Guest by Corrine Staten of Secular Student Alliance, raising funds for the organization from June 10th through 17th.
I’m Corrine Staten, the Vice President of the Secular Student Alliance of Ferris State University in Michigan. Last semester, our group held an Interfaith Panel at the end of the semester that featured representatives from Christianity, Islam, and atheism. These sorts of interfaith events are so important to destigmatize secular people.
It was our flagship event for the semester, with multiple speakers, so we were prepared for it to be awesome, but it blew away our expectations. We had over 250 people show up! It lasted over two hours, which was as long as we had the room for, and would have gone longer but we were forced to leave.
Not only was it an excellent opportunity for our group in terms of exposure, but it also let us form bonds with the Muslim Student Organization and Real Life, both religious groups on campus. In fact, after the event, we were able to take all the panel members, our group members, and the Muslim Student Organization to dinner, where we spent over two hours chatting. We are now on great terms and are planning to keep working together on events in the future.
Without the national Secular Student Alliance, we wouldn’t be an organization on campus. The services and resources they have available are crucial for our group’s successes, especially their Mideast Regional Campus Organizer, Jessika Griffin. I am so proud to be a part of such a great organization!
But the SSA needs your help, too. Almost all of these great resources, from the Speakers Bureau to their Campus Organizing team, are provided to students like me for free. They need you help so groups just like mine can be successful secular advocates on their campuses. In fact, until June 17 it is Secular Students Week, and if the SSA gets 500 donations it will unlock a challenge grant for $20,000! That money could have a huge impact on groups like mine.