Secular Student Alliance
|Formation||November 21, 2001|
|Purpose||Secular humanism and Nontheism, as well as scientific rationality, secularism, and human-based ethics|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
|Kevin Bolling, Executive Director|
Evan Clark, Chair of the Board of Directors
The Secular Student Alliance (SSA) is an American 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.
In 1999, the students on the Executive Council of the Campus Freethought Alliance, along with some other students, faculty advisers, and off-campus supporters, decided that a national student organization needed autonomy (the Campus Freethought Alliance was governed by the Council for Secular Humanism). 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. The Secular Student Alliance was thus founded in May 2000 by eight student leaders from the grassroots secular movement. It was organized under the nonprofit corporation laws of the State of Ohio on November 21, 2001. The corporation's principal office is located in Columbus, Ohio.
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".
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.
Shortly after the hiring of new Executive Director Kevin Bolling, in October 2017 the organization relocated from Columbus, Ohio to Los Angeles.
The SSA has experienced increasing membership growth since its founding. As of May 2018, the SSA's Board of Directors has twelve members. The number of SSA community college and university campus affiliates has expanded considerably in recent years:
- 2007 – 80 groups
- 2008 – 100 groups
- 2009 – 159 groups
- 2010 – 219 groups
- 2011 – 240 groups
- 2012 – 413 groups
- 2013 – 407 groups
- 2018 – 276 groups
- 2019 – 312 groups
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. One notable name in attendance was PZ Myers, who also came to experience the museum.
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. In 2013, the conference was split into two locations (East and West).
The SSA holds an annual leadership conference.
- "About Us - Secular Student Alliance". Retrieved May 21, 2018.
- "A Brief History of the Secular Student Alliance | Secular Student Alliance". Secularstudents.org. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
- Chapter 1702: Nonprofit Corporation Law, Ohio Revised Code.
- The "Articles of Incorporation" of the Secular Student Alliance were filed on November 21, 2001.
- The SSA's principal office is located in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio. "Corporation Details", Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
- 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.
- Galef, Jesse (January 12, 2012). "Atheist Teen's Court Victory a Sign of Growing Secular Student Influence". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved January 30, 2012.
- "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.
- "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.
- Eberhard, JT (May 30, 2016). "Secular Student Alliance running a 'desperate' fundraiser". WWJTD. Retrieved May 31, 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.'
- Mehta, Hemant. "An Interview with Kevin Bolling, the Secular Student Alliance's New Director". The Friendly Atheist. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
- 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".
- Urbina, Ian (December 1, 2009). "Approaching Holidays Prompt Atheist Campaign". The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2010.
- Galef, Jesse (September 6, 2010). "Fall Brings Record Numbers of Atheist, Agnostic Student Organizations on Campus". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- Winerip, Michael (April 3, 2011). "Teenagers Speak Up for Lack of Faith". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
-  Retrieved October 4, 2013.
-  Retrieved May 21, 2018.
-  Retrieved August 9, 2019.
- McLendon, Ryan (September 30, 2009). "Beyond Belief: Atheist community thrives in Cincinnati's backyard". CityBeat. Retrieved October 20, 2009.
- "Non-religious leaders hope to boost 2020 election voters at events like this one at USC". Daily News. July 8, 2019. Retrieved December 7, 2020.
- "2004 Conference Write-Up". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- Crary, Duncan (August 17, 2005). "2005 Secular student conference a success". Humanist Network News. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- "SSA/AAI 2006 Joint Conference: Most Spiffy!". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
- Hibbard, Laura (July 17, 2012). "Teacher Allegedly Brags To JT Eberhard Of Secular Student Alliance That Atheist Student Group Was Blocked (PHOTO)". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Supiano, Beckie (February 27, 2011). "A Group for Secular Students Finds Its Way on a Christian Campus". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
- Black, Nathan (September 21, 2009). "US sees increase in secular student groups". Christian Today. Retrieved October 6, 2009.
- Abbamonte, Angela (September 18, 2009). "Atheists groups double in size on college campuses". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved October 6, 2009.
The number of atheist or agnostic student groups on U.S. campuses has more than doubled in the past two years – from 80 to 162 – according to the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), the national organization for the secular student movement.
- Brunsman, August E (December 28, 2005). "A Brief History of the Secular Student Alliance". Secular Student Alliance. Retrieved 2012-08-13.