As the Fall semester of 2015 draws to a close, our student leaders are busy preparing for finals, reviewing coursework from the last four months and getting ready for winter break. In the spirit of reviewing for finals, I want to highlight some chapters who are new to our network this semester, but have yet to be featured on the SSDP blog.
Drew Norton came to us after a LEAP AMA on reddit and has been tenacious in his efforts to start SSDP in the midst of a campus culture resistant to drug policy reform. He is particularly concerned with prescription medical drugs and regulations to protect patients.
The Muhlenberg College SSDP chapter evolved from a previously existing student group on campus, the Great Drug Forum, that chapter leader Rachel Davis started up last year as a place for students to discuss drug policy news. Upon learning about SSDP, Rachel decided that they could be more effective advocates for change if they were part of an international student movement, and re-organized her club as an SSDP chapter. They have been recognized by the campus administration and are excited to hit the ground running next semester.
Colin MacDougall of Washtenaw Community College found SSDP after attending a MI Legalize campaign event, and is actively working to organize students to reform marijuana laws in Michigan. Additionally, his chapter is concerned with the opiate overdose crisis and hopes to provide harm reduction in their community.
Aaron Scheffler is another example of a chapter leader that came on board via exposure to the MI Legalize campaign, and he and his fellow SSDPers at GVSU plan to work closely with the other chapters on the ground and campaign organizers to push for sensible marijuana reform in Michigan. We’re very excited to add them to the mix of amazing Michigan chapters that are going to make change in their state.
Alex Dix is organizing medical students on his campus to help push drug policy reform from a medical perspective. In their first semester, they have brought a NORML speaker to campus and were able to attend the International Drug Policy Reform. Since returning from the Reform Conference, Alex has already started to put together plans to fund raise and bring even more students to the SSDP2016 conference in April. We’re very thankful for Alex’s work engaging his classmates.
Sarah Diem, chapter leader of SSDP at CU Denver, was able to get her chapter recognized within a week of contacting us. Working with Sarah is an absolute pleasure and we are so excited now that we have an office in Denver and can work on the ground with student activists like her. Sarah is an active member of the community, and has been working to start SSDP chapters at the other two schools on the Auraria Campus.
This chapter is led by Co-Presidents Alyssa and Jan, and within their first active semester, they became recognized by the school, started collaborating with other chapters in the Boulder area, and are working closely with the Naropa Association for Psychedelic Studies to push psychedelic research to the forefront.
Deuvall Dorsey of the Nevada State College SSDP chapter is a social media genius. His video productions and Facebook presence are unparalleled. The chapter at Nevada State College is concerned primarily with upcoming adult use marijuana efforts in Nevada, and we can’t wait to see what role they play in the future of drug policy out there.