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Lunch With An Atheist (Presented by William Paterson University Secular Student Alliance)

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In April 2013, William Paterson University Secular Student Alliance was able to host Luch With An Atheist thanks to a Project Grant from the national SSA. This article summarizes the experiences of that event for the group.

On April 18th 2013, the William Paterson University Secular Student Alliance had an Ask An Atheist Day event. We entitled it “Lunch With An Atheist.” To throw this event, we got our school to approve about five hundred dollars to our club to handle the costs of food. The Secular Student Alliance national organization also gave us $162 to help with the cost of security and supplies for the lunch. 

We began advertising for the lunch about a month early with fliers and social networking. The first thing we did was make two events on Facebook. One “Lunch With An Atheist” event in our club's Facebook group visible only to club members. This could be used for planning the event and coordinating when members would show up.

Boy Scouts Exclude Growing Atheist Demographic as Membership Declines

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While the Boy Scouts of America might have taken a step toward tolerance by allowing gay members, they chose to continue discriminating against another set of eager youth: atheists. The Secular Student Alliance, a national nonprofit devoted to organizing nonreligious students, called on the Boy Scouts to end their discriminatory practice of refusing to let atheist youth join. Boy Scout membership is declining as the percent of young Americans without religion rises.

SkepTech 2013 (Presented by CASH & SSA@SCSU)

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In April 2013, Campus Atheists Skeptics and Humanists at the University of Minnesota and the Secular Student Alliance at St. Cloud State University was able to host SkepTech 2013 thanks to multi-speaker event funding from the national SSA. This article summarizes the experiences of that event for the group.

The execution of this event was extremely coordinated and almost everything went smoothly. We had a number of cool ideas that really panned out, including a twitter wall and making presentations available online.

SSA Funding allowed us to pay for audiovisual equipment and technicians, to pay for conference design materials and labor, and to bring in additional speakers. If we did not have SSA funding we would have either been over budget, or we would have had to make significant cuts that would have detracted from the both the content presented at the conference, and from the publicity it received. The SSA’s support was essential for our project. 

The conference set and achieved a number of goals which were presented in the “About us” section of our website:

1) What is SkepTech?

SkepTech is a mix of two words “Skepticism” (A disposition of systematic doubt) and “Technology” (The practical application of knowledge).

Reason on the Bayou (Presented by Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at LSU)

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In April 2013, Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at LSU was able to host Reason on the Bayou thanks to Multi-Speaker Event Funding from the national SSA. This article summarizes the experiences of that event for the group. This group also received our Award for Outstanding Activism for their accomplishment. 

Approximately 130 people made it out to the LSU Union Ballroom on Sunday, April 14. They were there for Reason on the Bayou, Louisiana’s first ever secular rally. As the attendees filed in, they were welcomed by an exquisite performance from The Jazz Souls. Indeed, the good vibes provided by the music augmented the warmth felt by those who had never seen so many likeminded individuals before. The event officially commenced shortly after the band stopped playing. 

The first two speakers focused on the secular movement itself. The president of Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at LSU, Chad Thibodeaux, gave an opening address explaining the purpose of the event and its significance for the state. Gordon Maples followed him with a speech about the state of the movement in the region and in the country at large. He observed that our numbers are growing, and new groups are popping up all over the country. 

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