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5:00 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Secular Student Alliance attracting support on UNCW campus

 Of the more than 220 student organizations on the UNCW campus,  16 are registered as religious.

While most of those religious organizations are Christian, Amanda Greene of Wilmington Faith and Values tells us about a new atheist student organization making the scene on campus.

In the fall of 2011, biology senior Louis Shackleton decided UNCW could use a haven for students without a god belief.  So he created a chapter of the national Secular Student Alliance.  Shackleton says the SSA allows students who are questioning faith a safe space to explore their beliefs. 

The group was active in its first year, attracting about 30 students to meetings and trips to Washington, D.C. for the Reason Rally and to Fayetteville for the Rock Beyond Belief concert.  The group also invited speakers on Islam and monotheism to speak at its meetings and hosted an Ask an Atheist table and sidewalk chalk campaigns on campus for outreach. 

Shackleton, a self-described anti-theist, says the group encountered more openness than resistance on campus.