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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: End of the World, End of the Semester, and Big Announcement

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It's the End of the World As We Know It!


And I feel fiiiiine! (No REM fans?) As you've probably heard from numerous sources, the world is totally, seriously, and completely ending next month, because some very real scholars think that a Mayan calendar predicts that the world as we know it will be destroyed on Decemeber 21st, 2012 (spoiler alert: not really).

But hey, just because the world isn't ending doesn't mean it's a bad excuse for a party! You can use this as an excuse to teach people about skepticism on world-ending claims. Or you can just go ahead and make it a fun time and do all the things you'd do if the world were really ending (well...the legal ones, anyway). Either way, have some fun with it!
 

End of the Semester Care

The end of semester is coming! Have you taken the time to be thankful for the people in your life? It's the end of semester, and morale and effort can easily be falling with all the piled-on stress of exams, moving back home, etc. Now's a good opportunity to take the time to write handwritten notes or personal emails to your other officers (or even good group members, or your faculty advisor) and let them know how much you appreciate them. Even a short note can go a long way for motivation!

Don't forget, while your group is getting ready to rest over the holidays, you can still request tabling supplies! That way you'll have them ready to go when next semester starts, and you'll have a head start on all the other groups on campus!

It's also a good idea to hold some kind of end-of-semester social event, rather than just letting the group putter out. Leave everyone satisfied with how the past semester went and excited about next semester!

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!

We here at the SSA have a GIGANTIC, HUGE, SUPERBIG, AMAZING ANNOUNCEMENT...that we'll tell you next week. :P What, you didn't think we'd just tell you now, did you!? If you have any really cool guesses, you can send them to us. :) Chances are, you'll be wrong, and even if you're right, we won't tell you...but hey, worth a shot, right?

Stay tuned for next week's email where we will BLOW YOUR SOCKS OFF with our AMAZING ANNOUNCEMENT. And if you aren't wearing socks...well then you'll just be REALLY EXCITED.

Group Photo of the Week

Members of Scent of Reality at United World College USA
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SSA Leaderspace
It's not too early to start planning for Darwin Day in February! Find more info here: http://darwinday.org/
Newest Affiliate
Secular Student Alliance at Florida Tech
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Activity Packets
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Featured Speaker
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based political writer who primarily covers feminism, sexuality, the religious right, atheism, and reproductive rights. She speaks regularly on topics ranging from reproductive rights to right wing extremism to the links between secularism and feminism.
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This Week: Group Running Guide, Holiday Planning, and Thanksgiving Break

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Getting a Group Running Guide

 If you aren't the original founder of your group (or even if you are), it's very possible that your Group Running Guide has been misplaced or lost. That's okay, we can send you a new one for free! Or if you feel like being eco-friendly, you can download a .PDF copy of it.

  Even if you're a veteran group leader, the Group Running Guide can really come in handy. It has tips on getting people to come to meetings, how to advertise effectively, and lots of great group activity ideas. It's worth a perusal, as many of the tips on how to run a secular student group can be applicable to other leadership situations in life!

 

Holiday Planning

The holidays can be a tricky time for non-theists, whether you're open about your nontheism or not. There was a recent conversation on our Facebook Leaderspace page about what to do with your group to celebrate the holidays (if you aren't already a member of that group, just request to be added!). There were some pretty good ideas, including inviting a speaker in, community service, or a "Create Your Own Holiday" party. If you have any suggestions, add them!

  There's also the problem of dealing with family members who may not be entirely supportive of nontheism. It may be a good time to have a meeting with your group, talking about the best times and ways to "come out" to family, and also to lend sympathetic ears for people with disapproving family members.

Thanksgiving Break

Like most of your schools, the SSA national staff office will be taking a break for Thanksgiving. Most of our will be out of office or out of town, so emails and phone calls (or requests for tabling supplies) may not get responded to promptly.

Group Photo of the Week

The Illini Secular Student Alliance hosts a Hug an Atheist Event

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SSA Leaderspace
Several interships are still available! Check out our jobs page to see if there any that interest you!
Newest Affiliate
University of Houston Secular Student Alliance
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Design Exchange
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Featured Speaker
Chris Stedman
Chris Stedman is the author of the new book, Faitheist, and also works for the Interfaith Youth Core. If your group is interested in Interfaith, he's the guy to go with!
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This Week: Secular Coalition for America seeks Intern, Foundation Beyond Belief seeks Interns, Hurricane Sandy Humanist Crisis Response

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Secular Coalition for America seeks Intern

The Secular Coalition for America (SCA) is pleased to offer a part-time paid internship position for Spring 2013. SCA is seeking highly motivated undergraduate junior- or senior-level students with a demonstrated interest in being active in the nontheistic movement.

The internship will be a 13-week program with one week of vacation for spring break included and will run from Tuesday, January 15, 2013 through Friday, April 12, 2013. Work hours will be 20 hours per week between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, completed on a regular schedule decided upon before the first week. Occasional weekend and evening hours may be expected. The internship will pay a stipend (minus required district and federal taxes). Transportation costs to and from Washington, D.C. will not be provided.

Complete applications must be emailed to [email protected] by November 30, 2012 at 5pm ET. A selection will be made by December 7; only the selected candidate will be notified. Do NOT send applications by regular mail. No phone calls please. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For more information on this job, including application requirements, visit the SCA website. As always, to find the latest jobs in the secular movement go to our jobs page.

Foundation Beyond Belief seeks Interns

Foundation Beyond Belief seeks disciplined, highly motivated individuals for a five-month period beginning January 1, 2012. Desirable characteristics can be found here.

Experience in the non-profit sector is not a requirement, but certainly a plus, as is experience in grant writing or other development capacities. Though interns will do work in several areas of Foundation operations, each internship includes a primary focus area, special project, and cause area assignment.

During the application process, you will be asked to select your top three focus areas and briefly explain why you’re drawn to each.

To apply for the spring internships, please visit here to learn more and to submit your application. The deadline for spring internships is November 30th, 2012 at 11:59 pm Eastern time.

To learn more about the internship go here. To apply visit their website. Find the latest jobs in the movement by visiting our jobs page.

Hurricane Sandy Humanist Crisis Response

blank image - change thisAre you concerned about the victims of Hurricane Sandy and want to help, but are afraid of your donations will be used on faith-based initiatives or in ineffective ways? Our partner organization Foundation Beyond Belief, has set up a Humanist Crisis Response Program to help people donate securely to reputable relief organizations.
 
The Humanist Crisis Response program is working with two different organizations. International Medical Corps is a disaster response team that will be helping get basic food and medical care to people affected by the storm in the Caribbean. Team Rubicon is an organization that utilizes the skills of veterans to assist people after natural disasters. You can read more about Foundation Beyond Belief's Crisis Response Program here.

Even if you don't plan on donating, it is still worth the trouble of clicking on some of these links and familiarizing yourself with some of these organizations. You never know when this information might come in handy.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from the Secular Student Alliance of Santa Ynez Valley Union High School at their first meeting.

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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! This latest video comes from Amy Young encouraging inter-group cooperation.
Newest Affiliate
Secular Student Alliance @ UW Whitewater
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Email and Web Forwards
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Featured Speaker
David Smalley
Author of Baptized Atheist and founder of the Dogma Debate forum and radio show. He was a Christian musician who studied religion for 15 years before becoming an atheist. David can speak on marriage equality, getting involved in activism, how to debate and many other topics.
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This Week: Faitheist Resource, Gmail Account Advantages, Custom Facebook URLs

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Faitheist Resource



Our friends at the Interfaith Youth Core have been working hard to get more nontheistic students involved in interfaith collaborations.  To capitalize on the discussions sure to follow the new book Faitheist by atheist interfaith pioneer Chris Stedman, IFYC has created a new fantastic resource: “From Story to Action.”  Its purpose is both to help nontheistic students engage with interfaith programs, and also to help interfaith programs better reach out to nontheistic students.  

If you, your affiliate group, or any members of your group are interested in getting involved with interfaith programs on your campus, be sure to check out “From Story to Action.”  You might also be interested in the interfaith page at the SSA website, which has several different perspectives on nontheistic participation in interfaith, as well as ways to get involved, special considerations, and other interfaith organizations.

Gmail Account Advantages

Some of you use our forwarding service and depend on us to update the emails assigned to it. Well now you don't have to wait! If you use Gmail, you can manage your group forward firsthand by personally adding and removing members to it on your own time. In order to activate this feature, simply email a campus organizer and give them your Gmail address, or fill out a forward request. After your new manager role is confirmed, you can start adding new members to your group forward. This feature is highly recommended because it is the most efficient way to update your group forward. To learn more about Gmail advantages, visit our forwards page.

Custom Facebook URLs

If you are using Facebook as your group's main web presence, and many of you are, consider creating a custom URL. The custom URL option is available for both Facebook pages and groups. To create a custom URL in your group or page all you have to do is set up an email for the page or group. We highly encourage the use of group/page email even if you never use it. Creating a group email will provide a custom URL and will help people searching for the group find it easily. A tutorial on how to create a group email can found here.

Group Photo of the Week

Members from the SSA at University of California - Irvine.

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New Leader?
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SSA Leaderspace

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! This latest video comes from Andrew Tripp encouraging involvement in social justice.
Newest Affiliate
Secular Student Alliance at Clayton State University
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Project Grants
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Featured Speaker
Adam Lee
Author of Daylight Atheism blog and book, Adam also holds a graduate degree from Columbia University. He can speak on topics like atheism and morality, what science can tell us about the soul and building the secular community. Click the link below to learn more about Adam.
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