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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: 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?
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Brag It Up!
Tell us about the awesome stuff your group has done!
SSA Leaderspace
Newest Affiliate
Cal Poly Pomona Secular Student Alliance
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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!.

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New Leader?
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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
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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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This Week: New SSA Bookmarks!, NCSE Lobbying Webinar, Apathetic Members Resource

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New SSA Bookmarks!

We got a fresh batch of new bookmarks featuring memorable quotes from John Adams, Carl Sagan, Hypatia, Helen Keller, Emma Goldman and Malala Yousafzai. Click on the image to see a picture of the bookmarks and feel free to order them using our tabling supplies service! Our tabling supplies are of course free to all SSA affiliates.

NCSE Lobbying Webinar

National Center for Science Education conducts monthly webinars (interactive online trainings), and archives those trainings for later viewing. These trainings will cover a range of topics, from media skills, lobbying, and advocacy using social media, to skills for building a local or statewide group of "citizens for science" and for recruiting new members and moving them into leadership positions.

Their latest webinar is called "Lobbying policymakers to defend and improve science education". If you are the political type, and even if you aren't, register for the webinar! It would be a good idea to sign up if only to see how lobbying lawmakers and other politicians work. Check out the NCSE website for more information.

Apathetic Members Resource

While building the C.A.S.E. for a secular group, it can be particularly hard to energize some members and get them in the mood for advocacy. To mitigate this problem we've developed a little resource on Dealing with Apathetic Members and Leaders. Advocacy isn't the main purpose for every group but if your group has a moderate to strong desire to be good secular advocates, check the page out for some helpful hints and tips!

Group Photo of the Week

A member from IUSB Secular Student Alliance tabling on the campus quad.

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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
*Notice* Our office will be short staffed for the next two weeks due to the holiday period. If you have pressing business with Campus Organizing, try to get it done this week!

Featured Service
Project Grants

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Featured Speaker
Mark Edward

Mark Edward is a professional mentalist who specializes in magic of the mind. He has spent over twenty five years in world class venues from high-end night clubs and theaters to hundreds of private party and corporate events.
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This Week: SSA seeks Campus Organizing Assistant, Free Skeptic's Annotated Bible, Foundation Beyond Belief Internship

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SSA seeks Campus Organizing Assistant

The national Secular Student Alliance seeks one Campus Organizing Assistant. This part-time position will provide administrative support for campus organizing programs and operations, including data entry and organization, preparing and shipping packets, maintaining and organizing supplies, and general program support as needed.

This is a part-time position (20 hours/week) with hours worked within the normal business work week (Monday - Friday, 9-5). Schedule can be determined upon hire, but must be consistent on a week-to-week basis. Schedule may be updated each academic term if necessary. Very occasional weekend work may be required.

To apply for this position, please send your resume and cover letter to [email protected]. Applications are due no later than December 15, 2013

Free Skeptic's Annotated Bible

The folks over at the Skeptic's Annotated Bible have donated copies of their hardcover Bible to us to get them in the hands of SSA affiliate groups. They want to support the student movement and we are helping them to distribute the free copies on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each SSA affiliate group is eligible for one free copy of the Skeptic's Annotated Bible if they do one of the following two things:

  1. Has your group done something awesome? It might be an inventive service project or fundraiser, or a fun speaker event, or just participating in your school's interfaith program. We love hearing about what our affiliates are up to. Your group is guaranteed a free copy of the book for just filling out a short Brag It Up form and telling us a cool recent event. It can be any kind of event or project to qualify.
  2. Submit some fun or creative pictures of your group! We love seeing your smiling faces almost as much as we love hearing about your awesome events. Just email us your pictures and your group will be considered to receive a copy of the book. This method does not guarantee a copy, though you can also fill out a Brag It Up form if you would like to make sure you qualify for one.

If you've already submitted a brag or photos and would like a free copy, let us know! If you have any further questions or concerns on how to obtain a free copy of the book through SSA national, please email us and we'll be happy to help!

Foundation Beyond Belief Internship

Foundation Beyond Belief's Beyond Belief Network is looking for an intern to volunteer remotely. Work with the BBN team to communicate with, support, and encourage the 80+ local groups in the Beyond Belief Network in their volunteer and fundraising efforts. Tasks include tracking team events and activities, executing monthly focus areas and nationally coordinated activities, developing resources for teams, assisting with the administration of a Facebook group, and writing for the FBB blog and monthly BBN newsletter.

This role is 10 hours per week and reports to the BBN coordinator. Strong organizational and interpersonal skills are a must, and experience organizing volunteer events or with Google hangouts/video editing is preferred. Application details can be found here. The application deadline has been extended for the Beyond Belief Program Intern so apply today!

Group Photo of the Week

Members from University of Louisville Secular Student Alliance providing free hot cocoa in the blistering cold.

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

The SSA is looking for areas to create new resources and tools for your group: Take our short three-question survey now!
Newest Affiliate
John Carroll Secular Students
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Business Cards

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Featured Speaker
Kelly Damerow

Kelly Damerow is the Secular Coalition for America’s Director of Federal and State Affairs. Prior to joining the Secular Coalition, Kelly was a Legal Fellow in the American Humanist Association’s Humanist Legal Center. She moved into advocacy when she began her career with the SCA, heading up the ambitious plan to start chapters in all 50 states.
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