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This Week

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

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This Week: Atheist Census, Two Conferences, and Atheist Scholarships

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Atheist Census


Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is pleased to announce the launch of Atheist Census.  Atheist Census is a global project to count and capture a snapshot of the world’s atheists.  The census records people's preferred title (e.g. atheist, rationalist, humanist, freethinker, etc), religious background, education level, age, gender identity and country. Please note that entries in Atheist Census are not personally identifiable. 
 
Help us demonstrate the atheist presence around the world!  Please contribute to Atheist Census and spread the word to your secular friends and group members!
 

Two conferences?!

In case you've somehow been under a rock for the past week, we announced that we are holding TWO conferences in 2013-- one in Las Vegas (#SSAWest) and one in Columbus, OH (#SSAEast). Here's the main page for both conferences. You can get tons of information there.

It seems so far away though, you think! We know, and we're just as anxious for summer to hit. But in the meantime, you can ask your parents for a plane ticket to the greatest secular student conference ever for Christmas! Apply to speak! Get your group ready by fundraising or submitting a Leadership Travel Aid application! We can't wait to see you there!

 

Atheist Scholarships

You're about to leave for winter break, and what do you plan to do with all your time? Hopefully between eating, spending time with family, playing video games, and internetting, you can get some productive planning done for next semester.

Luckily, there are scholarship opportunities available for you! You can find them on our scholarships page. The earliest is due on January 10th, so spend your winter break wisely and hopefully get some money for school out of it!

Group Photo of the Week

Rekindle Reason: A Community of Atheist and Freethinkers at the University of Pennslyvania held an Ask-An-Atheist event!

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Darwin Day is going to sneak up on you! Start planning today!
darwinday.org/
 
Newest Affiliate
Panther Creek Secular Student Alliance
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Featured Service
Tabling Supplies! (Order them now for next semester's recruitment!)
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Featured Speaker
Jamila Bey
Jamila Bey is a journalist based in Washington, DC, where she hosts the weekly radio show The Sex, Politics And Religion Hour: SPAR With Jamila.  A sought-after speaker and writer, Jamila’s areas of expertise include health and family policy, and all issues concerning the First Amendment.  She particularly enjoys reporting on issues concerning religion and the separation of church and state.
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This Week: BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, Shelley Segal, and Service Projects

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BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

 

So, you may have heard that we have a big announcement coming today. Are you finally ready for it? You know how we had an amazing, record-breaking conference last year? Well this year, we plan to do it again...TWICE.

You read that correctly: we're going to have TWO CONFERENCES this year. We're going to have our annual get together in Columbus, OH, and another conference in Las Vegas, NV.

I know, you need a minute to process how amazing this all is. Take a deep breath and take it all in. Here's the main page for both conferences. You can get tons of information there.

Are you super stoked about this? So stoked you want to tell the world? Do it! Tell your friends! Ask your parents for a plane ticket to the greatest secular student conference ever for Christmas! Apply to speak! Get your group ready by fundraising or submitting a Leadership Travel Aid application! We can't wait to see you there!

 

Shelley Segal US Tour

Our favorite up-and-coming Australian  singer/songwriter is going on a tour of the U.S. again, and she wants to stop at your campus! You can find out more info about her tour here, and if you fill out the speaker request form linked on the page, we'll try to get her to your campus!

If you aren't familiar with her work, check out her performance at the Reason Rally earlier this year.

 

Service Projects

The holidays are a great time to show your atheist cheer! Many local non-profits need a lot of help at this time of year, so if you group is interested, try getting everyone together to go help out at a soup kitchen or an animal shelter. Everyone could use a break from studying for finals, and why not take a break and help the world at the same time?

We have lots of activity packets for community service if you need help! Let us know if you decide to do any fun things, and as always, send pictures!

 

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Secular Student Alliance at North Carolina State University and East Carolina University Secular Student Alliance participate in their local Light the Night Walk!
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SSA Leaderspace
WE'RE HAVING TWO CONFERENCES OH MAN THAT IS SOME BIG NEWS
Newest Affiliate
Flower Mound High School Secular Student Alliance
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Featured Service
Tabling Supplies
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Featured Speaker
David Niose
  David Niose has served as president of the American Humanist Association since 2009, and he also serves as vice president of the Secular Coalition for America. He is author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans, which was released in July 2012.
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This Week: End of the World, End of the Semester, and Big Announcement

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It's the End of the World As We Know It!


And I feel fiiiiine! (No REM fans?) As you've probably heard from numerous sources, the world is totally, seriously, and completely ending next month, because some very real scholars think that a Mayan calendar predicts that the world as we know it will be destroyed on Decemeber 21st, 2012 (spoiler alert: not really).

But hey, just because the world isn't ending doesn't mean it's a bad excuse for a party! You can use this as an excuse to teach people about skepticism on world-ending claims. Or you can just go ahead and make it a fun time and do all the things you'd do if the world were really ending (well...the legal ones, anyway). Either way, have some fun with it!
 

End of the Semester Care

The end of semester is coming! Have you taken the time to be thankful for the people in your life? It's the end of semester, and morale and effort can easily be falling with all the piled-on stress of exams, moving back home, etc. Now's a good opportunity to take the time to write handwritten notes or personal emails to your other officers (or even good group members, or your faculty advisor) and let them know how much you appreciate them. Even a short note can go a long way for motivation!

Don't forget, while your group is getting ready to rest over the holidays, you can still request tabling supplies! That way you'll have them ready to go when next semester starts, and you'll have a head start on all the other groups on campus!

It's also a good idea to hold some kind of end-of-semester social event, rather than just letting the group putter out. Leave everyone satisfied with how the past semester went and excited about next semester!

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!

We here at the SSA have a GIGANTIC, HUGE, SUPERBIG, AMAZING ANNOUNCEMENT...that we'll tell you next week. :P What, you didn't think we'd just tell you now, did you!? If you have any really cool guesses, you can send them to us. :) Chances are, you'll be wrong, and even if you're right, we won't tell you...but hey, worth a shot, right?

Stay tuned for next week's email where we will BLOW YOUR SOCKS OFF with our AMAZING ANNOUNCEMENT. And if you aren't wearing socks...well then you'll just be REALLY EXCITED.

Group Photo of the Week

Members of Scent of Reality at United World College USA
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It's not too early to start planning for Darwin Day in February! Find more info here: http://darwinday.org/
Newest Affiliate
Secular Student Alliance at Florida Tech
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Activity Packets
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Featured Speaker
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based political writer who primarily covers feminism, sexuality, the religious right, atheism, and reproductive rights. She speaks regularly on topics ranging from reproductive rights to right wing extremism to the links between secularism and feminism.
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This Week: Group Running Guide, Holiday Planning, and Thanksgiving Break

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Getting a Group Running Guide

 If you aren't the original founder of your group (or even if you are), it's very possible that your Group Running Guide has been misplaced or lost. That's okay, we can send you a new one for free! Or if you feel like being eco-friendly, you can download a .PDF copy of it.

  Even if you're a veteran group leader, the Group Running Guide can really come in handy. It has tips on getting people to come to meetings, how to advertise effectively, and lots of great group activity ideas. It's worth a perusal, as many of the tips on how to run a secular student group can be applicable to other leadership situations in life!

 

Holiday Planning

The holidays can be a tricky time for non-theists, whether you're open about your nontheism or not. There was a recent conversation on our Facebook Leaderspace page about what to do with your group to celebrate the holidays (if you aren't already a member of that group, just request to be added!). There were some pretty good ideas, including inviting a speaker in, community service, or a "Create Your Own Holiday" party. If you have any suggestions, add them!

  There's also the problem of dealing with family members who may not be entirely supportive of nontheism. It may be a good time to have a meeting with your group, talking about the best times and ways to "come out" to family, and also to lend sympathetic ears for people with disapproving family members.

Thanksgiving Break

Like most of your schools, the SSA national staff office will be taking a break for Thanksgiving. Most of our will be out of office or out of town, so emails and phone calls (or requests for tabling supplies) may not get responded to promptly.

Group Photo of the Week

The Illini Secular Student Alliance hosts a Hug an Atheist Event

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SSA Leaderspace
Several interships are still available! Check out our jobs page to see if there any that interest you!
Newest Affiliate
University of Houston Secular Student Alliance
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Design Exchange
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Featured Speaker
Chris Stedman
Chris Stedman is the author of the new book, Faitheist, and also works for the Interfaith Youth Core. If your group is interested in Interfaith, he's the guy to go with!
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