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Student Secular Alliance Club: a safe place for nonbelievers

A new club at WSU Vancouver is emerging from rising interest in independent thinking. The Secular Student Alliance (SSA) at WSU Vancouver is a club that promotes skeptical inquiry, dynamic thinking and the separation of church and state.

According to the Secular Student Alliance at Facebook page, SSA is “a community for atheists, agnostics, humanists, skeptics, naturalists and other freethinkers.” Student Secular Alliances all over the country stimulate “free-thought,” a term for opinions based on logic rather than tradition.
Jonas Calsbeek, president of the Secular Student Alliance, recognizes from his own experiences that “not having a place to belong can be really intimidating.”

He hopes that this club will give nonreligious students a place to feel welcome. The club creates a community centered on a rarely identified minority: the atheist students. Integrating students who are new to WSU into the club, as Calsbeek puts it, “gives purpose to it all.”

As college is a time when many students begin exploring their personal beliefs, SSA clubs are popular among Universities in the United States. Universities like Texas State University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, Harvard University, Yale University, and many more boast Secular Student Alliance clubs.

Student Secular Alliances have strong national and regional organizations that help to guide campus groups. The club plans to align its activities with the SSA Regional Office Headquarters. The club will also organize several campus events, including a fiction-for-fiction book trade described by Calsbeek as an opportunity for “religious texts to be traded for books like Harry Potter.”

Students are encouraged to join the SSA club at WSU Vancouver. Meetings are in the OSI Conference Room every Wednesday from 4 to 5 p.m

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