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This Week

Weekly news, emails, and group-running articles for student leaders. Check in every week for new postings!

Subscribe to receive "This Week" emails in your inbox here.  Leaders and members of affiliate groups, off-campus supporters, and other are welcome!

This Week: Regional Program Expansion, Movie Showing Resource, Carolinas Secular Student Summit 2014

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Regional Program Expansion

We are thrilled to share with you the expansion of our Regional Program! Started in 2012, the Regional Program provides hands-on, designated support to our students and affiliate groups through Regional Campus Organizers (RCOs). When we first started the program, we had one full-time RCO in the Southeast, and one part-time RCO in Texas.
 
Last year we grew this program even further, expanding coverage to four additional states. And, for this school year, the Regional Program will be growing even more. We are thrilled with the four regions we have for this upcoming school year: The Mideast, The South Central, The Southwest, and The Southeast regions, which cover nineteen states and fifty-five percent of our affiliate groups! Students in these areas have a friendly face on the ground to help them with events and questions.
 
Learn more about the Regional Program!

Movie Showing Resource

Check out our new movie showing resource! When planning for a movie night with your group (or any kind of event with video material), always, always, always check your school's policies on video showing first. These vary heavily from campus to campus, and always ask if you are not sure. It's better to spend time asking, rather than planning an event only to get your group in trouble later on because you didn't know your campus' policies.

Here is a list of movies that may appeal to a secular audience and other suggestions for your group!

Carolinas Secular Student Summit 2014

The Carolinas Secular Student Summit is a free, annual event that aims to bring together the leaders and active members of Secular Student Alliance affiliates and similar student organizations from schools and universities in the Carolinas and surrounding areas. Students attend to meet leaders from other organizations, share and discuss ideas with like-minded peers, and learn about ways to build and maintain strong and active campus groups! CS3 is a great leadership opportunity for students in the Southeast region!

 
Group Photo of the Week

Members from Northern Illinois University Secular Student Alliance at their school's involvement fair.
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Featured Service
Email and Web Forwards

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Featured Speaker
Stephanie Zvan
Stephanie Zvan's parents decided they wouldn't raise their children in any religion. They would keep the kids out of church, religion out of the home, and let them decide what religion they wanted to be part of once they grew up. Decades later, neither Stephanie nor her brothers have ever found a religion that calls to them. Coming to religion as an outsider, Stephanie doesn't have much interest in theology or apologetics. She'd rather get on with creating that post-religious world the demographics tell us is coming. She wants to help make it a good one, with strong atheist organizations and communities, as well as a solid understanding of science and skepticism.
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This Week: Apply for Group Tax-Exemption Through SSA!, Banned Books Week, New Design Exchange!

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Apply for Group Tax-Exemption Through SSA!

Apply for 501(c)(3) status through the national SSA! We have acquired Group Exemption status from the IRS, which means we have the ability to extend tax-exempt status to qualifying affiliates. By applying for 501(c)(3) status through the national SSA, you will bypass the associated fees and greatly reduce your time investment. We do limit this status to our more established groups, which are have a history of positive relationships with the national SSA and a track record of sound financial management. Your group will also have to meet some additional criteria, and the national SSA will monitor your group to ensure that you are maintaining 501(c)(3) eligibility. Learn more about the group exemption and apply for your group. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Banned Books Week

September 21-27th is Banned Books Week. This is the week where we observe all the banned and challenged books of the world and celebrate one's freedom of speech, expression, and opinion.

There may be events in your area to attend. Check their website for more info on events. You can of course also do a little something special as a group during this week to honor the brave people who had to fight for their written works. You might even discuss if there can be utility in any censorship as the alternative is unfettered freedom of speech.

New Design Exchange!

Our newly renovated Design Exchange contains many free print and digital media files in multiple downloadable formats for your group to use.

If your group is designer savvy and would like to share its files to the Design Exchange for other groups around the country to use, you can submit them! Please be sure to include the original editable source files (such as .psd, .indd, .doc/.docx, etc.) so other groups can go in and edit any relevant text and information.

The Design Exchange has designs for annual events, speaker events, regular meetings and miscellaneous digital meeting files. Stop by and see what's available!

Group Photo of the Week

Member from the Auraria Secular Student Alliance in response to a campus preacher.

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It's the National Day of Service today. Make sure your group is involved in community service activities!

Missed the SSA's Annual Conference? Didn't get to see all the talks? We're constantly posting new videos to our YouTube Channel so you can check them out!

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Funding Finder

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Featured Speaker
William Zingrone

William has a PhD in Developmental Psychology, is a lecturer in Developmental Psychology with passionate research interests in Consciousness and Cognitive Evolution and the History of Science. He also blogs for Dispatches from the New Enlightenment and is an advisor for several SSA affiliate groups.
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This Week: SSA Scholarships for Student Activists, FIRE Resource Available, Project Interfaith Seeks Communication Intern

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SSA Scholarships for Student Activists

We're finally offering scholarships for students! Our SSA Scholarships for Student Activists will provide three awards of $500 and two awards of $250 to winners. Of course, in order to qualify for the scholarship, you have to be a student member of the Secular Student Alliance. You also have to be actively involved in some form of activism or advocacy. Learn more on our website and apply before September 30!

FIRE Resource Available

With our tabling supplies service, we can send your group many supplies that would be useful whenever you want to table for an event, or just generally for your group. We have handouts, bookmarks, brochures, pens, banners*, buttons, and literature from dozens of different organizations.

Our latest item comes from our friends at Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) on the topic of understanding the legal nature of free speech on campus. This book is relevant to high school groups as well. Books may be limited to one per group. Request tabling supplies from us by filling out a request form.

*SSA Banners are free to affiliates who have completed our branding agreement.

Project Interfaith Seeks Communication Intern

Our friends at Project Interfaith are looking for a Communications Intern for the Fall.

Communications Intern - This intern will focus on building social media, website, and outreach efforts, which in turn will build a strong base of different types of supporters including members, students, donors, watchers, supporters, and champions within the community.

You can always find more job, internship, and volunteer opportunities at our jobs page.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists at UT Dallas under attack!

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We are sponsoring students to attend the Moving Social Justice Conference (October 11-12). The grant application can be found on our website!

Missed the SSA's Annual Conference? Didn't get to see all the talks? We're constantly posting new videos to our YouTube Channel so you can check them out!
Newest Affiliate
Good Without God: Saginaw Valley State University Secular Student Alliance
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Featured Service
Project Grants

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Featured Speaker
Rebecca Vitsmun

  Many people will remember Rebecca Vitsmun from the CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer where she responded "I'm actually an atheist" and a big laugh to his repeated question of "Do you thank the Lord?" after her home was destroyed in a tornado.
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This Week: SSA Memberships (for free!), SSA Leaders on Social Media, Atheist Alliance of America 2014 Con

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SSA Memberships (for free!)

We are happy to announce that the SSA is offering full blown membership to students for free! Not only do you keep all the benefits and perks of the old membership, but now you can vote and run in our Board of Directors elections!

Student Memberships provide members with these benefits:

  • Membership in the nation's largest network of secular students
  • Membership card and awesome SSA swag
  • Discounts to our Annual Conference
  • Eligibility for Leadership Travel Aid funding
  • Access to our Affiliate and Member Store
  • Eligibility for Individual Project Grants and more!
  • Eligibility to vote and run in our Board of Directors elections
  • Special limited time benefits (see: below)
Remember, that memberships only last a year, so be sure to renew and sign up the new students joining your group this fall. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about Student Memberships.

SSA Leaders on Social Media

You can now follow campus organizing across our 3 new social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

SSA Leaders are for secular student leaders who want to keep up with what's happening with the campus organizing arm of the Secular Student Alliance and things we want you to know about. Be sure to follow us!

Atheist Alliance of America 2014 Con

The Atheist Alliance of America is having their conference next weekend in Seattle beginning August 7th. There is a massive discount for students for an entire weekend of talks, workshops, entertainment, and fun! Our very own August Brunsman will be there!

In order to qualify for the student price, you have to be a student member of the SSA, and have a student I.D. present at the door.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from the Secular Student Alliance at Butler University during Ask an Atheist Day!

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Newest Affiliate
Secular Alliance at the University of Pittsburgh
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Featured Service
Business Cards

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Featured Speaker
Gleb Tsipursky

Gleb Tsipursky is the Co-Founder and Chief Insights Officer of Intentional Insights. Intentional Insights is a nonprofit that empowers people to reach their goals through transforming recent research on rational thinking and emotional intelligence into easy-to-use tools relevant to people’s lives. It delivers this content in a friendly and engaging manner through workshops and online resources.
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