SSDP Congress 2018: Call for Student Directors and Chapter Resolutions

From Friday, March 2nd to Monday, March 5th, 2018, SSDP will be celebrating its 20th Anniversary at SSDP2018, this year’s International SSDP Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. In line with our values of democracy, transparency, and accountability, SSDP Congress convenes annually to give each chapter in the network the opportunity to elect new student members to the Board of Directors and to vote on resolutions for the organization.

Voting on Resolutions for SSDP

Resolutions are non-binding statements, submitted by chapters (or sometimes by the Board of Directors) and voted on during the annual Congress. Resolutions are considered by the Board and Staff, and help guide the growth and direction of SSDP. They are an opportunity for members to share their vision for SSDP or which items which they feel should be included in the organization’s agenda. A template and sample resolution can be found here.

Electing Student Members to the Board of Directors

As a nonprofit organization, SSDP is governed by the Board of Directors. The Board is responsible for ensuring the financial stability of the organization, crafting and approving the organization’s strategy, and hiring and evaluating the Executive Director. It also represents SSDP’s chapters at the international level. The powers of the Board of Directors are outlined in SSDP’s Bylaws. SSDP is unique among nonprofit organizations because two-thirds of the Board are student directors that are elected annually by their peers. Being on the Board of Directors requires more than just passion for social change and an interest in public policy. We are seeking individuals with demonstrated enthusiasm and success throughout their involvement with SSDP, including having earned CAT points, having attended past SSDP conferences or regional gatherings, or having organized successful events, demonstrations, or communities. Being a Director requires both teamwork and independence, and we want to work with people who have demonstrated enthusiasm, participation, and leadership.
  • Student Directors must have excellent written and verbal communication skills and be able to take on an administrative role.
  • Student Directors are expected to devote a significant amount of time to Board tasks and assignments, to frequently check and respond to email, and to comply with deadlines for meetings.
  • Student Directors serve on Board committees that have individual responsibilities.
  • Student Directors must fundraise for SSDP; each Director is expected to raise at least $1000 each year by asking friends, family and colleagues for donations.
  • Student Directors are also asked to attend SSDP’s annual Strategy Summit at their own expense, which typically takes place in June in either Washington, DC, Denver, CO or Oakland, CA.
We strongly encourage all who believe they can make this commitment to apply. Serving on the Board of Directors of SSDP is an invaluable, incredibly rewarding experience. You will play a major part in growing SSDP and helping to end the drug war while gaining a unique experience generally only available to people in later stages of life.

Board of Directors Application

There are six open student director positions to be filled during the March 2018 Congress. The organization’s bylaws define a “student” as someone who is currently enrolled at least half-time at university as an undergraduate or graduate student, in high school, or who graduated within the last academic year. Anyone who graduated in the spring 2017 or fall 2017 semester is eligible to run. Both US and international students are encouraged to run. To apply to be a candidate, please fill out this application form. Candidate profiles will include information submitted from the application as well as the number of CAT points your chapter has earned during your tenure and annual fundraising totals. Those profiles will be available publicly online for chapters to review and available at Congress. After applications are submitted, candidates will be required to attend Congress 101, a brief conference call to prepare the candidates for Congress. The Congress 101 call will take place a week before the conference; the date will be announced after the application process is complete. At Congress, candidates will introduce themselves and participate in a question and answer session where students, Board members and staff can ask questions pertaining to a candidate’s fitness to be a Director. For candidates who cannot attend Congress, their application materials (and videos if possible) will be made available, and shown at Congress. It is unlikely that candidates who are not physically present will be able to participate in the Q & A. Applications are due by February 7 at 11:59 PM PST. Please send your application through the application link, and send any questions to

Who can vote?

All currently active chapters are eligible to vote. One member from each active chapter will be the voting representative at Congress at SSDP2018. For active chapters unable to send a representative to Congress, a digital voting period will be open for 24 hours from Friday (3/2) – Saturday (3/3) – more details to come. For chapters that have at least one member attending SSDP2018, the voting will take place in person on Saturday, March 3. For chapters at SSDP2018, attendance at Congress is a requirement to vote, and each chapter needs to select a single voting member. If you are unsure if your chapter is currently “active,” or what needs to be done to make your chapter active, please contact the email address above. Please make sure your chapter members receive this and encourage everyone who is interested to run. We look forward to receiving your applications soon! with love, Students for Sensible Drug Policy Board of Directors