Today, SSDP welcomes Case Western Reserve University into our chapter network. CWRU joins the fight along side our other Ohio chapters Hiram College, Kent State University,Miami University, University of Cincinnati, and University of Akron.
I spoke with chapter leader Tiffany Oliver about her experience so far and her plans for the chapter moving forward:
1. How did you hear about SSDP?
Through Young Americans for Liberty.
2. Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter
I took several courses about drugs and drug policy, and realized there was a discrepancy between facts and policy. Research contradicts the basis for current legislation, and I wanted to become actively involved in informing others about the realities of the repercussions of the War on Drugs.
3. What has the reception been like on campus? From students, teachers, administration, etc.
We have struggled to gain a sizable membership base, but all involved are fully dedicated to the goals of the group, and actively engaged in group activities. Students respect the organization for bringing in qualified speakers. One Professor spoke at our inaugural event, others have attended our events, and they are willing to help us find speakers.
4. What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for the spring semester?
Hopefully we will be able to bring a representative from the DEA or Cuyahoga Prosecutors office to speak about how drug policy is enforced. We also are trying to have a debate on the constitutionality of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act .
5. What is the most challenging part of your experience starting/running the chapter so far?
Definitely finding students to join and become involved in a political organization at a rather apathetic campus.
6. What is the most rewarding part?
Hosting events and seeing peers not associated with the group attending and becoming engaged in the discussions.
7. What are you most excited about for your chapter/school/state/region/ssdp/drug policy right now?
Gaining support for HR 2306 and having individuals become aware of legalization and decriminalization efforts, specifically drug policy reforms in Portugal and Mexico.
8. What is your vision for CWRU SSDP? Where do you see your chapter in a year? in 4 or 5 years?
Hopefully brining in a variety of speakers, representing various perspectives, even if their opinions contradict our own. We would like to host an annual debate about issues involving drug policy, and have government officials discuss the policies they enforce. The goal is to get people to talk about drug policy, not necessarily persuade them to agree with us. If we can gain support through our events, fantastic. But the real issue is having meaningful conversations and debates about policy. Ideally, the group will progress to have more members in the future and remain active on campus.