I’m so thrilled to be introducing a newly established chapter to the SSDP network in Illinois. Please welcome the folks over at Governors State University. New chapter leader Dustin Prince sent us some insight into his process and the new chapter.
How did you hear about SSDP?
I have a passion and interest to be a psychedelic psychotherapist and researcher. This passion led me to a Psychedelics and the Future of Psychiatry meet up, where I announced my plans of starting a Students for Psychedelic Science club. That’s when Vilmarie Narloch walked up to me, handed me her card, and said: “you should Start a Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter!” That was the very first time I had ever heard of SSDP and I’ve been grateful ever since. She gave me an opportunity and I took it. Yay Vilmarie!
Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter?
SSDP is completely in line with my values and beliefs. The realization that I could personally contribute to making a difference and making the world a better place is what got me excited about starting a chapter.
What has the reception been like on campus? From students, teachers, administration, etc.
The reception from everyone on my campus has been overwhelmingly positive. GSU is all about activism, advocacy, and social change. One of the student body’s major interests is reforming the unfair and unjust sentencing practices toward certain communities and how racism and oppression are intersected with the War on Drugs.
What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for next semester?
GSU SSDP plans on having Vilmarie host Just Say Know presentations and bring awareness about psychedelic science and medicine to the campus. I also want to host a local attorney as a guest speaker to speak out against prohibition and the War on Drugs.
What is the most challenging part of your experience starting/running the chapter so far?
The most challenging part of the experience was being patient. It took two months of educating and recruiting before the GSU chapter became officially recognized. However, all of these challenges led to other opportunities and connections. From here on out it’s going to be about learning as we move forward.
What is the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding part is the day we were unanimously voted to be officially recognized by the Student Senate. I have a tremendous amount of pride for starting an SSDP chapter that will continue long after I leave GSU.
What are you most excited about for your chapter/school/state/region/ssdp/drug policy right now?
I am excited about connecting with Amy Hildebrand and the DePaul University chapter, and working together to make a difference at the state level. I want to examine the school’s drug policy and see if we need to make changes. What I’m most excited about is planning a psychedelic science lecture series for
the Fall of 2018. There is just so much to be excited about.
What is your vision for Governors State University SSDP? Where do you see your chapter in a year? in 4 or 5 years?
I envision GSU SSDP being one of the biggest and most active chapters in the SSDP family.