Once upon a time, in the year of 1998, a man by the name of Shea Gunther founded what would become the only international network of students dedicated to ending the War on Drugs: Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Since then, SSDP has grown to roughly 200 chapters. Proud to join this network is RPI’s SSDP chapter, a club that recently received Union recognition. The RPI SSDP E-board consists of graduate student and President Matthew Getzin, Service Chairman Zoe Steinsnyder ’18, Social Media Chairman Jaad Coles ’16, Secretary Anton Nekhai ’16, Treasurer Nick Axline ’16, graduate student Dylan Rees, and myself as vice president.
SSDP neither condones nor condemns the use of drugs; instead, we encourage people to be active and informed decision-makers in their lives. We see a great importance in strengthening the involvement of RPI students on the topic of drug use and drug policy, which has undoubtedly had an impact on the lives of many people around the United States.
We, as SSDP members, believe that the War on Drugs is a topic highly worthy of attention, discussion, and action. Just the same, we recognize and understand that the consequences of the War on Drugs, such as overincarceration, racism, and educational and economic injustice, are topics that must be brought to light.
We encourage and welcome the participation of any students on campus looking to get involved with SSDP. To gain a better sense of SSDP, please attend our panel discussion this Thursday, February 25, held in DCC 318 from 7–9 pm. The panel will consist of Danny Bushe ’18, an activist, Dean of the First-Year Experience Janelle Fayette, and RPI’s resident physician Dr. Leslie Lawrence, graduate student Alli Morgan, and Director of Public Safety Jerry Matthews. This panel is designed to open the lines of communication between the students, for whom the institution exists, and the administrators tasked with keeping the students actively engaged in their own health, safety, education, and development as young adults.
We hope to see you there!
Samrin Ali ’16