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Secular Student Movement Update

Secular Student Movement Update 3/26/2015

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Every week, the SSA prepares a summary of what the secular student movement is doing. To hear this update and news from the secular movement, tune into the SCA's National Secular Movement Update every Thursday at 12PM ET.

Presented by Kelley Freeman, Communications Associate at the Secular Student Alliance

The massive success of our revamped Mission, Vision, and Values has shown us how many folks share our values and vision. In order to build a world, movement, and organization we envision, we need to grow the organization - in particular, among the students we support. The larger our base of student members, the more effective we will be in reaching our goals. Therefore, this week at the Secular Student Alliance, we are embarking upon a student membership drive! Membership is 100% free for students and includes a lot of fantastic benefits including awesome swag, discounts to our annual conference, eligibility for leadership travel aid funding, individual project grants and scholarships, and more. What's more, we're even offering prizes for individual students and SSA affiliate groups who sign up their group for membership. Interested in becoming a student member of the Secular Student Alliance? Check out secularstudents.org/membershipdrive. Not a student? That's okay! You can share the drive with students you know. :)

The Secular Student Alliance seeks two full-time summer interns for work in the areas of writing, graphic design, and resource development. The deadline for application is April 12, 2015. These internships are paid positions, each ten weeks long, based in our office in Columbus, OH. Internship dates are flexible between mid-May and early September. The only required working weekend is July 10-12. The internships are 40 hrs./week at $10.10/hr. and will take place during normal business hours except where otherwise noted. Interns are responsible for arranging their own housing while completing the internship. You can learn more at secularstudents.org/2015interns.

It's a month away until Openly Secular Day! Openly Secular Day is April 23rd, the Thursday following Ask an Atheist Day, and there are a lot of exciting events going on around the country. The University of Central Florida is holding the flagship event, so if you are in the Orlando area, please consider stopping by. We also ask that all students (and group members!) plan to pledge to Tell One Person that they're Openly Secular on April 23rd. More information can be found about Openly Secular Day and the #TellOnePerson campaign at openlysecularday.org

Secular Student Movement Update 3/19/2015

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Every week, the SSA prepares a summary of what the secular student movement is doing. To hear this update and news from the secular movement, tune into the SCA's National Secular Movement Update every Thursday at 12PM ET.

Presented by Kelley Freeman, Communications Associate at the Secular Student Alliance

This week at the Secular Student Alliance, we are thrilled to announce and unveil our new Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Strategic Priorities! This is the culmination of several months of tireless work from our staff and board. To take a look, please visit our statement where you'll also be able to co-sign in support.

This past weekend, several of our affiliate groups held regional conferences. There was Freethought Festival in Madison, WI hosted by Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at UW-Madison, as well as SASHAcon hosted by SASHA at the University of Missouri. Another affiliate group, the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics at the University of Kansas, will be hosting ReasonFest the weekend of April 18th, 2015. Great work to all groups involved in planning conferences! It's a lot of work, but it's also a testament to the kinds of awesome things students can put together.

We also want to congratulate our friends at the Freedom From Religion Foundation! White Oak High School in Texas had been reading Bible verses every morning during morning announcements, but FFRF filed a complaint to the school district on behalf of a student. The school district decided to follow the Constitution and has decided to cut scriptures from morning announcements. Great work, FFRF!

Secular Student Movement Update 3/12/2015

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Every week, the SSA prepares a summary of what the secular student movement is doing. To hear this update and news from the secular movement, tune into the SCA's National Secular Movement Update every Thursday at 12PM ET.

Presented by Kelley Freeman, Communications Associate at the Secular Student Alliance

The Secular Student Alliance is working with the Interfaith Youth Core to put on a webinar about engaging non-religious students in interfaith initiatives next Tuesday, March 17th, at 1:00 pm EST. How are Atheist, Agnostic, Secular Humanist, and “spiritual but not religious” students finding community on campus? How is this demographic engaged in matters of value and worldview orientation? In what ways can staff and faculty allies be hospitable and welcoming to these students, particularly around inclusive language and shared activities? Join this conversation, led by staff members from the Secular Student Alliance and the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), to engage in these core ideas. This event is also sponsored by the NASPA Spirituality & Religion in Higher Education Knowledge Community and the ACPA Commission for Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Meaning. For more information, and to register for this webinar, check out ifyc.org/webinars. 

We also have a write up on our website about a recent staffer's experience at the Interfaith Leadership Institute in Atlanta this past January.

This past weekend was the ACPA—College Student Educators International's conference—in Tampa, Florida, where Director of Campus Organizing, Lyz Liddell, held a Secular Safe Zone Facilitator training. There were seven new Secular Safe Zone Facilitators trained who are very excited about putting the program into place on their campus. Lyz also lead a workshop on religious privilege, which had awesome attendance and participation. To learn more about our Secular Safe Zone, visit http://secularsafezone.org

We wanted to remind you that information about our annual conference has been released and that we are looking for exhibitors interested in tabling. SSA Con is an amazing opportunity to interact with over 300 student activists from around the country. Interested in tabling or otherwise advertising with us for the conference? Check out secularstudents.org/advertising.

Secular Student Movement Update 3/5/2015

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Every week, the SSA prepares a summary of what the secular student movement is doing. To hear this update and news from the secular movement, tune into the SCA's National Secular Movement Update every Thursday at 12PM ET.

Presented by Kelley Freeman, Communications Associate at the Secular Student Alliance

As stated last week, ACPA—College Student Educators International's conference—is next weekend, March 5th-8th, in Tampa, Florida. This is the Secular Student Alliance's third year at ACPA. Our presence at ACPA allows us to meet the growing demand of college administrators to know how to make their campuses welcoming to the growing body of students without religion.

Lyz Liddell, Director of Campus Organizing, will be attending and providing two presentations. There will be a Secular Safe Zone Facilitator training and a workshop on religious privilege. For more information on the Secular Safe Zone and information on becoming an Ally, please visit http://secularsafezone.org.

sccAs a result of their Sex-Positive Week last February, the SSA at Sacramento City College, along with allied organizations, raised an official Campus Issue with the administration regarding the need for gender-neutral restrooms on campus. They asked that all single-stall restrooms be converted to gender neutral and that all new buildings include them as well. The purpose of this initiative is to make Sac City's campus more inclusive of transgender students. SCC President Kathryn Jeffery signed a letter directing the Campus Development Committee and Facilities Office to do exactly that. For their efforts, we have awarded SSA at Sac City College an Award for Outstanding Activism. Check it out!

The Secular Student Alliance has awarded an individual student project grant to Amanda Scott in Alabama. She plans to use the project grant to become a Humanist Celebrant and to officiate same-sex marriages in Alabama. We are very excited about this project and hope to be able to award more individual project grants in the future! 

That's all for this week! For more information, questions, comments or additions to student-led efforts in the secular movement, contact [email protected].

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