Affiliation Renewal Frequently Asked Questions
We get a lot of questions about the Affiliation Renewal during the process. We've answered a lot of the common questions here, but feel free to contact us if you have a question that hasn't been answered yet or if you are confused by anything at all.
What questions are on the Affiliation Renewal?
Before you start, you'll want to have the following on hand (or in your brain):
- Official name of your group
- Review the Minimum Standards of Affiliation
- URLs for all of your group's web presences (Facebook page, Facebook group, Twitter, website, etc.)
- A private and/or public mailing address for your group
- A current count of members of your group
- Names, email addresses, and anticipated graduation dates for your officers
- Contact information for your advisor (if applicable)
- Some ideas or plans for the rest of the school year
- Knowledge of what your group has done so far this year
- Group photos if you would like to share some (be sure everyone in the photos is OK with sharing!)
- Questions for the Campus Organizing team so we can help you have an awesome group!
- You will also have the opportunity at the end to set up SSA student memberships for everyone in your group (always free for students!), so you might want to have a list of group members' names and email addresses ready as well.
What is the Affiliation Renewal?
The Affiliation Renewal is a semesterly (fall and spring) questionnaire that we require all affiliate groups to complete. It helps us to make sure that we have current contact information for your group, as well as lets us know how your group is doing so we can best help you.
How do I renew my group's affiliation?
We will send out emails to all affiliate group leaders and advisors with a link to the renewal. By using the link, the form will auto-fill with the information we have about your group. If you did not receive an email with that link, you can go to www.secularstudents.org/renew (during the renewal period) and fill out a blank renewal form. Please note that the affiliation renewal form is different from the affiliation form that you used to initially affiliate with us as a new group.
Why do I have to renew my group's affiliation?
We require the Affiliation Renewal because some of our groups are more independent than others, and not everyone talks to us regularly. The Affiliation Renewal makes sure that we have contact with each group at least once a semester, so we have an idea of how you're doing. It also helps us keep our Affiliates Listing up to date so that interested students and media can get in touch with your group.
What happens if I don't fill out the Affiliation Renewal?
If your group does not fill out the Affiliation Renewal form, your group will lose its affiliation with the Secular Student Alliance - and lose access to all services and resources along with it. We don't want to lose you! If you just missed the deadline, contact us! We are very happy to work with you if your group is still active and if you are willing to provide us with the information we need.
What do you do with the information in the renewal?
We use most of the information to make sure we can get in touch with your group. While some of the information we collect is published on our Affiliates Listing, we only publish the information that we say will be public. The rest of the information remains internal, and we use it to make sure we are doing the best job we can of developing and delivering services to your group.
What if I can't find all the information you need?
If you can't find a piece of information, simply note what's missing in the survey and email us as soon as you can find it. We'd rather have an incomplete survey from you and know that your group is still alive and well than have to drop your affiliation because we haven't heard from you.
Who can fill out the survey for my group?
Any officer (or advisor) can fill out the survey for your group. We send the form to all officers and faculty advisors listed in our database, so make sure you communicate with your other officers before you submit the survey so that you are not doubling up the work.
I got a notice about the Affiliation Renewal, but I graduated.
This sometimes happens, since we use the information from the previous Affiliation Renewal to let our groups know about the current renewal. If you have received an email about the Affiliation Renewal, we'd really appreciate it if you can pass it along to your group's new leaders, or contact us and let us know how to reach the current leaders of your group. That ensures that we can reach the current leadership and make sure your group can stay affiliated.
I filled out the survey and clicked "Submit Survey" but I don't think it worked.
If you filled out your survey correctly, you will receive an automated confirmation email at the group address provided in the survey. If you did not receive this email, there might have been an error. Please contact us and we'll try to figure out what went wrong.
Why is this thing so long?
We love you and want to know what your group is up to. This is the only chance we have to make sure we get critical information about your group, what you're doing, how you're doing, and how good a job we are of meeting your needs. It's like calling your mom on Mother's Day - it might be a pain, but it means the world to us. If that doesn't make you feel better, then think of it as the only payment we ask for all the awesome stuff we provide for your group.
I need to update my group's information outside of the normal Affiliation Renewal. How can I do that?
The Fall Affiliation Renewal runs in mid-October, and the Spring Renewal runs in mid-March or April. If your group's information - especially leadership information - changes between renewals, you can update your leadership information here.