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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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It's not too early to start planning for Darwin Day in February! Find more info here: http://darwinday.org/
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Secular Student Alliance at Florida Tech
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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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Secular Students in Interfaith - Conference Call Recap

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IFYC & SSA logosOn behalf of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) and the Secular Student Alliance, we'd like to thank the students who attended or expressed interest in the recent conference call for Secular Students in Interfaith.  We were honored to have Chris Stedman, author of the newly released book, Faitheist and an IFYC alum, on the call with us to share his personal story as an atheist finding common ground with the religious. His story, along with many others we heard on the call, exemplified the interest and need for secular involvement within the interfaith movement.

With over 25 students registered for the call, it was an energetic and optimistic discussion. Students shared success stories and challenges from secular-engaged interfaith work at the University of Texas, Tufts University, Brigham Young University, California Lutheran University, Concordia College, Harvard University and Augsburg College, among others.

Whether you were on the call with us and are geared up to take the next steps, or weren't able to make it and want to learn more about getting involved, here are some actions you can take next:

Happy Thanksgiving from the Secular Student Alliance!

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Dear Friends,

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving! Our students are especially grateful for a few things this time of year:

  • Access to free tabling supplies and group-starting resources
  • Our Speakers Bureau to help them bring secular voices to their campuses
  • Grants to hold incredible events and travel to conferences across the nation
  • The hands-on support they receive every day from our hard-working staff

And, of course, they are thankful for the support they get from all of you, our Active Supporters. You allow us to create incredible communities for Secular Students all around the country. Thanks to your support, the SSA is growing faster than ever!

We may not be able to say thanks with a Black Friday sale, but we can tell you this: your support makes a difference to these students every day. Thanks to you, these students have the resources they need to impact their communities.

Now is a great time to support to the SSA. We have a matching offer from Supporter Ron Verstappen, so anything you give over your 2011 gift will be doubled! You can help support twice as many secular communities by giving today.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, and know that your support enables secular students to give back!

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!
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University of Houston Secular Student Alliance
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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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