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Members of Secular Student Alliance at Central College Brag It Up!

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SSA affiliates and members are doing awesome stuff on their campus all the time.  We brag about their work here on our website through the Brag It Up series.  If you or your affiliate group has done something awesome, Brag It Up!

I am the president of Central College’s SSA affiliate group, and we brought JT Eberhard to campus this February. We booked him to speak on ‘Reason as a Moral Obligation’, because we agreed that this would be a topic that would fit with the climate of our campus. You see, our campus is very religious, and since JT is what people would call a ‘firebrand’ we decided that this topic area would be a good option for our school. JT wanted this to be as financially easy for our group as possible, so he told us we could pick the cheapest flight that we could find (so long as it wasn’t Delta) and let him crash on one of our couches so we could save money. This was very helpful for our group and allowed us to get the funds to get him here. 

The group advisor and I drove him to Pella from the airport, and once he saw us he gave each of us a huge bear hug. The day of his talk, the group all ate supper with him in the school cafeteria, and he kept us all entertained with stories and magic tricks. He was a very good magician, and he did several tricks for us throughout the meal.

Chris Stedman at University of Florida (Presented by Gator Freethought)

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In April 2013, Gator Freethought at University of Florida was able to host Chris Stedman thanks to the Speakers Bureau from the national SSA. This article summarizes the experiences of that event for the group.

Chris Stedman, author of the book Faitheist, visited our campus last month to talk about the intersection of religion, non-religion, and the LGBTQ community. During his overnight visit, he spent an entire day on the University of Florida campus discussing religious privilege and some common blights of the LGBTQ community and the non-religious community at large. The morning event consisted of an open, round-table discussion where students, faculty, staff, and visitors could come and talk freely with Chris and the other participants. Later that evening, he gave a small talk, followed by a Q and A session about his religious experiences and sexuality, hitting on some key points and ideas from his book.

In Response to Mounting Violations, National Orgs Vow to Protect Atheist Students' Rights

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Younger Americans -- increasingly nonreligious and not shy about it -- are about to have new support in speaking out against intrusions of religion in their educational environment. The Secular Student Alliance, an organization devoted to empowering nonreligious students, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to promoting state-church separation and freethought, announced a joint initiative today to connect students with legal assistance when their rights are violated.

"No student should ever be subjected to religious discrimination from their school, but they don't always know where to turn for help," said Andrew Seidel, a staff attorney with the Freedom From Religion Foundation. "With today's partnership, we're telling students that when push comes to shove, we have their backs." 

A Second Religious High School Forms an SSA

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Have you heard of The Westminster Schools? It's “a Christian, independent day school for boys and girls which seeks to develop the whole person for college and for life through excellent education" based in Georgia.  Their school motto is "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."

Well, as of this month, they also have a Secular Student Alliance on campus!

Westminster Schools SealHow did secular students at Westminster Schools convince the administrators to allow a group?  Student leaders Caroline Oelkers and Aaron Smith tailored their proposal to the school's climate:

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