As a global network of students spanning vastly different communities and regions, it is important to give students the specific plans and tools necessary to create effective change in their neighborhoods. SSDP’s Rural Policy Working Group was created out of the desire of several students and SSDP alumni to collect and organize information to help activists in rural communities advocate for effective solutions in their areas.
Starting out as one of the first working groups of SSDP’s Issues and Resources Committee, the Rural Policy Working Group went through several stages of development and reformatting. In its beginning stages, the Rural Policy Working Group consisted of a large variety of harm reduction strategies and various drug policy-related statistics connected to rural substance use. This format was later drastically changed and reworked to better support student activists by offering stream-lined information and reasons to support specific policy proposals (with Kat Humphries’ and Rebecca Dayan’s Youth Opioid-Related Consumption Policy Recommendations and Advocacy Priorities providing the majority of inspiration for the format change). The Rural Harm Reduction Policy Recommendations & Implementation Strategies document offers some familiar policy proposals while offering proposals that are more specific to rural communities.
Our rural policy document was helped tremendously by our SSDP student network and the ability to connect with SSDP students and alumni with experience in several different aspects of drug policy. Through our Issues and Resources Committee, SSDP Board and staff members can help you connect to alumni with desired experience or knowledge to help you tackle a topic you’ve been dreaming to work on. If you would like to connect with other members of our network to work on a project or take an issue you are working on to the next level, you can apply to make an SSDP Working Group here and start making sense!
-Robert Hofmann ’16, Kat Humphries ’10, and Haley Cedarholm ’14(Rural Policy Working Group)