Good news, everyone: we have a new addition to the family. Join me in welcoming Nick Contillo and the Wake Forest University Chapter! I had the pleasure of getting to talk to Nick and asked him some questions about himself and the Wake Forest University chapter, and I’d like to share some of his responses:
How did you hear about SSDP?
I first heard about SSDP through the MAPS website. I had initially discovered MAPS while writing a research paper on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances.
Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter?
After learning about SSDP and educating myself on the inefficacy of current drug policies, I realized that I could be a part of the movement to reform drug policies and advocate for harm reduction services. I knew that many other students probably shared similar feelings, so I decided to start a chapter of SSDP at my university in hopes of spreading SSDP’s missions and uniting students that feel passionate about evidence-based policy reform.
What has the reception been like on campus? From students, teachers, administration, etc.
Overall, the reception has been great so far. Many faculty members and students have expressed interest and support, and we hope that this will continue as our chapter grows.
What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for next semester?
For next semester, we will be focusing on growing our membership, hosting speakers, and engaging with the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition to support initiatives that will reduce overdose deaths and other drug harms on a regional level.
What is the most rewarding part?
It has been great to engage with students of all backgrounds who are united by a passion to promote meaningful change in the realm of drug policy.
What are you most excited about for your chapter/school/state/region/ssdp/drug policy right now?
We are excited to grow our membership next semester and develop our outreach initiatives. We also look forward to engaging with other student political groups on campus in hopes of generating more dialogue about the urgency of evidence-based drug policy reform. Overall, 2018 has a lot in store, and we can’t wait to get to work!