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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: Amazon Smile, Freethought Day, International Blasphemy Rights Day

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Amazon Smile

To start using Amazon Smile, just follow the simple steps below:

  1. Go to www.smile.amazon.com and log in to your Amazon account.
  2. Type "Secular Student Alliance" into the search box where you can pick your own charitable organization.
  3. Select Secular Student Alliance as your charity.
  4. Bookmark www.smile.amazon.com as your new Amazon shopping hub so you remember to use it.
  5. Start shopping and supporting secular students!

Amazon Smile contributions stack with this special link, so feel free to use them both to give even more of your sale to the SSA at no extra cost!

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 12th, 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).

If you're on the west coast, be sure to check out Sacramento's 13th Annual Freethought Day held on the same day. Registration is Free!

International Blasphemy Rights Day

International Blasphemy Rights Day (IBRD) is observed every September 30th to commemorate the publishing of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons in 2005, which angered believers around the world, many of whom expressed their disapproval with violent protests, riots, and in some cases, murder. It is administered by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Campaign for Free Expression.

IBRD is a day to show solidarity with those who challenge oppressive laws and social prohibitions against free expression, and to support the right to challenge prevailing religious beliefs without fear of violence, arrest, or persecution. Host a IBRD event on campus and spread the word through social media:

Check out our page on Blasphemy Rigths Day.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from SSA at University of Nevada, Reno tabling at their club and society fair wearing awesome t-shirts!

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SSA Leaderspace
Newest Affiliate
St. Charles Community College Secular Student Alliance
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Featured Service
Group Running Guide

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Featured Speaker
Dan Arel

Dan Arel is a freelance writer who writes Op-Ed pieces for AlterNet, Salon and The Huffington Post. He is also a Special Correspondent for American Atheists, has a column called Danthropology in American Atheists Magazine and is also a contributing writer and editor for The Richard Dawkins Foundation.

He writes and speaks on atheism, religion, science and politics. Check out more information about him here and here.
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This Week: Regional Program Expansion, Movie Showing Resource, Carolinas Secular Student Summit 2014

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Regional Program Expansion

We are thrilled to share with you the expansion of our Regional Program! Started in 2012, the Regional Program provides hands-on, designated support to our students and affiliate groups through Regional Campus Organizers (RCOs). When we first started the program, we had one full-time RCO in the Southeast, and one part-time RCO in Texas.
 
Last year we grew this program even further, expanding coverage to four additional states. And, for this school year, the Regional Program will be growing even more. We are thrilled with the four regions we have for this upcoming school year: The Mideast, The South Central, The Southwest, and The Southeast regions, which cover nineteen states and fifty-five percent of our affiliate groups! Students in these areas have a friendly face on the ground to help them with events and questions.
 
Learn more about the Regional Program!

Movie Showing Resource

Check out our new movie showing resource! When planning for a movie night with your group (or any kind of event with video material), always, always, always check your school's policies on video showing first. These vary heavily from campus to campus, and always ask if you are not sure. It's better to spend time asking, rather than planning an event only to get your group in trouble later on because you didn't know your campus' policies.

Here is a list of movies that may appeal to a secular audience and other suggestions for your group!

Carolinas Secular Student Summit 2014

The Carolinas Secular Student Summit is a free, annual event that aims to bring together the leaders and active members of Secular Student Alliance affiliates and similar student organizations from schools and universities in the Carolinas and surrounding areas. Students attend to meet leaders from other organizations, share and discuss ideas with like-minded peers, and learn about ways to build and maintain strong and active campus groups! CS3 is a great leadership opportunity for students in the Southeast region!

 
Group Photo of the Week

Members from Northern Illinois University Secular Student Alliance at their school's involvement fair.
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Featured Service
Email and Web Forwards

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Featured Speaker
Stephanie Zvan
Stephanie Zvan's parents decided they wouldn't raise their children in any religion. They would keep the kids out of church, religion out of the home, and let them decide what religion they wanted to be part of once they grew up. Decades later, neither Stephanie nor her brothers have ever found a religion that calls to them. Coming to religion as an outsider, Stephanie doesn't have much interest in theology or apologetics. She'd rather get on with creating that post-religious world the demographics tell us is coming. She wants to help make it a good one, with strong atheist organizations and communities, as well as a solid understanding of science and skepticism.
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This Week: Apply for Group Tax-Exemption Through SSA!, Banned Books Week, New Design Exchange!

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Apply for Group Tax-Exemption Through SSA!

Apply for 501(c)(3) status through the national SSA! We have acquired Group Exemption status from the IRS, which means we have the ability to extend tax-exempt status to qualifying affiliates. By applying for 501(c)(3) status through the national SSA, you will bypass the associated fees and greatly reduce your time investment. We do limit this status to our more established groups, which are have a history of positive relationships with the national SSA and a track record of sound financial management. Your group will also have to meet some additional criteria, and the national SSA will monitor your group to ensure that you are maintaining 501(c)(3) eligibility. Learn more about the group exemption and apply for your group. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Banned Books Week

September 21-27th is Banned Books Week. This is the week where 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 their website 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.

New Design Exchange!

Our newly renovated Design Exchange contains many free print and digital media files in multiple downloadable formats for your group to use.

If your group is designer savvy and would like to share its files to the Design Exchange for other groups around the country to use, you can submit them! Please be sure to include the original editable source files (such as .psd, .indd, .doc/.docx, etc.) so other groups can go in and edit any relevant text and information.

The Design Exchange has designs for annual events, speaker events, regular meetings and miscellaneous digital meeting files. Stop by and see what's available!

Group Photo of the Week

Member from the Auraria Secular Student Alliance in response to a campus preacher.

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SSA Leaderspace

It's the National Day of Service today. Make sure your group is involved in community service activities!

Missed the SSA's Annual Conference? Didn't get to see all the talks? We're constantly posting new videos to our YouTube Channel so you can check them out!

Featured Service
Funding Finder

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Featured Speaker
William Zingrone

William has a PhD in Developmental Psychology, is a lecturer in Developmental Psychology with passionate research interests in Consciousness and Cognitive Evolution and the History of Science. He also blogs for Dispatches from the New Enlightenment and is an advisor for several SSA affiliate groups.
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This Week: SSA Scholarships for Student Activists, FIRE Resource Available, Project Interfaith Seeks Communication Intern

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SSA Scholarships for Student Activists

We're finally offering scholarships for students! Our SSA Scholarships for Student Activists will provide three awards of $500 and two awards of $250 to winners. Of course, in order to qualify for the scholarship, you have to be a student member of the Secular Student Alliance. You also have to be actively involved in some form of activism or advocacy. Learn more on our website and apply before September 30!

FIRE Resource Available

With our tabling supplies service, we can send your group many supplies that would be useful whenever you want to table for an event, or just generally for your group. We have handouts, bookmarks, brochures, pens, banners*, buttons, and literature from dozens of different organizations.

Our latest item comes from our friends at Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) on the topic of understanding the legal nature of free speech on campus. This book is relevant to high school groups as well. Books may be limited to one per group. Request tabling supplies from us by filling out a request form.

*SSA Banners are free to affiliates who have completed our branding agreement.

Project Interfaith Seeks Communication Intern

Our friends at Project Interfaith are looking for a Communications Intern for the Fall.

Communications Intern - This intern will focus on building social media, website, and outreach efforts, which in turn will build a strong base of different types of supporters including members, students, donors, watchers, supporters, and champions within the community.

You can always find more job, internship, and volunteer opportunities at our jobs page.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists at UT Dallas under attack!

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We are sponsoring students to attend the Moving Social Justice Conference (October 11-12). The grant application can be found on our website!

Missed the SSA's Annual Conference? Didn't get to see all the talks? We're constantly posting new videos to our YouTube Channel so you can check them out!
Newest Affiliate
Good Without God: Saginaw Valley State University Secular Student Alliance
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Featured Service
Project Grants

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Featured Speaker
Rebecca Vitsmun

  Many people will remember Rebecca Vitsmun from the CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer where she responded "I'm actually an atheist" and a big laugh to his repeated question of "Do you thank the Lord?" after her home was destroyed in a tornado.
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