SSDP’s chapter network grew this week with an addition at Lawrence University in Appelton, Wisconsin. I got the chance to catch up with chapter founder, Evan Johnson, about his work to start a new chapter. Here is what he had to say about his involvement with SSDP so far.
Name: Evan Johnson
University Major: Government/ Russian Studies
Chapter Position: President and Founder
SSDP: How did you hear about SSDP?
Evan: I actually discovered SSDP through StumbleUpon, and my interest was piqued as I learned more about how to be active in things I believe in.
SSDP: Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter?
Evan: I thought that there are a lot of university policies and local laws that weren’t rational and I felt like they were influenced by biases instead of facts- for example, our school has recently put up anti-marijuana posters with inflated statistics.
SSDP: What has the reception been like on campus? From students, teachers, administration, etc.
Evan: Student reception has been the best, with a good amount of sympathy and several ideas. Teachers haven’t been unfriendly but are hesitant to openly support the group, while the administration has recognized us as an official organization.
SSDP: What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for the spring semester?
Evan: A screening of the documentary “The Union” and a discussion sessions with the producer, bringing in an anti-prohibition speaker, and hosting a campus forum.
SSDP: What is the most challenging part of your experience starting/running the chapter so far?
Evan: Getting people to consistently show up to meetings.
SSDP: What is the most rewarding part?
Evan: Being able to schedule events and educate.
SSDP: What are you most excited about for your chapter/school/state/region/ssdp/drug policy right now?
Evan: Educating the campus and busting myths.
SSDP: What is your vision for SSDP? Where do you see your chapter in a year? in 4 or 5 years?
Evan: I see the Lawrence chapter of SSDP growing and becoming more involved in the campus life as an educational force.