Important Information About Next Week’s Virtual SSDP Congress

Members of the SSDP staff and board at SSDP2018.
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This entry has been published on March 20, 2020 and may be out of date.

As you’ve probably already heard, #Sensible2020 has moved to a virtual conference which means the annual SSDP Congress will also be held virtually. While the #Sensible2020 Virtual Conference will be held in May, we felt it important to conduct Congress (roughly) as scheduled and announce election results and present awards on their previously planned date of Saturday, March 28. 

Students for Sensible Drug Policy Congress facilitates SSDP’s youth-driven agenda. Elected student and youth members and appointed alumni make up the Board of Directors; all are volunteers and each member serves a two-year term. Members are expected to fundraise $1,000 annually to contribute to the organization. Some of the responsibilities include crafting strategy for the organization, monitoring compliance and financial affairs, overseeing SSDP’s Executive Director, participating in the annual SSDP strategy summit, and conducting Congress. Each member serves on various Board committees that range from international outreach to fundraising. If you’re interested in looking at the bylaws, check them out here

This year, ten candidates are running for six open spots on the Board. In addition to the six newly elected Board members, three alternates will be selected in the case that a Board member resigns or a seat otherwise becomes vacant. 

This year’s candidates come from chapters all across the United States as well as Nigeria and Ireland. We encourage all members of the SSDP network to familiarize themselves with the candidates via the candidate applications and candidate slideshow

Between Monday, March 23 and Friday, March 27, candidates for the Board of Directors will have the option to answer questions about their leadership capacity, fundraising capability, and vision for drug policy virtually with their SSDP peers, as well as make their speeches or candidate videos available for member viewing.  Stay tuned on SSDP’s social media for more updates. These resources are especially important this year as the opportunity to meet candidates in person has been taken. Regardless, we want the network to take care to get to know their future leaders. 

Each chapter will have one vote and will get to rank their top six candidates for the Board of Directors. The Alumni Association will also receive one vote carried out in the same way. Chapters will also have a chance to vote on organization-wide resolutions submitted by fellow chapters or members. Election results for the Board of Directors will be announced virtually at 8:00pm EDT on Saturday, March 28 via SSDP’s YouTube channel. The Awards Ceremony will take place before the election results announcement, the exact time is to be announced. 

All chapters and ambassadors will vote online. Voting forms will be distributed to network leaders via their Movement Building Fellows or Global Program Coordinator on March 23.  This voting form will remain open for one week and will close at 5:00pm EDT (9:00pm GMT) March 28,  to allow for ample time for voting.  However, chapters and members should take care to participate in virtual congress activities, and view virtual congress materials before voting. 

SSDP is a youth-lead organization that cannot exist without the input of our members.  Your voices and questions are important as your ideas are what drive our success. Please review our congress materials available online and vote!