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An "Old Timer's" Perspective on Secular Student Activism

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Doak Campbell Football Stadium, ca. 1953
The Doak Campbell football stadium as it appeared when Otvos' philosophy club invaded a Billy Graham rally in 1958.

We ask our supporters to let us know if they were involved in a secular student group when they were on campus.  Ormond Otvos, an alumnus of Florida State University and self-identified "old-timer," tells this story about his experiences in the late 1950's!

You ask what I was doing about secularism way back when?

Well, a group of us who met at FSU in 1958 during the course exemption tests as freshmen decided to start a philosophy club.  For many of us, it was our first experience in a secular environment, and we wanted to meet and talk with others similarly inclined, but out of the harried atmosphere of the cafeteria food plan structure.

So we got together and petitioned the administration to form our philosophy club, but their response was that there were too many clubs already. There were clear indications that it was the "philosophy" part, not the "club" part that was bothering them, so we all joined the Stamp Club, and changed its nature to discuss philosophy. The end run worked.

This Week: Speakers Bureau Advance Funding, Lobby Day 2013, Jobs

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Speakers Bureau Advance Funding

If you've ever hosted a Speakers Bureau event, you know the SSA will help pay for it. In the past, it's all been on a reimbursement basis. We are now giving away Speakers Bureau funding before events happen!

This will help groups who don't have large bank accounts already to bring speakers to their campus. There are some guidelines your group must reach to qualify, so take a look and see if this will help your group get a speaker this semester!

Lobby Day 2013

Interested in getting your group more active at a more national level? The Secular Coalition for America is hosting another Lobby Day in our nation's capital in order to help get secularists a chance to talk to their representatives in Congress. Lobby Day will be on April 25th, 2013, in conjunction with the SCA's Secular Summit.

The day includes training on how to lobby effectively, information on current topics that affect secularists, lunch, and an appointment with your state representative's office. If you register before February 15th, you can get the early bird rate of $50.

If your group wants to take a road trip to do this, you can apply for a grant from us to offset costs.

Jobs and Opportunities

Are you interested in becoming the next Texas Regional Campus Organizer?  Want an awesome summer internship?  Or would you rather be a part of the first Humanist service corps? There are tons of opportunities available in the secular movement right now!
Group Photo of the Week

The University of Cincinnati Secular Student Alliance members buy students' souls for cookies!
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New Leader?
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SSA Leaderspace
Only a week left to apply for the Pathfinders Project!
Newest Affiliate
Grand Haven High School Secular Student Alliance
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Design Exchange
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Featured Speaker
Tom Clark
Before founding the Center for Naturalism (CFN), Tom Clark was a researcher in addictions and mental health, where he worked on developing a fully naturalistic model of behavioral disorders. As director of the CFN, Tom Clark is now on the cultural cutting edge in articulating science-based naturalism as a comprehensive worldview.
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Secular Student Alliance Seeks Summer Interns - Graphic Design, Resource Development, Communications

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SSA 2013 Interns Ellen and Dave
SSA's 2012 interns Ellen Lundgren and Dave Muscato
at the SSA 2012 Annual Conference

Secular Student Alliance seeks three full-time summer interns: one graphic design intern, one writing/resource development intern, and one communications intern.

Internship Details
These internships are paid positions, each ten weeks long, based in our office in Columbus, OH.  The design internship must start no later than May 20.  The writing/resource development and communications internship dates are flexible between mid May and early September.  The internships are 40 hrs/week at $8/hr and will take place during normal business hours except where otherwise noted.  Interns are responsible for arranging their own housing while completing the internship.  

We can be flexible in terms of time and compensation to meet academic requirements if the internship is to be performed for academic credit.  On a case-by-case basis, some work may be able to be done via telecommuting.

This Week: Darwin Day, Buying Shirts, and Media Relations

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Darwin Day!

Darwin Day is coming up sooner than you might think (February 12th), and you don't want to miss the opportunity to celebrate the birthday of the biologist who reshaped our understanding of the origins of life.

Darwin Day is about celebrating how science and reason make our lives better. Why not have a party in honor of the person who made such a great contribution to our understanding of life and its development?

The events your group can hold for Darwin Day are virtually limitless. Moreover, you can combine multiple events into a day-long celebration, or even a Darwin Week! We have lots of ideas in our Darwin Day Activity Packet. If you do anything cool, or need any help planning, be sure to let us know!

Buying Shirts

Many of our affiliates like having shirts that everyone in the group can purchase. They help provide a sense of unity within the group, and can also be free advertising and a good conversation starter when you wear them around. However, they can also be very expensive and difficult to design.

That's where we come in! We arenow offering awesome SSA shirts for just five dollars! We offer a variety of sizes, in both men's and women's styles. You can learn more about ordering shirts here, or you can go directly to the store (you do need to be logged in to the website in order to do that. If you need help, click here).

Media Relations

Want to get your group more attention? Not sure if you're using social media effectively? Not sure how to send out a press release? We've got your back!

We just revamped our Media Relations page, which has tons of info on how to use social media, write a press release, send letters to the editor, and crafting talking points. There are videos from previous conferences from people who are great at using media effectively available on the page. Check it out if you're interested in getting more attention for your group!

Group Photo of the Week

Texas Secular Humanists bought Christmas gifts to donate to the Austin Children's Shelter as part of their Secular Santa event.

Send us your photos!
New Leader?
No Longer a Leader?
Let us know!
SSA Leaderspace
Center for Inquiry is hosting an Indiana Civic Day on Saturday, February 9th. Check it out here.
Newest Affiliate
Groton Humanist Group
Check Them Out!

Featured Service
Business Cards
Learn More

Featured Speaker
Katherine Stewart
In 2009, the Good News Club came to the public elementary school where journalist Katherine Stewart sent her children. Stewart soon discovered that the Club’s real mission is to convert children to fundamentalist Christianity and encourage them to proselytize to their “unchurched” peers.
 Astonished to discover that the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed this legal, Stewart set off on an investigative journey to document the impact. In her book, The Good News Club, she demonstrates that there is more religion in America’s public schools today than there has been for the past 100 years.
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