SSDP welcomes our newest chapter at SUNY Adirondack! In just one week, the SUNY Adirondack chapter has become recognized by their administration, and are now working to enact sensible policies in their community. I got a chance to catch up with chapter founder, Adam DeBuque, and here is what he had to say about his involvement so far.
Name: Adam DeBuque
School: SUNY Adirondack
Major: Information Technology
Chapter position: President
1. SSDP: How did you hear about SSDP?
Adam: I heard about SSDP through a post on NORML’s Facebook wall.
2. SSDP: Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter?
Adam: I have been interested in drug law reform for quite a while, and seeing SSDP online and then learning more about this organization’s goals, especially in regards to issues like loss of financial aid due to non-violent drug offenses, encouraged me to get involved.
3. SSDP: What has the reception been like on campus? From students, teachers, administration, etc.
Adam: Once I was able to get people to ask questions about what SSDP is, and what we’re is trying to do, it was very warm. I am surprised how many people have told me what a great idea they think this organization is.
4. SSDP: What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for the spring semester?
Adam: Right now we are still getting our bearings, but I would love to collaborate with our campus’ Green Party for a guest speaker for Earth Day, and I would love to have a speaker from LEAP come at some point, possibly with the cooperation and support of our Criminal Justice club.
5. SSDP: What is the most challenging part of your experience starting/running the chapter so far?
Adam: Getting everything done before the very next meeting of the Student Senate was hard, I think getting people in my classes to start opening up and talking about their opinions on the War on Drugs and getting signatures on my application by the deadline I had set for myself was the most challenging part so far, but I know there will be many more difficult, and interesting, challenges to come.
6. SSDP: What is the most rewarding part?
Adam: Knowing that people are actually discussing their opinions about the War on Drugs makes me feel good. Just making people aware that they can do something about this problem is very rewarding to me, and getting these discussions going is just getting easier and easier for me.
7. SSDP: What are you most excited about for your chapter/school/state/region/ssdp/drug policy right now?
Adam: Right now the state of New York is considering approving medical marijuana use. I am excited, and want to do my part to help make sure people are aware of any legislature that can effect laws and regulations on marijuana use right now, though I understand that is just a small part of the problem we face with this prohibition.
8. SSDP: What is your vision for SSDP? Where do you see your chapter in a year? in 4 or 5 years?
Adam: In a year I am trying to have us at a point where we can budget an adopt a highway sign on the interstate near our school, which will both help our community and let people know that our organization is out there. By the time 5 years pass I hope this chapter will be actively involved in community services such as food drives and area beautification days on our campus, possibly with a small outdoor study area maintained and dedicated to the SUNY Adirondack chapter of SSDP