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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: SSA Con East Blood Drive Service Project, Individual Project Grants, Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham

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SSA Con East Blood Drive Service Project

Service is a big component of many SSA affiliates and secular students, and it's one of our four Focus Areas at SSA National. We're excited to be collaborating with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive as part of the Friday afternoon activities at SSA East. You can participate in the drive as a blood donor or as a volunteer to make the drive run smoothly!

The blood drive will take place from 11am - 4pm on Friday, July 11.  If you'd like to participate as a blood donor, allow about 45 minutes - 1 hour for your appointment.  We'll be scheduling volunteers to help us run the blood drive in 1-hour blocks.  Everyone who participates gets snacks!

Learn More...

Individual Project Grants

The SSA now allows individuals access to project grants! These are basic requirements for individual secular students (unconnected to an SSA affiliate group) who would like to apply for a project grant. If you have any questions about them, let us know!
 

  • The individual student must be a member of the national Secular Student Alliance.
  • The student must have submitted all required paperwork for any other funding from the SSA, including funding allocated to a student group of which the student was a leader at the time such funding was issued.  (Leadership Travel Aid requirements, other Project Grants, Speakers Bureau funding, etc.)
  • The project must be enacted by an individual student, and not via a SSA affiliate group.
  • A given student is eligible for no more than one Project Grant per semester.
  • A follow-up report is required to be submitted within 30 days of the event or the conclusion of the project.

Bill Nye Creationist debate

On February 4, 2014, Bill Nye will debate Ken Ham, from Answers in Genesis, at the Creation Museum. The debate will start at 7 P.M. Eastern.

You can watch the live stream of the debate free. You'll just need an email to sign up* and an estimate of how many will watch. Try to watch the debate with your group or possibly with a religious group on campus.

Signing up for the debate may automatically subscribe you to emails from Answers in Genesis but you can unsubscribe at any time.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Atheists Skeptics and Humanists (ASH) at the University of Texas at Dallas got permission to paint a giant rock on campus and put it to good use!

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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

Featured Service
Tabling Supplies

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Featured Speaker
Bridget Gaudette

Bridget was born into a very devout Jehovah's Witness family. A young Earth creationist and Bible literalist, it wasn't until college that she finally rid herself of religious belief. After attaining her masters in public administration which focused on nonprofit management Bridget has assisted several freethought organizations with their development and administration. Bridget currently works as the Director of Development for Foundation Beyond Belief.
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This Week: SSA 2014 Annual Conference Leadership Travel Aid, More Free Secular Books!, Project Interfaith Internships

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SSA 2014 Annual Conference Leadership Travel Aid

Need a bit of help to come to SSA West or SSA East? Don't fret! Every year we provide Leadership Travel Aid to help those most in need attend our conference. If you would like to get LTA, just apply for it here. You will need to have a student membership with the SSA to be eligible however. LTA can be for individuals or groups and recipients usually get at least $100. Apply for it today!

More Free Secular Books!

I'm sure most of you know about our free Skeptic's Annotated Bible giveaway (which is still going on btw) and now we have two new books for you! A Manual For Creating Atheists by Peter Boghossian and Staying Sane In A Crazy World: A Guide To Rational Living by Sherwin T. Wine. The books are gifts of www.streetepistemology.com and the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism and are totally free! You don't have to pay any money anyway, but you do have to either fill out a brag it up form letting us know all the awesome things your group has been up to or send us photos showing how great your group is. It's all part of our symbiotic relationship. Books are available until supplies are depleted so get them while they are hot!

If you already received a S.A.B., you are free to request either of the other books so long as we get another brag or photo(s) from you. Nick will be happy to answer any of your questions and handle all book requests.

Project Interfaith Internships

Our friends at Project Interfaith are looking for two interns for spring 2014. These internships are perfect for college students and those interested in getting non-profit experience. Click on the corresponding links below for more information.
Resource Intern - This intern will identify and compile credible resources for their website and develop other resources and materials as needed.
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 the University of South Dakota SSA in front of a local billboard that may have caused some controversy.

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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

We have new materials for your group's Darwin Day event including these awesome booklets. Request them at our tabling supplies page!
Newest Affiliate
Carnegie Vanguard's Secular Student Alliance
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Group Running Guide

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Featured Speaker
Zack Ford

Zack Ford's journey has taken some strange twists and turns, from pursuing a career in higher education as a social justice educator, to blogging about his own experiences coming out as an atheist, to his work as the editor of one of the internet's most prominent LGBT blogs at ThinkProgress.org. These passions all intersect in his current work, analyzing the intersection of LGBT issues and politics and making sense of religious conservatives' opposition to equality.
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This Week: Why You Should Attend the SSA Conference, SSA Darwin Day Page, Secular Community Perspectives Survey

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Why You Should Attend the SSA Conference

This article was written by Drew Pruitt, a member of the Secular Student Alliance at UNLV.

It had never occurred to us to go the SSA national leadership conference. We knew about it - we'd been getting Lyz's emails for two years letting us know about it, but it never even came up as something to do. Our group is in Vegas, Ohio is a million miles away, and we all have our own summer plans. If it hadn't been for a personal email from Nick Stancato, letting us know he'd love to meet us and that he really wanted our group to be there, we would not have gone this year, either. And we would have had no clue what we'd been missing.

As it turns out, sending three of our leaders to this conference was the single best thing we've done for the group. There are a number of reasons the conference was fantastic - any one of the by itself make it worth going.

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SSA Darwin Day Page

Darwin Day is just a month away!

If you haven't planned any event for the big day, you still have time. We created a whole page full of resources and ideas for your group to use.You can also visit the International Darwin Day Foundation site for information, ideas and help. If you are planning a big event, you might want to register it on the site. You can also see other events in your area.

Use our Darwin Day page and keep looking out for more services and resources from us to use for your meetings and events.

Secular Community Perspectives Survey

We are trying to increase participation in this survey. The survey is designed to assess the various different perspectives and attitudes that nonbelieving individuals have about secular organizations and their ideas, goals, actions, and involvements. In the survey "nonbelief" or "nonbeliever" refer to those who self-identify as (secular) humanists, freethinkers, agnostics, atheists, skeptics, irreligionists, and non-theists in general. This is a collaboration effort between the University of Tampa, Iowa State University and Joseph Langston who is an independent researcher.

Click here to find the survey and learn more. It should take 10-15 minutes to complete. Feel free to also share it with friends/aquaintances who are non-theists but aren't part of any formal secular organization.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Illini Secular Student Alliance host a blood drive and give 135 units of blood, plasma and platelets.

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New Leader?
No Longer a Leader?
Let us know!
Brag It Up!
Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
SSA Leaderspace
Newest Affiliate
Cal Poly Pomona Secular Student Alliance
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Email and Web Forwards

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Featured Speaker
Jonathan Figdor

John Figdor is the Humanist Chaplain of the Humanist Community at Stanford. He organizes events and programs for both Stanford students, and community members from the San Francisco Bay Area. John has spoken at the Secular Student Alliance Annual Conference, the American Humanist Association Annual Conference, the Humanist Community in Silicon Valley, the Humanist Community at Harvard, and the Worcester Humanists. John Figdor and his work have been discussed in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and most recently, the San Francisco Chronicle's front page.
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This Week: SSA Funding, American Atheists Scholarship Deadlines, Secular Start Up

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SSA Funding

Hey did you know as SSA affiliates, you have full unadulerated access to all our services and resources including free money? If you have any questions about these resources feel free to ask a campus organizer (just pick one of your favorite faces at the foot of this email). As affiliates, all groups can apply for money via project grants, multispeaker events and other ways. If your group is not sure where to apply for funding, they can use the funding finder widget (seen to the right). Familiarize yourself to the things available to you as an affiliate and use them to make your group great!

American Atheists Scholarship Deadlines

The deadline for the American Atheists Scholarships are less than a month away. The money up for grabs includes the $2,000 O'Hair Scholarship, the $1,000 President's Scholarship, and the $1,000 Chinn Scholarship for LGBT Atheist Activism. You can find the scholarship application here. The scholarships will be presented at the 2014 National Convention in Salt Lake City. Winners will receive free convention admission.

Send your essays to [email protected] by February 1st!

SSA Presents: Secular Start Up

Have you heard of our new channel where student leaders can learn everything there is to know about running a secular group on campus? Check out the Secular Start Up by the SSA's very intelligent, and very experienced Gordon Maples & Kelley Freeman.  It is a podcast-turned-YouTube channel devoted to organizing SSA clubs, produced by the two people who know them best. Feel free to subscribe to the YouTube channel as well!

Group Photo of the Week

The officers of the MSU Student Organization for Reason and Science, the Murray State University Freethinker Society, their faculty advisor, and Jerry Coyne!.

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! Groups that submit a brag form still get a free Skeptic's Annotated Bible (1 per group). Get them while they're hot!
SSA Leaderspace
Newest Affiliate
Secular Student Alliance at Jesse Bethel
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Funding Finder

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Featured Speaker
Patrick Elliot

Patrick Elliott specializes in state/church advocacy and litigation. He joined the Freedom From Religion Foundation as a staff attorney in 2010. Patrick has managed a First Amendment caseload that includes pseudonymous litigation, prayer in schools, Ten Commandments displays, and legislative prayer. He has advised the foundation on numerous state/church conflicts and lawsuits.
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