I’m thrilled to announce our newest chapter in Massachusetts at Boston College! Getting the chapter approved by the campus administration proved to be challenging, but chapter leaders Marissa Acevado and Conor Kelly were able to make it happen right at the end of the semester. They are looking forward to educating their peers about harm reduction and drug use, raising awareness about the harms of Big Pharma, and, of course, helping to legalize marijuana in Massachusetts this Fall. I spoke with Marissa about their accomplishments so far and the chapter’s plans for the future: How did you hear about SSDP? I heard about SSDP from American University’s chapter leader, Chris Harris. Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter? I lived and interned in Washington, DC over the summer of 2015. During the summer, Chris introduced me to a number of AU students in SSDP as well as members of SSDP’s staff. I even went on SSDP’s Northeast Camping Trip, during which I had an amazing time getting to know the other SSDPers. Their passion for their work, as well as the welcoming and supportive atmosphere they fostered, is what made me want to bring SSDP to Boston College. What has the reception been like on campus? From students, teachers, administration, etc. Since our chapter was just formed, I don’t have much to say for this questions (and I definitely don’t want to shed any bad light on BC administration, since they did make a huge effort to start our club…), but I hope to report back soon with positive results!What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for next semester? I want to collaborate with the other members of the executive board and pool our ideas, since I feel as though we might all be interested in bringing different aspects of SSDP to campus- which is so exciting! SSDP is incredibly versatile. What is the most challenging part of your experience starting/running the chapter so far? Definitely just logistical concerns/working with BC administration, but again, they have really done so much to get our chapter up and running. What is the most rewarding part? I’ll get back to you on this one 🙂 What are you most excited about for your chapter/school/state/region/
ssdp/drug policy right now? Just the fact that SSDP will be at BC at all! I don’t think BC has seen anything quite like SSDP yet, and I think that SSDP is something our university needs. I feel honored to be part of its initiation on campus. What is your vision for Boston College? Where do you see your chapter in a year? in 4 or 5 years? Personally, I want SSDP to be a source of education on drug use and policy, both generally and in Boston specifically. There is not much awareness of these issues on campus–or at least not as much as I feel there should be–and I want to make SSDP an accessible and inviting resource for all students.