Introducing our George Mason University SSDP chapter!

SSDP at George Mason University (GMU) was recently recognized as a Registered Student Organization (RSO). We’ve also met the criteria for being a Tier I RSO. This means our chapter will have access to school funding, rooms for larger events, catering, and other resources from the Office of Student Involvement at GMU!

 

This milestone was reached with the support we’ve received through the registration process from other registered student organizations, and I want to thank Sara Deriso, from Transparent GMU, for her guidance and support. I also want to thank Ricardo Amaya, the Webmaster at Mason DREAMERs and vice president of SSDP GMU, for his guidance and assistance that helped build this foundation for us.

Pictured (from left to right): Marcos Luna, Alejandro Zuniga, Adam Rahman, Stevie Griffith, and Ricardo Amaya

Pictured (from left to right): Marcos Luna, Alejandro Zuniga, Adam Rahman, Stevie Griffith, and Ricardo Amaya

I would like to also thank everyone in this photo, starting from the far left is Marcos Luna, who has been an excellent motivator with many innovative ideas to contribute to our chapter. Marcos, like myself, is interested in the philosophical aspects and the science behind psychedelic drugs and their potential utility for psychotherapy – such as psilocybin or MDMA in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Next is Alejandro Zuniga, who is new to both George Mason University & SSDP GMU. Alejandro has a lot of ideas to share with us and we are looking forward to working with him moving forward. 

 

Next to Alejandro is me, president Adam Rahman. Next to me is Stevie Griffith, who has also been an excellent motivator; he has many ideas about the work that SSDP GMU could be doing, such as working with Virginia NORML to aid in their effort to reform marijuana laws. At the end is our vice president, Ricardo Amaya, who deserves the most credit for making all of this happen. Sara Deriso, who was not able to make it to the meeting, and is therefore not pictured, helped us by providing an outline to complete the registration form for becoming an official RSO at George Mason University with the Office of Student Involvement.

 

SSDP GMU’s mission this Fall is planning events for the semester. Currently, we are tabling on campus to make ourselves known. We are also planning our first large event coming this October! It will be a movie screening and discussion featuring a film about marijuana prohibition in the United States during the counterculture movement. Our goal is to break the ice on campus since we are the only RSO at George Mason University speaking up about drug policy reform and drugs in general. We are hoping to get conversations and debates flowing on campus with this event to build momentum for future events to come.

 

 Outside of these steps comes a greater picture. Sacrificing time for these events will create dedication which inspires bravery that pushes us to do more. We need the catalyst to push the bounds further and further in the state of Virginia. The drug laws here are laughable in comparison to our neighbors over at Washington, D.C. There is much work to be done; especially on campus here at George Mason University.

 

We are very excited about the events, workshops, panels, and screenings that we will organize together. I feel confident that we will accomplish much more than we are anticipating, and it takes a lot of discipline, prioritization, reevaluating one’s values, and much-needed integration work to bring genuine love into this world. The result of that integrated and intentional form of love is what I call True Heart and Intent. I see that very passionate perseverance and integrated love rising in the actions of SSDPers here at SSDP GMU! We push each other to do more and be better at what we do. I am proud to be their president and to serve the chapter accordingly. We learn more and more from each other every day!

 

The mind of a student is where the revolution begins but the change we make within ourselves is what comes first. “Be the change you wish to see in this world. In doing so, you will lead by example and others will follow.” Those words have never failed me thus far. It’s what I usually tell people who are cornered by personal issues that blindside their dreams. I hope to find more inspired and diverse individuals who will carry this chapter into the future. I see our RSO as something that will help ground students and bring together those looking to put an end to the War on Drugs.