On Friday, March 24th and Saturday, March 25th, the Students for Sensible Drug Policy Congress will take place at the 2017 SSDP International Conference in Portland, Oregon, USA. Pursuant to our Bylaws, the SSDP Congress convenes annually to give each chapter in the network the opportunity to vote on resolutions for the organization and elect new student members to the Board of Directors.
Submit a Chapter Resolution for Vote
Resolutions are 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 they feel should be included in the organization’s agenda. A template and sample resolution can be found here.
Submit your resolutions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Resolutions are due by February 28 at 11:59 PM PST.
Apply to be a Student Member of the Board of Directors
As a nonprofit organization, SSDP is governed by the Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees, a designated body of 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. The powers of the Board of Directors are outlined in SSDP’s Bylaws.
The Board of Directors represents SSDP’s chapters at the international level. SSDP is unique among nonprofit organizations because two thirds of the Board are student directors elected annually by their peers.
Being on the Board of Directors requires more than just the passion for social change and public policy. Student Directors must have excellent written and verbal communication skills and be able to take on an administrative role. Student Directors must devote a significant amount of time to Board tasks and assignments and are expected to check and respond to email on a daily basis. In addition, Directors serve on Board committees that have individual responsibilities. Student Directors must fundraise for SSDP; each Director is expected to raise at least $1000 each year by asking friends, family and colleagues for donations. Student Directors are also asked to attend SSDP’s annual Strategy Summit which takes place typically in June.
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.
There are six open student director positions to be filled by the March 2017 Congress. For this Congress, the Board has defined a “student” as someone who is currently enrolled at least half-time at university as an undergraduate or graduate student, in high school, or who graduated within the last academic year. Anyone that graduated in the spring 2016 or fall 2016 semester is eligible to run. Both US and international students are encouraged to run.
To apply to be a candidate, fill out this application form. Applications are due by February 28 at 11:59 PM PST. Serving as a Board member requires complying with deadlines for meetings, etc., and, barring any unusual circumstances, this deadline will be strictly enforced.
Completed applications will be made available publicly online for chapters to review and also will be available at Congress. After applications are submitted, candidates will be required to attend Congress 101, a brief conference call to prepare the candidates for Congress. The Congress 101 call will take place a week before the conference; the date will be announced after the application process is complete.
At Congress, candidates will introduce themselves and participate in a question and answer session where students, board members and staff can ask questions pertaining to a candidate’s fitness to be a Director. For candidates who cannot attend Congress, their application materials will be made available, and if possible, any videos that they made will be shown at Congress. Due to technological difficulties, it is unlikely that candidates who are not physically present will be able to participate in the question and answer session.
Who Can Vote at Congress?
All currently active chapters are eligible to vote. One member from each active chapter will be the voting representative at Congress. For those active chapters unable to send a representative to Congress, a digital voting period will be open for 24 hours from Friday (3/24) – Saturday (3/25) – more details to come. If you are unsure if your chapter is currently “active,” or what needs to be done to make your chapter active, please contact your Outreach Coordinator. For chapters that have at least one member attending SSDP2017, the voting will take place in person on March 25. For chapters at SSDP2017, attendance at Congress is a requirement to vote, and each chapter needs to select a single voting member.
Please make sure your chapter members see this and encourage everyone who is interested to run. We look forward to receiving your applications soon!