Written by Jackson Rund, Lake Superior State University SSDP President
How did you hear about SSDP?
The first time I heard about SSDP was at MJBIZCON. I stopped at the SSDP table on the first day and really agreed with a lot of the objectives and goals of the organization.
Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter?
I wanted to get involved because the mission of the organization aligned with many of mine and I wanted to work together to start the process of changing drug policy within my school.
What has the reception been like on campus? From students, teachers, administration, etc.
The reception has been all positive. The promotion has only begun, but when raising attention to the inauguration of the chapter to the school’s deans and the senior management team there were no complaints and they were pleased to hear about promoting accurate information on substances and harm reduction measures that students will be more knowledgeable about after proper utilization of the chapter’s resources.
What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for next semester?
I would like to host an educational tabling event once a month in the fall semester where I would be able to greatly promote harm reduction as well as educate students on the most popular drugs they’re using (which will be determined via Google form over the course of the semester). I would also like to make significant progress in working with our administration on becoming the first school in the US to allow medical cannabis on a university campus.
What is the most challenging part of your experience starting/running the chapter so far?
I have had no challenges setting up or managing this chapter so far, besides the Orientation time being changed to a time that conflicted with my class schedule.
What is the most rewarding part?
The most rewarding part about setting up this chapter is knowing that change is coming. Poking the administration to start to take notice was the mission of this year, and with the establishment of a progressive chapter at our university, I can already see that change will be coming and that the administration will be more willing to listen because of the professional nature of this organization.
What are you most excited about for your chapter/school/state/region right now?
I’m really excited to get more students involved. There has been a disconnect between students and engagement with organizations, but this specific organization will call to the students who are looking to make a change but aren’t quite sure how yet. I’m looking forward to working with students who are passionate about initiating change and spreading accurate information about these substances.
What is your vision for your SSDP? Where do you see your chapter in a year? In 4 or 5 years?
My vision for SSDP here at LSSU is for the chapter to develop a strong relationship with the members of the administration that are also looking to invoke change. Through the development of this relationship over the next year, we can also develop relationships with lawmakers who are the voices of the people in the state like us. A few years down the line, I would like to see the LSSU SSDP chapter initiate change by working closely with the state and local government to assist in developing laws that don’t exclude students who are studying cannabis. I want the students to be represented and treated equally as others would be for their passions. I want the SSDP chapter here to work with local schools and maybe even schools throughout the state on the proper way to introduce cannabis education as a career path to those who are still in high school. Finally, I would like to see the SSDP chapter here in the news for being the first University to allow medical cannabis on campus.