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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: Hug An Atheist Week, Project Interfaith Activity Ideas, Custom Facebook URL

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  • Hug An Atheist Week
  • Project Interfaith Activity Ideas
  • Custom Facebook URL

Hug An Atheist Week

Tomorrow is the beginning of Hug An Atheist Week!

The Stiefel Freethought Foundation and Foundation Beyond Belief have put together a way for your group to get $100 by participating!

To receive $100, your group needs to do these five easy things:

  1. Be a CFI On Campus or SSA affiliate.
  2. Fill out the form in advance of your Hug An Atheist event.
  3. Hold a Hug an Atheist event benefitting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society during the week of Oct. 1 - 7.
  4. Create a video of your event.
  5. Upload your video to the public, ideally using the hashtag #hugaheathen
Let us know if you have any questions about Hug an Atheist Week. Feel free to order any of our Light The Night Fundraising materials too! Head toward our Light The Night Page for more info.

Project Interfaith Activity Ideas

Last week, we had the opportunity to sit down with the lovely people at Project Interfaith and learn more about their flagship program RavelUnravel.  This program is a collection of nearly a thousand videos of individuals from all worldviews - including quite a few secular representatives! - talking about their worldview and how welcome they feel in their community.

This project provides several neat activity ideas for your group.  If you're ever in need of an emergency meeting idea, you can pull up a few videos and watch them as a group.  Take it one step further and use those videos to launch a discussion about worldviews and how accepting our society is of different identities.  For a more involved project, consider starting a RavelUnravel Campaign within your group or on your campus, and record videos capturing the identities in your community.  Or, for a larger campus-wide project, consider hosting a Speed Dialogue - an event like speed dating, but facilitating dialog and understanding between people of different worldviews.

Like what you see?  Look for more exciting programs from SSA and Project Interfaith in the future!

Custom Facebook URL

If you are using Facebook as your group's main web presence, and many of you are, consider creating a custom URL. The custom URL option is available for both Facebook pages and groups. To create a custom URL in your group or page all you have to do is set up an email for the page or group. We highly encourage the use of group/page email even if you never use it. Creating a group email will provide a custom URL and will help people searching for the group find it easily. A tutorial on how to create a group email can found here.

Want more nifty ideas on how to tailor your group's social media? Find ideas and tips on our social media and internal web use pages!

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Loyola University Chicago Secular Student Alliance tabling at their student organization fair. Way to go!

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Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
SSA Leaderspace

Missed the SSA's Annual Conference in Las Vegas or Columbus? Didn't get to see all the talks? We're constantly posting new videos to our YouTube Channel so you can check them out! This latest video comes from Zack Kopplin speaking on Creationism and School Voucher Programs.

Featured Service
Funding Finder

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Featured Speaker
Herb Silverman

Herb Silverman founded the Atheist-Humanist Alliance and Secular Coalition for America. He is the author of Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt. Professor Emeritus at the College of Charleston, Herb is now the President Emeritus of the Secular Coalition of America. He has appeared in a number of debates, including one at the Oxford Union in England. He is active in defending the rights of non-believers in the political and social arenas.

Check out his website.
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This Week: Freethought Poetry Contest, Banned Books Week, Shop on Amazon to Support the SSA!

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Freethought Poetry Contest

Dean and Dorea Schramm, friends of the Secular Student Alliance, have sponsored a poetry contest specifically for SSA affiliated groups. The contest winners are decided by SSA student groups voting for their favorite poem. 15 student groups can win a $100 prize for pizza (or whatever they want as a group) and 15 other groups who participate in voting can win a $50 prize. No poem is need for the $50 prize, only a vote.

Registration is open now until October 11th. You can submit your group poem at any time after you register until November 15th. Voting starts soon after the poems are made public on the website and ends December 23rd. Winners will be notified January 1st.

Be sure to read all the contest information, register, and vote! If this is a successful contest it may be a recurring activity.

Banned Books Week

September 22-28th is Banned Books Week. This is the week were 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 here 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.

Shop on Amazon to Support the SSA!

Use the special link when you are buying things from amazon.com! Then everything you buy on Amazon gives a portion of the sales to the SSA at no cost to you.

Every time you shop on Amazon you could be giving back to the SSA! Simply use the special link instead of the normal Amazon address. Make sure to update your bookmarks to give yourself a little reminder. Use the link to buy textbooks and other school supplies for the fall. Feel free to share this link with your group members and other contacts.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Knox Secular Student Alliance tabling in Seymour gallery.

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New Leader?
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Brag It Up!
Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
SSA Leaderspace

Missed the SSA's Annual Conference in Las Vegas or Columbus? Didn't get to see all the talks? We're constantly posting new videos to our YouTube Channel so you can check them out! This latest video comes from Jen McCreight on effective social media use.
Newest Affiliate
Secular Student Alliance at Butler University
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Featured Service
Project Grants

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Featured Speaker
Ellery Schemp

Physicist and author Ellery Schemp started his political career in 1956 when he was in high school. He was the student involved in the landmark 1963 Supreme Court case of Abington School District v. Schempp which declared public school-sanction Bible reading unconstitutional. His book, Ellery's Protest, can be found here.
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This Week: Light The Night Walk Incentives!, Freethought Day, SSA Store Items

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Light The Night Walk Incentives!

 

The Foundation Beyond Belief Light The Night Team is having a Walk Kickoff Week September 16-22. September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, and LLS has generously given some special incentives for Kickoff Week!

  1. Anyone who sends their fundraising webpage to 20 or more people and cc: [email protected] will receive a $10 iTunes Gift Card!
  2. The top 5 individual online fundraisers for the week (minimum $250 in the week) will win a $25 Amazon.com gift card.
  3. Finally, the four Team Captains that have the most walkers on their team by the end of the week will receive a $25 American Express gift card. Winners from Registration Week are not eligible.

If you haven’t already joined, it’s not too late. If you walked last year, your team is already in the walk system. All you need to do is re-register or make a new team.

Foundation Beyond Belief is calling on nonreligious communities across the country to dedicate a few hours' time between October 1st and 7th to a Hug an Atheist fundraiser benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society via the Foundation Beyond Belief Light The Night Walk team. For inspiration, watch this video of a Hug an Atheist event in action.

Share why you walk on twitter @foundBB #whylls.

Freethought Day

"Freethought Day is an annual day of celebration which gives those freethinkers who have been unable to proudly declare themselves a platform from which to do so. Held on October 12, newly declared freethinkers can gain strength and support from fellow "open" freethinkers and from other October freethought holidays such as International Freethought Month (October) and Separation of Church and State Day (November 24th).

In this day and age in the United States, discrimination, hatred, and bias against freethinkers is still allowed, even promoted, by many in this country. Unlike the gay and lesbian community, the freethought community does not have the powerful voice and activist population necessary to end such treatment. It is time to change this situation for the better of all freethinkers, especially the young." - from Secular Seasons

Hear, here! Make sure you put a plan in your group's schedule to celebrate having freedom of mind on October 12th. Request tabling supplies to help you out!

SSA Store Items

We have many things to buy for you to show off  your SSA pride on our store. Shop there today! Buy lapel pins for $5 each. Other items for sale are our SSA stamps, which cost $10 bucks each. Use them to stamp forms, hands or other objects with relatively flat surfaces. We also have baby blue gel wristbands which you can buy. Every $3 gets you 10 fashionable bands. You can wear them anywhere and show off your SSA pride! Our returning item (which made its debut during the Reason Rally) is the drawstring bag, only 5 bucks!

All of our store items are available to affiliates and members at wholesale price. Buy them today! You'll need to have the login information from your student membership and sign in on our site to access the store. If you are not yet a member, be sure to become one now! If you need any help go to our store help page.

Group Photo of the Week

Kelsey from the Secular Student Alliance at the College of Charleston, tabling like a boss.

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New Leader?
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Brag It Up!
Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
SSA Leaderspace

Missed the SSA's Annual Conference in Las Vegas or Columbus? Didn't get to see all the talks? We're constantly posting new videos to our YouTube Channel so you can check them out! This latest video comes from Dan Barker speaking on how to be an activist.

Author and neuroscientist Sam Harris, the guy who started the New Atheist movement and co-founded Project Reason, has generously provided a match of donations to the SSA of up to $30,000 for the next month. Spread the word!
Newest Affiliate
Juniata College Secular Student Alliance
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Featured Service
Business Cards

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Featured Speaker
Jen McCreight

Blogger Jen McCreight is a lifelong non-theist, but became vocal about her atheism when she started college at Purdue University. Surprised and alienated by the highly religious atmosphere, she co-founded the Society of Non-Theists for like-minded students. During this time she also started to blog at Blag Hag, a popular atheist blog, which became infamous partially thanks to "Boobquake."
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This Week: Secular Safe Zone, SSA Speakers Bureau, Activity Packets

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Secular Safe Zone

The Secular Safe Zone is the SSA's newest program! This program trains and educates allies who will create safe spaces in which secular students can question, criticize, and discuss topics and issues important to them. By establishing Secular Safe Zones all around the country, this program will curtail the effects of discrimination, bullying, and social isolation faced by many secular students - especially high school students - in our society. The Secular Safe Zone provides the training and tools necessary to help allies understand and assist secular students on their way to establishing confident secular identities, who will in turn help build a more accepting and just society.

We want to encourage you, your group's advisor, or others on your campus to participate. Check out the Secular Safe Zone website for more information!

SSA Speakers Bureau

If you are looking to fill out your group's meeting schedule for the year, why not consider bringing a speaker? Our Speakers Bureau has a wide range of entertainers, intellectuals and professionals from various backgrounds, speaking on a variety of topics, for you to choose from. As an affiliate of the SSA, you have the power to request these speakers at any time, while also requesting funding of at most $400 per speaker. If you're a small or new group and have never brought a speaker to your campus, don't worry. The campus organizing team is here to help you with this process. Check out our speaker event checklist for an idea on what you'll need in preparation for a speaker. Contact Nick Stancato for any specific questions on the Bureau.

Activity Packets

Want more ideas on your next meeting? Visit our activity packets page and learn all kinds of things your group can do this school year. There are three main collections of activities featuring activism, discussion and service. Feel free to amend the suggested activities to tailor it to your group's needs. Also, if you think there are some other really great ideas to be done that are not featured on our page, tell us about it!

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Secular Student Alliance at Riverside City College showing exceptional tabling skills during welcome day.

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

Missed the SSA's Annual Conference in Las Vegas or Columbus? Didn't get to see all the talks? We're constantly posting new videos to our YouTube Channel so you can check them out! This latest video comes from our own Neil Wehneman speaking on the legal rights of student groups.
Newest Affiliate
Washington and Jefferson Secular Student Alliance
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Featured Service
Speakers Bureau

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Featured Speaker
Seth Lepore

Seth Lepore (Writer/Performer) holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies, focus: Creativity in Education from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. Since 1996 he has created several self-produced one-man shows. Two Minutes to Midnight (1999) was the last monologue Lepore performed before taking a ten year break to focus on several music collaborations, especially his solo project Older Than Hours.

Seth asks for an honorarium of $750 for his appearances.
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