Meet Evan Adary, the chapter leader of SSDP at Santa Barbara City College!
How did you hear about SSDP?
I stumbled upon SSDP while researching different universities. I looked around at several different college websites and previewed some of the student activities that were listed.
Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter?
In many of my classes, especially sociology, the war on drugs has been a hot-button issue that’s been heavily discussed. I’ve come to believe that many people—not just addicts or disenfranchised people—are affected by our current drug policies. I know that on my college campus, our chapter can reach a large group of people; approximately19000 students are enrolled.
I also really like how SSDP welcomes differing opinions, with the main principle being to end the drug war. The organization has members that have a whole spectrum of beliefs. College is really a place of discussion and it’s really great to explore many different facets of current drug issues.
What has the reception been like on campus? From students, teachers, administration, etc.
The reception has all been positive so far! Our staff advisor is thrilled to help out and students have been eager to learn more.
What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for next semester?
I definitely plan on joining some of the campaigns, specifically regarding legalization of marijuana, school policies, and harm reduction advocacy, as well as going to the west coast conference! I also want to keep updating our members about other campaign options so they really get to make changes in areas that are important to them.
What is the most challenging part of your experience starting/running the chapter so far?
It has definitely been a waiting game because of the bureaucracy that comes with getting the club officially chartered. It seems like running the club efficiently will require good organization skills, as there are so many things to think about. At the beginning of the chapter’s creation, I didn’t anticipate how much would need to be done in regards to organizing campaigns and such, so getting other club officers on board will surely help. It’s great that we have access to such amazing resources, like our Outreach Coordinator and Campus Coordinator!
What is the most rewarding part?
For me, it will be especially rewarding to help give a voice to those who feel like they’re voiceless. Tragically, many people have been disenfranchised by current drug policies.
What are you most excited about for your chapter right now?
I’m excited to work with such amazing people to help make long-lasting changes.
What is your vision for SSDP? Where do you see your chapter in a year? in 4 or 5 years?
I see our chapter staying active after I graduate. With a strong foundation and access to an ambitious student population, I see our chapter becoming a well-known club on campus.