Students for Sensible Drug Policy International just held its first ever General Assembly and it was a brilliant success! Sincere thanks to Orsi Fehér and the Election Committee for making sure this event ran perfectly. Here’s everything you need to know…
The Founding Board was Elected
One of the primary functions of the General Assembly is to elect the Board of Directors. We are pleased to announce that Eolann Davis ‘19, Iulia Vatau ‘19, Amie Hogan ‘19 and Ewelle Williams ‘17 were elected to the Board. A huge thank you to all those who ran, we had fantastic candidates all round, and we encourage those who did not get elected this time to run again next year.
“I am beyond thrilled and honoured to be part of the Inaugural Board of Directors for SSDP International. At a time when our organisation is undergoing radical changes to better serve our advocacy efforts worldwide, being able to facilitate the equitable implementation of a new membership structure from this position is truly a privilege, as well as a responsibility I am eager to embrace. I cannot thank the entire network enough for placing their trust in me. Your resilience and outstanding achievements have inspired and motivated me in the toughest of times. You have shown me countless ways in which young people and students can make a tangible and sustainable impact in their communities. For this reason, I intend to dedicate my term to the grassroots empowerment of our regional networks, the creation of a trusting, open and collaborative rapport with our affiliate organisations, as well as the consolidation of current activist trainings and civil society support mechanisms. I am whole-heartedly committed to serving from a grounded and inclusive position. SSDP International cannot fulfil its mission unless its leadership is substantively representative of its network and fundamentally embedded in the grassroots origins of the movement. So, I encourage any member, regardless of their region, chapter or position in the network to approach me without hesitation and share their concerns, their needs and ideas. I will be there to listen and to serve.”
“I am absolutely delighted to have been elected onto the inaugural board of SSDP International. I have gained so much from my involvement with SSDP, from opportunities to work on causes I am passionate about, to the network of like-minded people I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside. My main hope for my time on the Board is that I contribute to SSDP International getting off to a great start. Ending the global war on drugs is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, and I will work tirelessly to support our members as they go about achieving this goal. Our greatest strength is our network, and nothing makes me happier than connecting with other SSDPers, so please get in touch with what you want to see from myself and the Board over the next year, and thank you for everything you do!”
‘I am so grateful to be elected to this board. Setting up an SSDP chapter during my time in college is one of the most worthwhile things I’ve gotten the opportunity to do, and I am so excited to continue to work with this organisation. I am passionate about harm reduction in all its forms and am delighted to be involved with this network.’
“I am very delighted to be elected on the board of directors of SSDP In’t , I believe that I am called to serve and will assure that my duties and responsibilities be fully implemented to the best of my ability as to move SSDP International forward through its vision and mission to achieve a safer and more just future”
The Mission was Amended & Adopted
During the Assembly, SSDP International’s statutes & mission were to be voted on. The Statutes were adopted with no contest. The proposed Mission was contested and revised to include the term “students of all ages” in it. It was then adopted by consensus. See the full Mission below:
Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an international grassroots network of students and young people, led by students and young people who are advocating for policy reform on the local, national, continental and global level.
We promote youth civic engagement as a critical tool in reforming drug policy and develop leaders who advocate for change, based on justice, liberty and compassion. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in political processes. Our members operate locally and are connected globally to reduce the harms of counterproductive policies–in particular, those that directly harm students of all ages and youth–and to represent the rights and interests of this population.
The Advisory Board was Appointed
Another high point of the General Assembly was the appointing of the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is there to counsel and support the main board and the members of SSDP Intl., it has no voting power within the organisation. All proposed candidates were appointed by consensus.
The Advisory Board is comprised of Jake Agliata ‘11; former coordinator of the International program and now Communications & Policy Officer with the International Network of People Who Used Drugs, Bernice Apondi; Advisor for Research & Policy at VOCAL Kenya, Maria-Goretti Ane Loglo *15; African Consultant with the International Drug Policy Consortium, and Sara Velimirovic ’15; founder and CEO of MCann.
The New Outreach & Membership Structure was Adopted
The last vote during the Assembly was whether or not to adopt the proposed outreach & membership structure. This structure has been developed by the Outreach & Membership Structure (OAMS) working group, led by Ruby Lawlor ‘17. The structure focuses on regional working groups, with the goals of strengthening continental networks and increasing access to locally applicable resources. The new structure passed with no contestations.