As our chapter prepares for the first ever Students for Sensible Drug Policy event on our campus, I reflect on the cause of events that sparked our motivation. This semester, Linn State Technical College demanded that every incoming student submit to an unconstitutional drug test to remain a registered student. Along with student’s having their Fourth Amendment infringed upon, also came a fifty dollar nonrefundable charge from the school for the cost of each test. If students refused to submit to the drug testing, they were threatened administrative withdrawal from the college. With such an aggressive and eccentric policy in affect, many concerns arose within the student body. We made contact with Aaron Houston at the headquarters of Students for Sensible Drug Policy in Washington D.C., and Aaron shared our concerns and offered his help with bringing sensible change to the current policy instituted at Linn State.
After failed attempts by Linn State to consider the warnings and advice from SSDP, Linn State is currently in a lawsuit with the ACLU. The court is currently favoring against the school. As Linn State learns the hard way of how much these Constitutional rights mean to their students, our developing SSDP chapter will continue to be present in the school no matter what the outcome. We will be there to help educate the school on their drug policies, so that this kind of incident never happens again. After addressing the Student Government Association about the obligatory need of receiving student body input before administering aggressive policies such as this, we received a great amount of support from students, student government chairman, and even Linn State’s legislative council.
Throughout our experience in this matter our chapter has received a substantial amount of support from the community within the SSDP network. Located about an hour away from our school resides Columbia College’s SSDP President, Donald Warren. Donald has offered an immense amount of support and time in order to help our chapter get to where we are today; thus proving the dedication and loyalty in the SSDP community. Our chapter has received advice from SSDP chapters all over the country ranging from the Midwest Regional Outreach Coordinator, Devon Tackels, all the way down to the University of Miami’s SSDP President, Alfred Kilzi. The amount of support has been so inspirational.
At the end of the week an SSDP event will be held on the campus of Linn State. Columbia College’s SSDP chapter will be co-hosting the event, along with the director of Missouri NORML and Mid-Missouri ACLU Attorney Dan Veits. The event will help educate students on the ineffectiveness of drug testing, and the benefits of having a sensible drug policy at Linn State. After our success in raising awareness of the schools drug testing policy, promoting a campus event, and persuading the SGA to vote yes on the development of a Good Samaritan Policy, we will continue to stay motivated to create a successful chapter.