One of my favorite things about the SSDP family is the willingness we all share to help one another other out. This is one of many reasons it gives me great pleasure to introduce to the world to SSDP’s new Issues and Resources Committee (IRC, for short). The IRC formed out of the realization by Board members and staff that many of our students have brilliant, pragmatic ideas they would like to actualize. But until now, there has not always been a dedicated space for students to share, refine, foster those ideas. The Issues and Resources Committee will serve as a sustainable framework under which working groups may operate, and will provide a space for members of the SSDP network to engage in projects. While the IRC is not responsible for the success or failure of a working group’s project, the committee will provide working groups with the support to execute the project. Working groups may be started with a single member around any number of issues or projects.
Examples of the kind of help the Issues and Resources Committee can provide to students include:
Connecting working group members with interested peers within the network; Advertising project ideas and help wanted on email listserv and Facebook Group; Helping working groups craft a narrow, focused objective and a reasonable framework for achievement; Connecting working groups to useful resources, and Overseeing working group efforts and realign group priorities and timelines when appropriate.
One working group that you may currently join is the Rural Policy Working Group: The Rural Policy Working Group is responsible for researching the intersections of drug use and public policy specifically within rural and agricultural communities. By studying rural communities and their relation to drug policy, the Rural Policy Working Group aims to better serve rural SSDPers by providing specific information on specific barriers to harm reduction, treatment, and general funding that exist in rural areas. The Rural Policy Working Group is currently working on a research document which gives an overview of the structural limitations of current policies and what could be done to better serve rural communities.
Do you have an event you’re trying to develop that you’d like some help on? Do you need more people to help out with a project of yours? Let us know, here, and a member of the IRC will respond to you as soon as possible.