“The mission of the Secular Student Alliance is to organize, unite, educate and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific rationality, secularism, democracy, and human-based ethics.” – via secularstudents.org
History and The First Year
Secular Student Alliance at St. Cloud State University was founded in Fall 2009. Co-Founders Anne Priest and Sarah Maddox worked from late August to mid-October getting the group organized, as well as obtaining official charter and recognition by Saint Cloud State’s Center for Student Organizations and Leadership Development (CSOLD). Meetings were held weekly in the student union all school year until late April 2010. The birth of the first ever secular and/or non-religious group on campus was well-received and publicized. Many students (and faculty!) of all ages expressed relief in finding that a group had finally been formed that represented their interests and views for the campus at large. The group is now in its second year and growing rapidly both in depth and number of members. Several distinguished speakers have been brought to campus, and a second weekly gathering was added due to member demand. The group is now qualified for Student Finance money and for office space.
Our primary affiliation is with the Secular Student Alliance:
The Secular Student Alliance is an educational nonprofit 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 but not limited to leadership training and support, guest speakers, discounted literature and conference tickets, and thought provoking online articles and opinions.
Currently, the SSA has over 160 affiliates in North America and abroad, including groups in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.
We are a branded affiliate of the SSA, meaning that our name includes “Secular Student Alliance” and our status allows us to receive professional cards, banners and other materials from SSA HQ to help us promote our group.
We also maintain affiliation with the Center For Inquiry – On Campus:
The Center for Inquiry is dedicated to promoting and defending reason, science and freedom of inquiry in education, and to the enhancement of freethought, skepticism, secularism, humanism, philosophical naturalism, rationalism, and atheism on college and high school campuses throughout North America and around the world. CFI consolidates international resources toward this end.
As a group and as individuals, we have enjoyed friendship, support and invaluable learning experiences from both of these organizations.
Our mission has grown out of our affiliates’ values, and the founding year of activity on our campus:
Secular Student Alliance at SCSU aims to provide a safe and welcoming community to atheist, agnostic, humanist, skeptic, questioning and/or freethinking students while also educating the larger campus community about secular worldviews.