By Craig Henderson, Student Life Editor

The University of Michigan-Dearborn Student Secular Alliance (UMDSSA) wishes to build a sense of community on campus and connect with other organizations for further awareness of their club.

According to UMDSSA’s social media webpage, they are a 501©3 educational nonprofit, and their mission is to unite, educate and help students and student communities, which endorse the ideals of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism and human based ethics.

Co-Vice President Matt Jodoin says, “There is still a stigma with being non-religious or calling one’s self an atheist. We hope to bring like-minded people together and dispel misconceptions.”

Considering the UMDSSA is relatively new, they are looking for new members which either share the same ideas or who just want a good debate; all members are welcome regardless of theistic belief.

The nontheistic club plans to host Ask an Atheist Day and also hold debates on campus as well as collaborating with student organizations to host events.

Jodoin shares that the UMDSSA is also opening up a new executive board position, which recruits students to increase the member count.

“We are here to help,” Jodoin says. “I have heard stories of people who believe in the same things I do and are stigmatized or go through hard times when they lose their belief in God.”

President of UMDSSA Draven Romero says this student organization would like more recognition because they wish to make an impact on campus by promoting acceptance among secular students.

“We want people to realize that there is nothing wrong with having secular ideals, and we want those that are secular to feel comfortable enough to not have to hide it,” Romero says.

The club previously set up a Graveyard of the Gods display back in October, which Romero says it attracted a lot of attention.

Romero continues, “I am proud of the way the Secular Student Alliance has gained its individuality, and I hope that we can continue to engage the public. We are looking forward to a great year!”