At first Jade’s administrators refused to let her form a club for secular students. All she wanted was a place where students could come together and celebrate reason free from judgement and harassment. There were religious clubs at her school, and Jade saw no reason why a secular group couldn’t form. But the administrators called this group “too controversial” and blocked its formation.
That's when we stepped up to the plate. We contacted the administrators ourselves, saying that we would do whatever it took to defend her rights - even if it took a lawsuit. Rather than fight a losing battle, the school changed course. Thanks to the SSA, Jade and her friends will get their group. But there are countless others who still need our help, eager to form activist communities at their campus. We can't let prejudiced administrators win.
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A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be one of the speakers at the Freethought Festival 2012 hosted by the Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics (AHA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I got the opportunity to speak about something I love - my work at the Secular Student Alliance - and it turns out that people are pretty impressed by what we do. This post originally appeared on Skeptic Money as an adaptation of that talk.
I'm Lyz Liddell, the Director of Campus Organizing here at the Secular Student Alliance (which for the rest of this post I'll call SSA). We are, of course, the only national organization in the freethought movement specifically and solely dedicated to the empowerment of secular students - which makes us pretty awesome. We've been around for over ten years now and have become known as great partners and as a fantastic resource on grassroots organizing and the secular student demographic. Within the SSA, I'm kind of the "Director of Campus Organizing behind the curtain." I don't get much public face time (unlike, say JT or Jesse), but I quietly manage our powerhouse of a campus organizing team that gets more stuff done than I can usually believe.
This article was written by Alexandra Salazar, a member of SUNY New Paltz. Reprinted with permission from The Little Rebellion; original article here.
Two members of the Secular Student Alliance found President Danielle Kingsbury cleaning out her car to make room for the rest of the members. A three hour drive from New Paltz to Binghamton was going to be daunting and as president, Danielle wanted it to be a pleasant trip. They’d only been an official club for a few weeks but were already over budget, forcing members to open up their own wallets to fund the trip.
The Secular Student Alliance at New Paltz is only one branch of a larger Secular Student Alliance in whole. As the name suggests, it’s dedicated to supporting the community of atheists, agnostics, and other freethinkers on campus and in New Paltz, as well as the separation of church and state in the United States of America. The topics that rise are predominantly humanistic and rationalistic, with a heavy focus on science and skepticism.
Submitted by samueljackson on Mon, 05/14/2012 - 15:43
The Secular Student Alliance seeks a full-time staffer to meet the IT needs of our growing organization. The Secular Student Alliance supports a network of over 350 atheist, agnostic, and humanist groups on high school and college campuses. The Secular Student Alliance is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit.