund science-based agencies like the EPA and NASA. We hope that you and your group will stand up for science by joining a march near you! By now, your Campus Organizer should have let you know where yours is, but you can always look it up on the March for Science’s satellite march page. Remember to take a group photo when you go!

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We're Proud Of

Secular Student Alliance at The Ohio State University!

"The only thing more humbling than being a leader is meeting one you have always looked up to."

Brian Groenke, President

The SSA at OSU brought Matt Dillahunty to OSU to talk about debating atheism! They were able to bring him up with the assistance of an SSA Speaker Bureau grant to cover upfront costs until they could be reimbursed by OSU after the event. Everyone there, students and community members alike, really enjoyed his well-prepared talk and meeting with him afterward. A number of people, especially students, came up to Brian to thank him for bringing Matt because he’s such a role model and secular hero for them! The entire talk is on Matt’s YouTube page for the Atheist Debates Patreon Project.

The SSA <3 Science :: This Week

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The March for Science is April 22. It is being organized behind the idea that science is an essential part of our society, that its findings are not political, and that it must be robustly supported. However, if there’s ever been a time when science has been threatened by government mandate, it is now. Stand up for science by having your group join the nearest satellite march! Don’t forget to take a group picture to share with us too!

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Ask an Atheist Day is April 20! It’s an opportunity for secular groups across the country to work together to defeat stereotypes about atheism and encourage courteous dialogue between believers and nonbelievers. We’ve got a lot of awesome tabling supplies waiting for you, but you need to order them THIS WEEK! After that, we’ll be taking them off the form, because they wouldn’t reach you in time anyway. Order your Ask an Atheist tabling supplies today!

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Do you want a great summer job? Do you want to be in Columbus, ranked one of the best cities for millennials? Come help us out at SSA Con! We’re hiring two temporary part-time Conference Support Staffers for the months of June and July 2017! You’ll handle a lot of organizing and running before, during, and after the largest event the SSA runs! It’s a great resume builder and a really fun time, so come join our team! Go to our jobs page to learn more about the position and apply!

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We're Proud Of

Secular Panthers at Georgia State University!

"When advertising to the whole student body and community at large, you're likely to attract attention from people who might have never come to one of your group meetings. Or maybe you're the first 'secular' person that someone meets!"

Michael Nelson, President

Secular Panthers collaborated with Black Nonbelievers and the Atlanta Coalition of Reason to bring in Chris Johnson for the Georgia premiere of his movie, "A Better Life: Joy and Meaning in a World without God." They were able to bring him out with the help of Mandisa Thomas, whom they described as “wonderful,” as well as an SSA Speakers Bureau Grant. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and gave their group many topics to discuss for future meetings. After the film, they discovered Chris had never eaten at a Waffle House before, which was something that had to change.

This Ends On Wednesday :: This Week

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Students LOVE our SSA Con t-shirts! We saw a blanket of purple on the stairway in 2015, and a field of orange in 2016. These shirts keep showing up in students pictures as they take the lessons of SSA Con and apply them to their own activism. They’ve shown up at the Reason Rally, at conferences, protests, and so much more! When you come to SSA Con 2017, won’t you want your own?

While you’ll be able to order SSA Con 2017 t-shirts for a few months yet, you only have until Wednesday to get yours for FREE!

Ending on March 15, all paid registrations for SSA Con include a free t-shirt! That offer is good both for individuals AND for groups! That means on top of the $50 groups can save by registering together, you can save even more and look amazing at the Con at the same time!

March 15 is also the end of early bird registration, meaning the cost of registration will be going up some. So there are two reasons to register soon: free t-shirt and cheaper tickets!

Register yourself or your group for SSA Con today!

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The Secular Society of MIT had a screening of "Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus," served Valentine/birthday cakes to show their love for Darwin, followed by a Q&A session with biologist-filmmaker Randy Olson and biologist Steven Orzack. In the same week, they went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History as a group!


The Secular Student Alliance at Jacksonville State University held a birthday party for Charles Darwin, and a professor from the biology department, Dr. Burns, came to speak about Darwin and evolution.


The Secular Student Alliance at the University of Idaho helped the Humanists of the Palouse as they put on their annual Darwin on the Palouse event! The main event featured Dr. Cheryl Miller, who gave a talk on the importance of vaccines, and Dr. Kevin Folta, who gave a talk on the science and safety of GMOs.


The Secular Student Alliance at University of South Dakota handed out secular and Charles Darwin-themed valentines, and set up a giant "On the Origin of Species" piñata, which they filled with gummy animals.


These are just some of the great stories we’ve gotten about Darwin Day 2017! What did your group do? Tell us in a Brag It Up and we might share it on Facebook and Twitter, or add it to our list of Darwin Day activities for groups to do for years to come!

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