Secular Student Alliance

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Secular Student Alliance
Secular Student Alliance (logo).jpg
Abbreviation SSA
Motto Empowering Students for a Secular Future
Formation November 21, 2001
Type non-profit
Legal status corporation
Purpose scientific rationality, secularism, and human-based ethics
Headquarters Columbus, Ohio
Region served
 United States
Official language
English
Key people
August E. Brunsman IV, Executive Director
Alex DiBranco, Chair of the Board of Directors
Staff
12[1]
Website http://www.secularstudents.org/

The Secular Student Alliance (SSA) is an educational nonprofit organization whose purpose is to educate high school and college students about the value of scientific reason and the intellectual basis of secularism in its atheistic and humanistic manifestations. The SSA also offers these students and their organizations a variety of resources, including leadership training and support, guest speakers, discounted literature and conference tickets, and online articles and opinions.

History[edit]

In 1999, the students on the Executive Council of the Campus Freethought Alliance, along with some other students, faculty advisors, and off-campus supporters, decided that a national student organization needed autonomy (the Campus Freethought Alliance was governed by the Council for Secular Humanism).[2] Therefore, in April 2000, a majority of the members of the Campus Freethought Alliance Executive Council decided to become independent from the Council for Secular Humanism.[2] The Secular Student Alliance was thus founded in May 2000 by eight student leaders from the grassroots secular movement.[2] It was organized under the nonprofit corporation laws[3] of the State of Ohio on November 21, 2001.[4] The corporation's principal office is located in Columbus, Ohio.[5]

The SSA is an independent, democratically structured organization in the U.S. that promotes freethinking high school and college students. The SSA was formed "to organize, unite, educate and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human based ethics".[6]

In January 2012, the SSA had over 312 affiliates in North America and abroad, including groups in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.[7]

In June 2013 the SSA announced that with the Freedom from Religion Foundation, it will work on educating students on their rights and will assist with rectifying violations.[8][9]

The SSA is a founding member of the Secular Coalition for America.

In October 2015 SSA tweeted that it "desperately" needed $100,000 by the end of the month. Executive director August Brunsman said fundraising had lagged.[10]

Membership growth[edit]

The SSA has experienced increasing membership growth since its founding.[11] As of February 2013, the SSA's Board of Directors has ten members.[12] The number of SSA community college and university campus affiliates has expanded considerably in recent years:[13][14]

  • 2007 – 80 groups
  • 2008 – 100 groups
  • 2009 – 159 groups
  • 2010 – 219 groups
  • 2011 – 240 groups[15]
  • 2012 – 413 groups[16]
  • 2013 – 407 groups[17]

Events[edit]

Executive director August Brunsman at SSACon 2015

On August 7, 2009, the SSA organized a trip to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. 304 students, atheists, and scientists attended, in order to familiarize themselves with the museum.[6] One notable name in attendance was PZ Myers, who also came to experience the museum.[18]

Since 2009, the SSA has held their Annual Leadership Conference over the Summer which aims to train student leaders and group members in leadership skills and grassroots organizing.[19] In 2013, the conference was split into two locations (East and West).

Conferences[edit]

The SSA holds an annual leadership conference.[20]

Year Location Theme
2000 University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota)[21]
2001 Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) Kicking Ass for the New Enlightenment[22]
2002 Chicago, Illinois Education Against Indoctrination[23]
2004 Washington, D.C.[24]
2005 Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) Connecting the Secular Movement with Other Communities[25]
2006 Kansas City, Missouri We're Not in Kansas Anymore[26]
2007 Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy 30th Anniversary Gala/Symposium[27]
2008 Washington, D.C. World Humanist Congress[28]
2009 Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) Freethinking Friends & Secular Cephalopods [29]
2010 Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)[30]
2011 Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)[31]
2012 Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) Contrary to Popular Belief[32]
2013 Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nevada) Contrary to Popular Belief[33]
2014 Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) and [[Arizona State University[34]]] (Tempe, Arizona) Contrary to Popular Belief[35]
2015 Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) Contrary to Popular Belief[36]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Atheist Teen's Court Victory a Sign of Growing Secular Student Influence". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "A Brief History of the Secular Student Alliance | Secular Student Alliance". Secularstudents.org. Retrieved July 13, 2015. 
  3. ^ Chapter 1702: Nonprofit Corporation Law, Ohio Revised Code.
  4. ^ The "Articles of Incorporation" of the Secular Student Alliance were filed on November 21, 2001.
  5. ^ The SSA's principal office is located in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. "Corporation Details", Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Powell, Devin (August 9, 2009). "Creation Museum: Is This How World Began? 300 Skeptics Converge on Christian Museum in Kentucky". ABC News/Inside Science News Service. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  7. ^ Galef, Jesse (January 12, 2012). "Atheist Teen's Court Victory a Sign of Growing Secular Student Influence". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved January 30, 2012. 
  8. ^ "In Response to Mounting Violations, National Orgs Vow to Protect Atheist Students' Rights" (Press release). Secular Student Alliance. June 27, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ "In Response to Mounting Violations, National Orgs Vow to Protect Atheist Students' Rights" (Press release). Freedom from Religion Foundation. June 27, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ Eberhard, JT (30 May 2016). "Secular Student Alliance running a 'desperate' fundraiser". WWJTD. Retrieved 31 May 2016. 'To come close to keeping pace with all of the secular students who benefit from our programs, we need to raise $100,000 by October 31st.' 
  11. ^ Niose, David (July 17, 2012). Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 023033895X. "Founded in 2000, the SSA had less than fifty campus affiliates in early 2007, but by 2011 it had over 340".
  12. ^ SSA Board of Directors. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  13. ^ Urbina, Ian (December 1, 2009). "Approaching Holidays Prompt Atheist Campaign". The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  14. ^ Galef, Jesse (September 6, 2010). "Fall Brings Record Numbers of Atheist, Agnostic Student Organizations on Campus". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved February 8, 2011. 
  15. ^ Winerip, Michael (April 3, 2011). "Teenagers Speak Up for Lack of Faith". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  16. ^ "There are currently 413 affiliate groups (counting university, college, and high school)". Student Secular Alliance. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  17. ^ [1] Retrieved October 4, 2013.
  18. ^ McLendon, Ryan (September 30, 2009). "Beyond Belief: Atheist community thrives in Cincinnati's backyard". CityBeat. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Leadership Events". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Past Secular Student Alliance Conferences". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Con 2000 Write-Up". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  22. ^ "2001 Conference Write-Up". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  23. ^ "2002 Conference Write-Up". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  24. ^ "2004 Conference Write-Up". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  25. ^ Crary, Duncan (August 17, 2005). "2005 Secular student conference a success". Humanist Network News. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  26. ^ "SSA/AAI 2006 Joint Conference: Most Spiffy!". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  27. ^ "2007 Conference: Recommendations to Students". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Secular Student Alliance Conference – June 2008". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  29. ^ "The Secular Student Alliance 2009 Conference: Freethinking Friends & Secular Cephalopods". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Secular Student Alliance 2010 Annual Conference – July 23–25, Columbus OH". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Annual Conference 2011". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  32. ^ "SSA Conference 2012". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  33. ^ "2013 Conference". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  34. ^ https://secularstudents.org/2014con/west
  35. ^ "2014 Conference". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  36. ^ "2015 Conference". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]