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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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This Week: SSA 2015 Annual Conference, SSA Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors, Code of Conduct Resource

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SSA 2015 Annual Conference

Our 2015 Annual Conference is officially announced! The location will remain at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The conference will be held July 10th-12th! Registration is not yet opened but you can still sign up for Leadership Travel Aid (LTA) and please sign up to be student speaker!

We will not be having an additional location for the conference this year, but we've added more LTA to help students get to Columbus to accommodate this. Be sure to ask for LTA early, the earlier you ask, the more likely it is to get funding!

Registration will open sometime in February so keep an eye out for that. Until then, visit our 2015 Annual Conference page and get engaged!

SSA Seeks Nominations for Board of Directors

The Secular Student Alliance Nominating Committee is currently seeking nominations for the slate of candidates to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is the principal decision-making body of the Secular Student Alliance. The Board determines the mission, vision, goals, and policies of the SSA. It also directs the Executive Director, who is responsible for day-to-day operations and directs the other staff members. The Secular Student Alliance is a student focused organization and always encourages students to join our board.

Information on the nomination process, details on eligibility and what a position on the Board of Directors entails can be found on our website. If you are interested fill out a form to be considered for nomination, the form must be filled by January 30th 2015 5PM Eastern.

Code of Conduct Resource

A code of conduct openly discloses how your SSA affiliate group operates, and gives guidelines for behavior. By having an official code of conduct, you will be empowered to ask people to refrain from harmful behaviors, and remove them from the group if the behaviors continue. It is very difficult to rebuild membership if people stop attending meetings because of a problematic member. A milder version of this resource is a “That Guy”.

Once you have agreed upon a code of conduct, be sure all members see it. Post it online, print it to pass out at meetings, save it in Google Drive or another online storage system. And stick to it! Your code of conduct won’t be taken seriously if you don’t stay consistent.

Visit our Code of Conduct resource to work off an example of a sample Code of Conduct.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Northern Illinois University Secular Student Alliance with Eboo Patel President of Interfaith Youth Core.

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Join the It's On US campaign! The campaign is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of sexual assualt and violence on college campuses. More information can be found on our website and the It's On Us site.
Newest Affiliate
Agnostics Atheists and Freethinkers
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Featured Service
Tabling Supplies

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Featured Speaker
Robert L. Reece

Robert Reece is a PhD student in sociology at Duke University where he takes an intersectional critical race approach to research on the American South, black popular culture, gender/sex/sexuality, and digital technology. He is a part of Still Furious and Brave, a blogging collective of scholar-activists that focuses on issues that rest at the intersections of race, region, and feminism, and founder of Magnolia Fresh, a fashion blog that seeks to cater to black men in the South.
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This Week: Darwin Day Materials Here!, American Atheists Scholarships Due Soon! No Dinosaurs in Heaven Deal

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Darwin Day Materials Here!

Darwin Day is a fantastic opportunity for your secular student group to take part in a national celebration of education and science. Groups around the country, and around the world, will be taking part and celebrating the birth of one of the most important scientists of the modern era.

We have posters and brochures to order if you plan on having an event observing Darwin Day on campus. Be sure to order the materials (via tabling supplies) soon!

American Atheists Scholarships Due Soon!

The scholarship applications for American Atheists are due next month! There are many scholarships available: two $1,000 O'Hair Scholarships, four $500 President's Scholarships, and two $500 Chinn Scholarships for LGBT Atheist Activism. The 2015 Scholarship Application is available for download on their website. The scholarships will be presented at their 2015 National Convention in Memphis, TN. Winners will receive free convention admission.

Applications and essays must be turned in February 1, 2015. Send your essay to scholarship@atheists.org.

No Dinosaurs in Heaven Deal

Special offer for Secular Student Alliance members and partners!
 
From now, through June 30, 2015, you can get an exclusive 25% discount on the purchase of an educationally licensed DVD or digital stream of No Dinosaurs in Heaven—a documentary about the importance of teaching evolution, not creationism, in our schools.
 
Produced and directed by Emmy award winning filmmaker and science educator, Greta Schiller, the documentary weaves together two strands: an examination of the problem posed by creationists who earn scientific education degrees, only to advocate anti-scientific beliefs; and a visually stunning raft trip down the Grand Canyon, led by the National Center for Science Education Director Dr. Eugenie Scott, that debunks creationist explanations for its formation.
 
"Great movie and discussion after led by members of our biology department!"
- Brent Jensen, Faculty Advisor, Secular Student Alliance at College of Southern Idaho
 
View the trailer and download a free digital discussion guide.
 
Order now, in time for Darwin Day! Receive 25% off with SSA coupon code SSANDH. Purchase the film for your group, or recommend it for inclusion in your school’s library collection (faculty advisors can make the request)—and ensure it’s availability for SSA future generations!
 
Contact them with questions, or to invite the filmmaker for an in person or Skype Q&A.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Oklahoma State Secular Organization have transcended their old tabling ways.

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Registration for Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Study (IDEALS) is now open! The study is free for participating colleges and universities. Read more about IDEALS on the Interfaith Youth Core website.
Newest Affiliate
DCCC Freethinkers
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Featured Service
Group Running Guide

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Featured Speaker
Conor Robinson

Conor is a humanist speaker and activist from Los Angeles, California. He was the founder of Yale’s Humanist Society and the Pathfinders Project, a yearlong global humanist service trip. Conor was the recipient of Foundation Beyond Belief’s 2014 Humanist Visionary award, and he is now working with the Foundation to launch the Humanist Service Corps.
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This Week: The $15 for '15 Campaign!, Keith Lowell Jensen's Performances Available, Darwin Day 2015

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The $15 for '15 Campaign!

The Secular Student Alliance is a non-profit organization and relies almost entirely on donations to continue to operate and serve our many student affiliates and individual secular students. That's why we are asking for $15 a month during 2015 to help us continue to achieve the great things we do. Students may not have the means to contribute but it would help us a lot if you spread the word through social media and elsewhere!

Learn more about the $15 for '15 campaign and share the campaign stories as well. Send people here to contribute. Use the hashtag #15for15 when sharing!

Keith Lowell Jensen's Performances Available

We are now able to offer copies of comedian Keith Lowell Jensen's Cats Made of Rabbits as well as Atheist Christmas with full public screening rights to affiliate groups!

SSA affiliate groups may now borrow the films from SSA national at no cost, complete with public screening rights. You can show the film in any way that you’d like. We include a copy of the public license agreement so that your campus has the documentation it needs. This opportunity is available right now! However, we do have limited copies on hand, so please request a copy as soon as your group has an idea of when you would like to screen the movie.

Check out all the movies you can screen to your group from us on our webpage!

Darwin Day 2015

Darwin Day is just a few short months away, so it's never too late to start planning an event in honor of that day.

Darwin Day is about celebrating how science and reason make our lives better. Darwin Day is not just about celebrating the Theory of Evolution and the connectedness of all life but is a celebration of scientific explanation. Charles Darwin used his life as an example of a pretty impressive break from the always more comfortable traditional norm in favor of the evidence.

You may hold many different types of events for Darwin Day. You can bring a speaker to campus or simply have a little chat and reflect over the importance of the day. Moreover, you can combine multiple events into a day-long celebration, or even a Darwin Week! We have lots of ideas in our Darwin Day hub. We will also have branding materials to send out soon, so look out for those!

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Eastern Illinois University Society for Freethought stop by the SSA's table at Skepticon 7.

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New Leader?
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Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
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Registration is now open for Interfaith Youth Core's Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey called IDEALS.
Newest Affiliate
Kearney Secular Student Alliance!
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Featured Service
Email and Web Forwards

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Featured Speaker
Murali Balaji

Murali Balaji, Ph.D. is Hindu American Foundation's Director of Education and Curriculum Reform. A Fulbright Specialist and former journalist, he has taught at Temple University, Penn State University, and Lincoln University, where he served as Chair of the Department of Mass Communications, overseeing assessment and curriculum building efforts. A longtime advocate of minority issues, Dr. Balaji is the author of several books and the co-editor of the seminal anthologies Desi Rap (2008) and Global Masculinities and Manhood (2011). A native of the Philadelphia area, Dr. Balaji earned his B.A. in journalism from the University of Minnesota and his doctorate in Mass Communication from Penn State.
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This Week: Call to Action: Social Justice in Ferguson, Final Chance to Remove Your Mask!, Identifying An Ethic of Interfaith Cooperation

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Call to Action: Social Justice in Ferguson

In the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer that shot and killed Michael Brown this week in Ferguson, Missouri, we have heard from many of our student leaders who want to take action and are looking for guidance. We at the national Secular Student Alliance have several calls to action for our students and student groups who are frustrated, angry, hurt, and feel compelled to act. Check our website for some ways you can get involved.

Final Chance to Remove Your Mask!

This is a final reminder for the Openly Secular Remove Your Mask video contest which ends December 1st!

Prizes amount to $3,000 in cash! First place winners will win $1,000, second place winners will win $200, and there are three $100 prizes for runner up winners. There are separate student and non-student categories. Videos featuring individuals and groups of two or more people are allowed, however all people must be 18 years or older.

Check out the website for more information and to submit your video. 

Identifying An Ethic of Interfaith Cooperation

The Interfaith Youth Core developed a great resource on tying in one's own theology or ethical philosophy into why they practice interfaith cooperation. The purpose of this resource is to further strengthen the pluralistic basis for interfaith by narrating a mutually enriching rather than mutually exclusive basis for persons of different spiritual identities. The perspectives represented are: Christian, Islamic, Humanist, Jewish, Hindu & Sikh.

Many opportunities of interfaith cooperation stem from one's own religious literacy. Studying this resource will help your group better negotiate and parlay with religious student groups interested in interfaith community service opportunities or simply entering a space of mutual understanding and respect.

Learn more about how secular students can get involved with interfaith opportunities on our website!

Group Photo of the Week

Members from the Students for Free-thought at the University of Michigan - Flint at their campus Intercultural Center. The center provided a space for students to express themselves following the non-indictment of Darren Wilson including writing letters to be sent to the family of Michael Brown and politicians.

Send us your photos!
New Leader?
No Longer a Leader?
Let us know!
Brag It Up!
Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
SSA Leaderspace
*Notice* Enjoy the food, family and fun this holiday weekend! Keep in mind our offices will be pretty quiet until December. Stay safe everyone!
Newest Affiliate
Secular Student Alliance at San Diego State University
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Funding Finder
Learn More

Featured Speaker
Kelley Freeman

Kelley Freeman is a former student leader of the Secular Student Alliance at the University of South Carolina. During her time at USC, she began networking with other progressive organizations on campus and founded Forward Progressive Alliance on campus (largely as a response to an overwhelmingly religious Carolina Welcome Week). A few other campuses have since started progressive alliances. Nowadays, she works for the Secular Student Alliance as their Communications Associate and cohosts Secular Start Up with her coworker Gordon.
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