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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: 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?
No Longer a 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 free 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.

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 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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This Week: Talk Like a Pirate Day, Hug An Atheist Week, Join the SSA's Leaderspace on Facebook

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Talk Like a Pirate Day

Talk Like a Pirate Day is this September 19th. The day is observed to celebrate the victories and ongoing fight against intelligent design. Learn more about the day here and make sure to order our Pastafarian tabling supplies including our new Flying Speghetti Monster stickers. There are also more recent reasons to observe the day considering the ongoing prosecution of Russian minorities. You may want to treat the day as a celebration and continued recognition of our freedom of expression in this country.

Hug An Atheist Week

Hug an Atheist Week is an event from October 1-7 during which local nonreligous communities are encouraged to have at least one Hug an Atheist fundraiser benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). The event was inspired by Illini Secular Student Alliance, where the group held a successful month-long Hug An Atheist fundraiser for LLS during their Light The Night event. Hug an Atheist Week allows your community to participate in an international partnership between the secular community and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The LLS provides financial support for scientific research, educational efforts, and patient care. These are services which speak to the values of humanists everywhere. Hug an Atheist events are service events fundraising for a great cause which simultaneously serve to break down stereotypes and stigmas surrounding nonreligious individuals.

Read More about Hug An Atheist Week and see other ways to get involved with LLS and Light The Night!

Join the SSA's Leaderspace on Facebook

One of the greatest services we offer for secular students is a way to get in contact with eachother which is why we started our Facebook Leaderspace group. Join today and keep in contact with other SSA affiliate leaders all across the country. This service is a great way for groups starting to get advice from your peers who have had much of the same experiences as you. This is also a great way to get in touch with other officers from other groups to offer advice as well!

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Freethinkers, Agnostics, and Atheists of Mississippi State University working with the good folks at Habitat for Humanity to build a house!

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 Chris Calvey on how to be a more awesome group.

Featured Service
Tabling Supplies

Learn More

Featured Speaker
Liz Heywood

Liz Heywood grew up in the Christian Science Church at a time when it actively promoted faith healing over medical care. When she was thirteen years old, Liz contracted a life-threatening bone disease, but her parents never took her to a doctor, relying instead on prayer as the only “treatment”. She is now working on a book going over her childhood.
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