Over the past month, I’ve had the pleasure of working Sky Santiago, our newest chapter leader from Indiana University South Bend. Her chapter recently became fully established, so in celebration, I asked her to tell us a little more about her plans for the future.How did you hear about SSDP? I heard about SSDP through MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies).
Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter?
I am taking a grad-level class called “Marijuana Controversies: Mass Incarceration” and I learned about the social injustice issues and got more intrigued. I decided that this issue is “everything,” just like the SSDP Powerpoint says, and it could be a catalyst for much needed change in the USA.
What has the reception been like on campus? From students, teachers, administration, etc.
Our class is very interested and even various faculty and staff members of the university have expressed support. More challenging is student involvement–I think due to it being new and perhaps even controversial. Once we can educate more people I see it could be a big (good) deal on campus.
What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for next semester?
We are currently meeting with the local civil rights center to put together a symposium for marijuana decriminalization and medicinal use.
What is the most challenging part of your experience starting/running the chapter so far?
Student involvement, and commitment. I want to start a movement, and have to first get people “moved”!
What is the most rewarding part?
Knowing I am working on an issue that has huge social, economic, and racial issues surrounding it.
What are you most excited about for your chapter/school/state/region/
ssdp/drug policy right now?
We want to help decriminalize and bring about medicinal use in Indiana–what a challenge and a great potential for this state.
What is your vision for Indiana University South Bend SSDP? Where do you see your chapter in a year? in 4 or 5 years?
I see us as a catalyst for community and regional education, and eventual joining along others statewide for policy change. Hopefull the student group will live on after I graduate and continue to be the campus voice on this issue.