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From Friday, March 29th to Sunday, March 31st, 2019, the SSDP community will come together at SSDP2019, this year’s International SSDP Conference near Chicago, Illinois. In line with our values of democracy, transparency, and accountability, the SSDP Congress convenes annually to give each chapter in the network the opportunity to elect new student members to the Board of Directors and to vote on resolutions for the organization.

As a nonprofit organization, SSDP is governed by the Board of Directors. The Board is responsible for ensuring the financial stability of the organization, crafting and approving the organization’s strategy, and hiring and evaluating the Executive Director. It also represents SSDP’s chapters at the national and international levels. The powers of the Board of Directors are outlined in SSDP’s Bylaws. SSDP is unique among nonprofit organizations in that two-thirds of the Board of Directors are students elected annually by their peers. Being on the Board of Directors requires more than just passion for social change and an interest in public policy. We are seeking individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to changing drug policies through student lead activism. Being a Director requires both teamwork and independence, and we want to work with people who has clearly shown their enthusiasm and capacity for participation and leadership.

  • Student Directors must have excellent written and verbal communication skills and be able to take on various administrative roles essential to SSDP’s function.
  • Student Directors are expected to devote a significant amount of time to Board tasks and assignments, to frequently check and respond to email, and to comply with deadlines for meetings.
  • Student Directors serve on Board committees that have individual responsibilities.
  • Student Directors are required to fundraise for SSDP; each Director is expected to raise at least $1000 each year by asking friends, family, colleagues and industry connections for donations. Student Directors are also required to attend SSDP’s annual Strategy Summit at their own expense, which typically takes place in June in either Washington, DC, Denver, CO or Oakland, CA.
We strongly encourage all who believe they can make this commitment to apply. Serving on the Board of Directors of SSDP is an invaluable, incredibly rewarding experience. You will play a major part in growing SSDP and helping to end the drug war while gaining a unique experience generally only available to people in later stages of life.

There are FIVE open student director positions to be filled during the March 2019 Congress. The organization’s bylaws define a “student” as someone who is currently enrolled at least half-time at a university as an undergraduate or graduate student, in high school, or someone who graduated within the last 6 months of the time of Congress. Those interested in joining the Board but not currently enrolled in school who have plans to enroll within 6 months of Congress may also apply. Both US and international students are encouraged to run. To apply to be a candidate, please fill out this application form. Candidate profiles will include information submitted from the application as well as the number of CAT points your chapter has earned during your tenure and annual fundraising totals. Those profiles will be available publicly online for chapters to review and available at Congress. After applications are submitted, candidates will be matched with a current member of the Board of Directors to act as a point of contact/mentor during this process. Candidates will also be asked to participate in a Congress 101, a conference call to prepare the candidates for Congress (Date TBD). During the Congress sessions at SSDP19, candidates will have ample opportunity to introduce themselves and their Board goals to the SSDP community. For candidates who cannot attend Congress, their application materials (and videos) will be made available and shown at Congress. It is unlikely that candidates who are not physically present will be able to participate in every aspect of Congress. Applications are due by February 17 at 11:59 PM PST. Please send your application through the application link, and send any questions to

Resolutions are non-binding statements, submitted by chapters (or sometimes by the Board of Directors) and voted on during the annual Congress. Resolutions are considered by the Board and Staff and help guide the growth and direction of SSDP. They are an opportunity for members to share their vision for SSDP or which items which they feel should be included in the organization’s agenda. A template and sample resolution can be found here.

All currently active chapters are eligible to vote. Chapters will be allotted one ballot to vote for the five candidates they wish to see fill the openings. Chapters are asked to vote collectively. All votes will be submitted online. Voting will open after the second session of Congress on Saturday, March 30th and close prior to Saturday’s award ceremony. If you are unsure if your chapter is currently “active,” or what needs to be done to make your chapter active, please contact the email address above. Please make sure your chapter members receive this and encourage everyone who is interested to run. We look forward to receiving your applications soon!

With love,
Students for Sensible Drug Policy Board of Directors