About the Secular Student Alliance
Mission and Vision
The mission of the Secular Student Alliance is to organize, unite, educate, and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human-based ethics. We envision a future in which nontheistic students are respected voices in public discourse and vital partners in the secular movement's charge against irrationality and dogma.
The Secular Student Alliance is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit. We work to organize and empower nonreligious students around the country. Our primary goal is to foster successful grassroots campus groups which provide a welcoming community for secular students to discuss their views and promote their secular values.
How we support students and student groups
We support our affiliates in a variety of ways, including supplying literature and outreach supplies, group-running guides, hands-on assistance, discounted access to prominent speakers, and monetary project grants.
For individual students, we cooperate with other national nontheistic organizations to get discounted students rates for large events and provide travel grants to help the students attend. We hold regional summits and a national conference each year to give students leadership training and the opportunity to network and problem-solve with their peers.
The Secular Student Alliance devotes the majority of its resources to supporting its affiliate groups. We only offer this support to groups that further our mission. We have developed a set of standards to help campus groups determine if they should seek affiliation with us.
Our minimum standards for affiliation
We invite campus groups to affiliate with us if they share our values of naturalism, reason and compassion in the service of making the world a better place for all humanity. They must share a philosophical worldview informed by the methods of science, recognize the evolution of our knowledge, and be free from dogma and open to revision as new evidence and more compelling reasons are presented.
We embrace the common goals and shared aspects of all naturalistic, secular worldviews. Secular Student Alliance affiliates include, but are not limited to, atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, skeptics, naturalists, brights, Pastafarians, and many others.
Specifically, we are interested in affiliating with groups that are:
Naturalistic - We hold that natural things are the only things about which humans can coherently communicate or think. Most of us believe that all things that exist are natural things. We also believe that critical inquiry, combined with empirical investigation where possible, leads to a more accurate understanding of the world in which we live than revelation, faith, or authority.
Economically Neutral - We share many common concerns with organizations that advocate specific economic principles, including Libertarians, Objectivists, Greens, and others. However, we cannot affiliate with groups that pursue an active economic agenda, be it on the left or right. We do acknowledge that the study of economics and sound economic policy is vital to the betterment of humanity. However, we have no interest in endorsing one economic view over others. We strive to see naturalism, reason and compassion take center stage in economic discussions and encourage our affiliates to promote discussion of economic issues.
Civil Rights-Minded - We cannot support groups that promote denial of liberties in areas such as religion, speech, or equality under the law.
Non-discriminatory - We cannot affiliate with groups that bar members from joining on the basis of their creed or worldview. We also cannot affiliate with groups that discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, national origin, sex, age, handicap, or veteran status.
Note that these standards apply only to groups that wish to officially affiliate with us. We are open to cooperation on an ad-hoc basis with other organizations - regardless of their worldview - on specific issues of common concern. Additionally, individuals of any worldview are welcome to join the SSA if they wish to support our mission.