This week, our newest chapter at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA became officially recognized by their university administration. After ending an 8 month struggle to get their chapter recognized and off the ground, this is what chapter leader Matt Hilliard has to say about his experience.
Name: Matthew Hilliard
School: Western Washington University
Major: Political Science
Chapter Position: Chapter CoordinatorSSDP: How did you hear about SSDP? Matt: I heard about SSDP from WWU’s club advisor after attempting to create a club with similar but less activism-centric goals. SSDP: Why did you want to get involved/what made you decide to start a chapter? Matt: Last year as a freshman, I became very interested in the history of Cannabis Sativa after truly realizing just what sort of havoc current U.S. drug policies wreak not only on students but everyone in the nation and even beyond our borders. SSDP: What has the reception been like on campus? From students, teachers, administration, etc. Matt: So far the club has not been noticed very much, however I and fellow members plan on changing that immediately. We believe once the students of Western are enlightened to the presence of SSDP on their campus, they will become much more enthused about it. SSDP: What are some of the things you have planned or want to plan for the spring semester? Matt: A few objectives we have for Spring quarter are to increase our number of members, consult students on what campaigns of SSDP they feel are most important and would have the greatest impact, and then begin executing strategies to successfully implement those campaigns. SSDP: What is the most challenging part of your experience starting/running the chapter so far? Matt: The most challenging part has been getting the club up and running, and authorized as a real club. Now the easy part begins haha. SSDP: What is the most rewarding part? Matt: The most rewarding part of working with SSDP is knowing that what we do right now is going to directly influence how drug policies in the U.S. are crafted and handled in the future (short and longterm), and that it will allow citizens of the U.S. and other nations to live in comfort rather than paranoia. SSDP: What are you most excited about for your chapter/school/state/region/ssdp/drug policy right now? Matt: I am most excited to start working with WWU students, faculty, and administration, as well as possibly the city of Bellingham, and working all together so that everyone is aware of what everyone else desires. SSDP: What is your vision for SSDP? Where do you see your chapter in a year? in 4 or 5 years? Matt: I would love to see SSDP WWU as well as other Washington State chapters become involved with the city, county and state legislatures so that actual, lasting change can be achieved here in Washington from the ground up. In four or five years I think we will be doing just that and beyond. Back to top