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Everything You Need To Know About Starting and Running an SSDP Chapter! The SSDP Student Organizing Manual was put together by SSDP’s experienced outreach staff who have not only overseen and advised hundreds of successful SSDP chapters but have also founded and managed their own chapters while in college. It is designed to give an efficient overview of every aspect of forming and running an SSDP chapter at your college campus. At your fingertips, you have an extensive description of how to start your chapter, recruit new members, utilize online social networks for group promotion and campaigns, organize events, raise money and so much more. Thanks for your interest in joining the student movement to end the war on drugs!

TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION SSDP staff, mission and values 3 Chapter 4

SECTION 1 Starting a 5 Recruiting 7 Retaining 10 Chapter 11

SECTION 2 Effective 12 13 Raising 15 Online 16

SECTION 3 17 Working with the 19 21 Lobbying 23 AMPLIFY 24

APPENDIX Sample chapter 24 Sample meeting 25 Sample budget 26 Sample press 27 Delegation 28 Sign-up 29


ABOUT SSDP Mission Statement Students for Sensible Drug Policy is an international grassroots network of students who are concerned about the impact drug abuse has on our communities, but who also know that the war on drugs is failing our generation and our society. SSDP mobilizes and empowers young people to participate in the political process, pushing for sensible policies to achieve a safer and more just future, while fighting back against counterproductive drug war policies, particularly those that directly harm students and youth.

Values Statement Students for Sensible Drug Policy neither encourages nor condemns drug use. Rather, we seek to reduce the harms caused by drug abuse and drug policies. As young people, we strive toward a just and compassionate society where drug abuse is treated as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue. We recognize that the very real harms of drug abuse are not adequately addressed by current policies and we advocate measures that would effectively help those who develop drug problems. Yet, we also believe that individuals must ultimately be allowed to make decisions for themselves as long as their actions do not infringe upon anyone else’s freedoms or safety.

INTERNATIONAL STAFF Aaron Houston - Executive Director - Aaron has worked for the Marijuana Policy Project for the past seven years, serving as their national field director and director of government relations. He led the way to numerous victories, including the Department of Justice's memo on medical marijuana.

Stacia Cosner - Associate Director - Stacia first got involved with SSDP in 2005 at the University of Maryland - College Park, where she led the chapter from 2006-2008. Under her leadership, UMD SSDP became one of our largest & most active chapters, and they continue working to change policies at the campus, state and federal levels today.

Drew Stromberg - Regional Outreach Coordinator - Drew got involved in Students for Sensible Drug Policy in 2009 when he founded the chapter at West Virginia University. Drew presided over the WVU chapter from 2009 to 2011. He currently serves an outreach coordinator, where he assists chapters from A to Z, including chapter initiation and running campaigns.

Devon Tackels - Regional Outreach Coordinator - Devon got involved with drug policy reform when he founded the SSDP chapter at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008, and then served as President until 2011. Today, SSDP at VCU remains one of the most active chapters in our network and is working on local, state, and national drug policy reform.

Zara Snapp - International Liaison - Zara joined SSDP in September 2011, as the international liaison. Zara puts her knowledge of Latin America and justice issues, along with a fluency in Spanish, to work against drug prohibition. Born in the Mexico, As a national Truman Scholar and Public Service Fellow, Zara received a Masters in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Edward Spriggs - Office Manager - Edward got involved with SSDP in 2007 at the University of Maryland - College Park, where he served as treasurer for the chapter. Edward joined the national staff in 2009 and manages SSDP’s day to day office operations and finances.

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CHAPTER REGIONS Drew Stromberg Regional Outreach Coordinator: Mid-Atlantic, Southern, and Mountain Plains Regions

Devon Tackels Regional Outreach Coordinator: Northeast, Midwest, and Western Regions

Mid-Atlantic Delaware District of Columbia Georgia Maryland North Carolina South Carolina Virginia West Virginia

Midwest Illinois Indiana Iowa Kentucky Michigan Minnesota Missouri Ohio Wisconsin

Mountain Plains Arizona Colorado Idaho Kansas Montana Nebraska New Mexico North Dakota South Dakota Utah

Northeast Connecticut Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire New Jersey New York Pennsylvania Rhode Island Vermont

Southern Alabama Arkansas Florida Louisiana Mississippi Oklahoma Tennessee Texas

Western Alaska California Hawaii Nevada Oregon Washington

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The first step you should take in starting an SSDP chapter is to contact SSDP’s national office. Fill out our New Chapter Application form at http:// and you’ll be contacted shortly by an SSDP outreach staff member. SSDP outreach coordinators can answer any questions you might have about the organization and our chapters. Our staff would like to get to know you so that we can better assist you in getting started on campus. SSDP is a unique organization in the sense that our staff members are always available to provide assistance to you and your chapter.

Check out our chapter checklist online at http:// start/

Check With Your School About the Process for Starting New Clubs and Organizations


Each school requires that certain steps be taken to form a new campus organization.Your school’s student activities board or student government should be able to provide you with the necessary steps toward becoming recognized. You may also be able to find information about starting a new organization on your school’s website. Achieving school recognition is important because it allows you to use university space for meetings and events and to apply for funding. This process varies from campus to school but the following steps are typical requirements of becoming recognized by your school.

• • •

3 • • •

Receive official student group status from your school

Look into your school’s requirements for new student groups/clubs/organizations. Usually this process involves some paperwork, such as submitting a constitution. Find samples and templates to help with this on our website. Typically, schools will require new groups to find a faculty advisor as well.  Start by asking professors you know who might be sympathetic to the issue.  You can also search your school’s website for professors in related subject areas such as criminal justice, sociology, political science, and economics.

Put information about your chapter online Create a Facebook group, website, twitter , or other online resource for interested students. Create an email address for the chapter. Create a chapter listserv or google group.


Start holding meetings and events on campus

• Schedule your first meeting. • Make a plan for the semester. • Host your first event. • Find a Faculty Sponsor •5 Another common requirement for campus organizations is to have a faculty sponsor or advisor. If you already have a faculty member in mind for this, meet that person after class or during office hours to discuss SSDP and explain why you think it is important to start a chapter. If don’t have a teacher in mind, its a good idea to

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STARTING A CHAPTER approach faculty involved in departments such as health, sociology, and political science since they may already be knowledgeable and sympathetic to SSDP’s mission. Still, a sponsor from any department will do. Check your school’s website to see if it includes bios of faculty members - you may find that numerous teachers on your campus have studied drug policy or related issues. When inviting a faculty member to sponsor, it is important to clearly explain SSDP’s mission and values statements and to emphasize that SSDP neither encourages nor condemns drug use. SSDP is an organization that is promoting open, honest, and rational discussion about drug abuse and drug policies. Use these talking points to help: •SSDP neither encourages nor condemns drug use. •SSDP has more than 150 chapters at schools across the U.S., Canada, U.K. , Australia and Colombia. •SSDP involves students in the political process and promotes rational discussion of policies.


Draft and Submit a Chapter Constitution

Some schools will require that you submit a constitution for the chapter. A constitution explains the chapter’s voting process, officer terms, and other bylaws of your chapter. It’s not as hard as it sounds and SSDP makes this step easy for you! Visit our resources page at and download a sample constitution that you can modify for your chapter. There is no need to create an elaborate constitution, just meet the school’s standards.You can modify the constitution at any time with your chapter members.


Attend an SSDP Leadership Webinar


Keep the SSDP Staff Updated

SSDP’s outreach staff is excited to announce a new four part series of webinars we’ve created to go into detail about developing your skills as an activist. Join us as we dive into some of the most important aspects of running a successful SSDP chapter.

Let the SSDP staff know how your efforts are coming along. If you run into any complications, have questions or need advice, be sure to contact an outreach director! Once you have completed the recognition process outlined by your school and your chapter has achieved recognition, contact your outreach directors and let us know. Once your chapter is officially recognized, you’ll be added to chapter map!

BONUS: Once you let your outreach coordinator know that you’re up and running, we’ll send you some interview questions for you to respond to. When you send your responses back, we’ll publish the interview as a blog post announcing your new chapter to the world!

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RECRUITING MEMBERS The most important thing your chapter needs is members. Chapter membership in most SSDP chapters ranges from two to five core organizers to several hundred active members. Regardless of your current or ideal membership, you should make an effort to reach out to like-minded students on your campus. Many schools will require a minimum number of students that are willing to participate in the group as a first step in the recognition process. Discuss SSDP with your friends and classmates and find a handful that are willing to help you organize the chapter. After speaking with one of SSDP’s outreach directors, they will send you a chapter starter care package containing SSDP promotion items such as bookmarks, stickers, and brochures. When you get the package, it’s a good idea to set up a table in a high traffic area and use these materials to get noticed on campus. This is called tabling and here are a few tips to help you:

• Talk with students about SSDP and why you are starting the chapter. • Pass out information and make a banner or sign with the SSDP logo. • Build an email list - This allows you to easily contact students about meetings, campaigns & events. • Download SSDP email signup sheets • Set up a Google Group to create a email list • Create a Facebook Group for the chapter and invite interested members to join • Give away items as a thank you for signing up (candy, stickers, etc...)

Other ideas for finding students who are interested in joining SSDP: • Make an announcement in one of your classes and pass around a signup sheet. • Attend meetings of other groups on campus like College Democrats or Republicans, Amnesty International or social justice groups and tell them about your chapter . •Have students participate in an SSDP Leadership Webinar with you •Table regularly on campus •Attend local events and spread the news with flyers and materials •Attend other university organization meetings and introduce yourself and SSDP •Host an event that attracts interested students The following chapters will explore online organizing, tabling and recruiting members in further detail..

SSDPers in a round-table discussion

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RECRUITING MEMBERS TABLING Tabling is essential to recruiting new members and promoting your chapter’s meetings, events, campaigns and presence on campus. Here are some pointers to help you make the most out of tabling. • Secure a table and find a high traffic location on campus to set up. You should be able to reserve a table and space through your school. Table at events like club fairs, orientation days and during concerts. • Display literature and materials from SSDP and other organizations such as stickers, buttons, leaflets, and booklets. If you have one, wear an SSDP t-shirt while tabling. • Build your email list by having an Action Alert Sheet available at the table. (See p. • Invest in a sturdy vinyl banner with SSDP’s name, logo, and website. Try applying for funding through your school to pay for a banner. • Cover your table with a tablecloth whenever possible. This will make your table look professional. • Have flyers announcing the time and place of the next meeting or event on hand. Creating quarter-page handbills to hand to students as they pass the table is a great idea.You will find flyers at resources/flyers or you can create your own.

tabling checklist

Example of a Table Set-up


What Do I Talk About? When someone approaches the table, say hi and ask “Have you heard of Students for Sensible Drug Policy before?” If the answer is no - tell them about SSDP and your chapter. If they have, ask how they heard of SSDP and if they are on the action alert list. Stand up instead of sitting down and always appear friendly and approachable. • Find talking points on drug policy issues on the SSDP website. • Talk about current events and news regarding SSDP and drug policy. • Ask “What drug policy issues are important to you?” • Sound enthusiastic about being involved with SSDP and encourage other students to join.

Following Up Keep SSDP fresh day of tabling, make sure you take a few minutes to follow up with the people you talked to. • Take all email addresses and add them to your chapter’s email list or Google Group immediately. • Send invites to join your chapter’s Facebook Group • Ask “What drug policy issues are important to you?” • If you had a great conversation with someone it’s a good idea to send them an email and let them know about the next meeting.

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Organizing an event is an easy and fun way to draw in new members. For many people, an event is more appealing than going to a meeting for a group they are unfamiliar with. An event, like a movie screening or keynote speaker, draws people in and they’re able to learn more about drug policy reform and SSDP. At the event, you can pass around an email signup sheet and announce when your next meeting will take place. (see the Campus Events chapter for details on organizing events)

Professors and faculty advisors

What’s a great way to get students to attend your meeting or event? Ask any professors or your chapter’s faculty advisor if you can make an announcement in class about SSDP, why you’re getting involved and what you want the chapter to work on.You can also make announcements in your classes and pass out some materials and an email signup sheet for any interested students. A fantastic way to get students to show up to your meeting or event is to ask some professors to offer extra credit for students that attend.


Posters are vital to helping you get noticed on campus.You’ll find posters already made and available to download on the SSDP website but don’t be afraid to make your own if you’ve got time. Be creative and include shocking facts about drug policy that students on campus might not know about. Always include information on your weekly meetings and an email address for interested students to contact you with any questions. Mix it up! Put up a new poster with different facts each week.

Reach out to campus groups

Attend the meetings of other groups on campus and let them know about your SSDP chapter. Contact them in advance of their meeting to ask if you can give a short presentation, hand out materials and collect emails. Reach out to any political groups (College Democrats,Young Republicans, Students for Liberty), social justice groups (Amnesty International), ethnic groups (black student alliances, Latino groups) and environmental groups (eco-club, Greenpeace). The war on drugs effects everyone and you’re likely to find allies and new members if you can effectively convey this. Be sure to ask what your chapter can do to help them in their efforts as well.

Get personal

Reach out to people personally and tell your members to do the same. If 5 people come to your first meeting and express interest in returning, ask them to bring a friend to the next meeting. If they each do that, you’ll double your membership!

Club fairs and freshman orientation

Be sure to mark the dates of freshman orientation down on your calendar. Often times, your school will schedule a “club fair” during the orientation days so incoming freshman can learn about the different clubs and organizations on campus. This is a great opportunity to set up a table and interested students will come flocking to you!

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RETAINING MEMBERS While recruiting members is the main goal when forming your chapter, retaining those members is the cornerstone of that goal. It can be frustrating to go from meetings with 25 members showing up regularly, to having only 3 or 4 show up the next semester. But hang in there! Members stay with a club because it is exciting, fun, and rewarding. By staying organized, holding productive meetings, and engaging the chapter in campaigns, your members will come back. Here are some fundamentals of retaining chapter membership and ensuring that your chapter is strong and active even after you graduate.

Stay active

If your chapter isn’t staying busy with campaigns, meetings and events, it will be easy to lose members. People want to be part of a group that is actually working toward creating change. Events are fun ways to retain members by giving them responsibilities and providing time for the chapter to bond while helping to spread your message and promote the chapter on campus.You can even join SSDP outreach members for our Leadership Webinar on chapter delegation:

Delegate responsibility

Give chapter members responsibilities so that they feel part of a team. Work with your members. Find out what their talents are and put them to good use. If your chapter has members that are studying graphic design, have them make posters for meetings or an upcoming event. A business management major might be a big help with raising money or managing your budget. Follow up regularly with people after meetings and projects to see how they’re feeling. Some people might not come anymore because they feel like they don’t have a say in the club or want to do different projects.

Make friends

Be sure to organize social events outside of meetings to help strengthen friendships in your chapter. Go out for some coffee, ice cream or go to a concert together. Building friendships not only makes people want to come back to meetings but also motivates members to be active with delegated responsibilities because they won’t just be letting down a club, they’ll be letting down their friends.

Passing the torch

As a chapter leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your chapter lasts after you leave. Recruiting freshman and younger students is a key part of this. If you see younger chapter members that are enthusiastic and doing a great job, make sure you let them know it and suggest they take on a leadership role in the chapter. You and the upcoming chapter leader should attend SSDP’s Leadership Webinar on Leadership Transition:

why members stay

When you term as a chapter officer is up, it is your • They feel appreciated. responsibility to step down from that position. However, you should still be available as a resource to the new chapter • They can see that they’re making a difference. • There is a chance for advancement. leaders. Schedule some time to have a meeting with the • There is opportunity for personal growth. person coming into your position and discuss what you learned during your time as a chapter leader. Make sure that • They receive public and private recognition. • They feel capable of handing the tasks offered. the new leader has access to all documents, online resources, • There is a sense of belonging and teamwork. and contact information for important people you have • They are involved in the process. worked with. For SSDP’s national office, there is nothing worse than seeing a strong and active chapter go defunct because the chapter leader graduated without passing the torch to a younger member. Let us know if you need help with this!

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CHAPTER STRUCTURE The way you choose to organize your chapter’s leadership is up to you. Here are some sample roles, responsibilities an duties of officers.


Facilitates officer and regular chapter meetings See Supervises all group activities page 30 for Determines the direction/focus of the chapter SSDP’s Delegation Reserves rooms, AV equipment, etc. for meetings and special events Meets with administrators and SSDP’s national office Worksheet Is aware of important deadlines and shares information with the chapter Is a reliable source of information about drug policy reform Recruits and trains new members and officers Serves as a resource for all chapter members Builds and maintains strong relationships with other student groups, legislative bodies, alumni, other organizations Comes up with ideas for meetings, events, initiatives, recruitment, policy change, outreach, etc. Keeps records pertaining to meetings, events, members, committees, finances, schedules, etc. Speaks to the media Manages Executive board (officers) including running officer meetings; Delegating tasks to officers; Ensures completion of deadlines; Facilitates communication among officers • Oversees budget process with Treasurer (Including attending funding request meetings and assisting with completing funding requests, supplying documentation, etc.) • Ensures information about the chapter online is accurate and complete (including Facebook groups, email list serves, national SSDP website, etc.) • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Vice President

• Assists President with all of his or her duties and responsibilities • Is able to take over presidency should the President be unable to fulfill any of their duties or responsibilities (temporarily or permanently)

Treasurer • • • • • •

Keeps track of finances in detail Is aware of important funding deadlines and communicates relevant information to other officers Submits budgets to appropriate campus bodies each year or semester Distributes funds to speakers, vendors, other entities Keeps track of incoming donations, fundraising dollars, etc. Keeps inventory of materials (both used for fundraising and for general use)


Attends all meetings or arranges for a replacement Print and distribute agendas prior to each meeting Updates media archive regularly in hard copy and online Updates and manages the chapter’s email listserv, Collects new member information as necessary • Records meeting minutes (or make sure someone else takes them) for both Executive board and general meetings; disseminates minutes after each meeting as appropriate • • • •

Executive Board Members • • • • •

Helps determine agenda items for each meeting Assists officers with duties and responsibilities Recruits and trains new members of the chapter and Executive Board Helps maintain website and other online information Advise and monitor officer activities and group progress

Remember: no matter what structure your chapter decides to use, it’s important that everyone is on the same page about expected roles and responsibilities at the beginning of each semester. This can help prevent conflict if everyone knows exactly what the chapter expects of them, and if they are no longer able to fulfill their duties, they can find a replacement or inform the President that they will be stepping down.

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EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP To organize a committed, active chapter on campus, you must learn to become an effective leader. Leadership involves an assessment of one’s strengths and weaknesses as part of a continual effort to improve on one’s performance.

A good leader... • • • • • • •

Is committed to the mission and success of an organization. Is able to plan and implement campaigns to meet the organization’s goals. Makes sure that the chapter’s priorities fit in with the overall mission, and is able to explain how they do. Listens to the concerns of others before making a decision. Has the ability to make decisions quickly with imperfect information. Has respect for others and is respected by others. Has the desire to motivate others.

Guiding principles for effective leadership

Motivate & Inspire your chapter • Industrial Psychologists have found that the best way to increase workplace productivity is to make your employees feel valued, so always recognize the efforts of others, officer or not. • Give people a reason to show up. Some people do it for the resume, some to feel like they are a part of a community, some to feel like they’re doing something about the drug war. Ask yourself why you show up every week. Work together – “Alone we sink, together we sail and prevail” • The culture of how the chapter organizes itself and woks together is yours to create • The better you can work together as a team, the more you can accomplish as a chapter. • The President works for his/her officers; not the other way around Be patient with your chapter – “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Communicate - leaders must be able to communicate with their chapter members. Being able to listen is one of the most important parts of being a leader. If your members don’t feel like you’re listening to them, they aren’t likely to come back.You must also be able to express yourself and your concerns. Be professional - You are representing Students for Sensible Drug Policy and all of it’s chapters. Have a strong understanding of SSDP’s mission and values statements to ensure that your activities as a chapter leader remain consistent with them. Plan - plan plan plan.You can never plan enough. Be flexible - plans change or things don’t go according to plan, be able to adapt on the fly. Speak - As a leader, it is your responsibility to be the spokesperson for your chapter; to speak on behalf of the chapter and to be the most vocal advocate in recruiting members and promoting the organization. Use your voice to inform and inspire. If you’re not comfortable with public speaking, practice Always improve - Never stop training; you should always be learning and growing, improving yourself, your skills, and your chapter.

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ORGANIZING MEETINGS As you know, meetings are an essential part of running any organization. Meetings are where your members convene regularly to set goals, plan events, discuss policy, and get to know each other, so it is up to you, the chapter leader, to ensure that those meetings are focused, productive, and fun.

Preparing for the Meeting

Preparation takes time – sometimes more time than the meeting itself – so start to prepare at least a week before your next meeting. First, select a date and time that is convenient for the people who want to attend the meeting. Select a site that is on campus and accessible. Reserve meeting space and audio/visual equipment (if you need it) on campus. Hold a Leadership Meeting: Allow time for your chapter’s core leadership to meet before each general meeting to ensure that you are all on the same page. Make these leadership meetings open to anyone who wants to be involved in the leadership and planning of the organization so people don’t get the impression you’re an exclusive organization. Set an Agenda: At your leadership meeting, come up with an agenda for the next general membership meeting. Include introductions, announcements, topics of discussion, and anything else you might anticipate coming up at the meeting. When planning for meetings, always ask yourself: How will this meeting contribute to our chapter’s campaigns and events? Establish Meeting Responsibilities: If you don’t have a secretary or moderator, ask for a volunteer to take notes and a volunteer to moderate the meeting. Both are important responsibilities that should be carried out by someone other than the chapter president. Notes can be given to absent members and used to plan the next meeting, while a moderator can ensure that the meeting is moving along in an efficient manner. Promote: Never, ever, underestimate the power of flyers, Facebook, emails and tabling. • Online: Publicize your meetings online by creating a Facebook event associated with your Facebook group and inviting your friends and peers. Update your status to let people know the time, place and location of the meeting. • On Campus: Get the word out about your meeting by tabling and handing out quarter page flyers with meeting information. Make announcements in your classes, put up posters around campus. Remind your members: Send an e-mail and Facebook reminder to your members about the meeting several days in advance. Include date, time, place, etc. Also, include the agenda and ask for additions. Send an additional reminder on the day of the meeting, and if it’s an especially important meeting, make phone calls or send text messages and IMs to your core membership to ensure that they haven’t forgotten. Offer food and/or drinks: Don’t be afraid to bribe people with food and drinks. If you don’t have money in your budget for food, ask your core leadership to pitch in a few bucks for some pizza and soda. And be sure to advertise “FREE FOOD!”

mart leadership tip

If there is a breakdown in chapter communication, find out what happened so you can work to avoid it in the future.

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ORGANIZING MEETINGS Start on Time: Wait no more than 5 minutes for people to show up. Waiting longer will give people the impression that it is okay to show up late, and soon enough, half your membership will get used to showing up late. Avoid this by setting the standard that meetings will always start on time. Have an Agenda: Your agenda should detail the topics of discussion for the meeting. Make sure you have enough copies for everyone. Ask for last minute additions so everyone can feel included. Whenever possible, email the agenda to members before the meeting so they can come prepared to discuss. Stick to the agenda, but be flexible when necessary. Collect Contact Info: Always pass around a sign-in sheet where members can write down their contact information (name, e-mail, phone number, etc.). This helps you build your email list and also helps you keep track of who is coming to meetings. Assign Roles: Make sure you have a secretary to take notes throughout the meeting. Introductions: Start your first meeting off by introducing yourself and explain why you are getting involved with SSDP, then have others do the same. This a great way to get different opinions about drug policy and make people feel more comfortable at the meeting. Another good icebreaker question is, “How did you find out about SSDP, and what made you decide to come?” In future meetings, ask new members this question. The important thing is to get people talking so they feel comfortable working together. Always thank people for coming to meetings. Close With a Plan of Action: Close each meeting with a review of the decisions you reached and what the next actions will be. Before everyone leaves, make sure everyone knows what they should be working on, and ask if they thought the meeting was useful and if not, what could be done better. Don’t just talk. Act! Use meetings to decide how to implement a campaign or action, and seek commitments from people who attend the meeting.


Follow up: First, make sure that the secretary prepares the notes as soon as possible. Send notes to your list of members, and use the notes to mark assignments on a calendar. Call members who missed the meeting to tell them what they missed. Call members who attended the meeting to thank them for their contribution. Thank those who had a specific role or responsibility, as well as those who were new to the group. Most importantly, before the next meeting, check to see that all the tasks agreed to at the last meeting have been completed.

• Once the meeting begins, introduce yourself and the organization. • Take attendance and collect contact information with a sign-up sheet. • Have the secretary or a volunteer take notes throughout the meeting. • Delegate tasks and create action items. • Ask for volunteers to take the lead on specific things that need to be done and make sure to record who is supposed to be doing what.

Don’t forget to have a little fun. Be creative. Do skits or role-playing exercises or play some games, it will help you to keep your members’ attention focused and sharp.

• Talk about your own personal drug use (legal or illegal). • Allow the meeting to drag or get off track. • Allow the meeting to be dominated by any person or group of people

Do Not:

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RAISING MONEY Apply for funding

As a student organization recognized by your school, your chapter has the opportunity to apply for funds through your student government, activities board or other funding body. This is an easy way to get hundreds or even thousands of dollars to help your chapter buy materials, put on events, and/or travel to SSDP conferences.


Typically, you will have to submit requests for funding by a certain deadline. Make sure you are aware of all of these dates and of all the guidelines for submitting your completed funding request. Many organizations will be competing for funds so don’t wait until the last minute. Some SSDP chapters have been able to get upwards of $15,000 a year in funding from their schools by understanding the budgeting process and making sure all deadlines and requirements are met. Remember, this is your money! It is included in your tuition. DO NOT miss budget deadlines or pass up the opportunity to get funds from your school.

Departments If you have an idea for an event on campus, check with departments about co-sponsoring the event. Departments on campus often have large budgets to fund speakers, movie screenings, conferences and more. Set up a meeting with a department head and present your idea and ask if they will help with the funding.

Sales and raffles If you’re unable to request for funds or your request is not approved, you’ll have to raise money on your own. Selling items can raise you money but this is also labor and capital-intensive fundraisers. To have a successful sales fundraiser, members must be very dedicated and establish concrete sales projections. Possible sales items:

Artwork T-shirts Bake sales

Holiday sales (roses on Valentine’s Day, etc.) Plants, flowers, balloons Screw the Drug War condoms

Advertise any fundraising event as effectively as possible. Use banners, posters, flyers, radio spots, newspaper advertisements and Facebook to get the word out.

More bang for your buck Sometimes it takes money to make money! If your chapter is short on available funds and needs working capital to start a fundraising event, there are some options: • See if your school offers underwrites (loans) • Identify co-sponsors, i.e. other campus organizations or department sponsorships. • Use personal funds which can be reimbursed following the event. • Contact local business about sponsorships. If you need help with raising money, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your outreach coordinator, faculty advisor or student government - that’s what they’re for.

mart tip When you table, always have a donation jar out for people to make contributions.

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ONLINE ORGANIZING The internet is an amazing tool for activism and organizing. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google provide free and user-friendly ways to promote campaigns and events, create email lists, raise money and so much more.


Creating a Facebook group should be a first step for every chapter. Facebook groups allow you to easily keep your chapter membership updated on meetings, events, current news and more.You can upload photos and utilize the discussion boards. Friends can be invited through your list of friends or by email addresses. Think of a Facebook group as your chapter’s own interactive (and free) website. Ask your outreach director about a custom redirecting URL for your group so that it’s easier for people to remember, ex: • Events: Once you have created a group, you will be able to make event pages hosted by your group. Every event your chapter hosts should have a Facebook event to allow for an easy place where people can find the time, location and description of the event. This also helps to give you an idea of how many people will be attending and makes it easy to send out reminders. • Status Updates: Use status updates to share details about upcoming events, campaign information, promote your weekly meeting, or to share a news story relevant to your chapter’s work. • Sharing: See a story that you think will inspire your chapter members or encourage discussion? Share the link on the wall of your chapter’s group.

Google Groups and Email Lists

Some schools will provide campus organizations with a email list for sending out updates and other information. Chapters should also consider utilizing Google Groups. A Google Group creates an email list for you but also allows for the easy uploading and sharing of documents like meeting agendas and minutes. They also feature discussion boards. Whichever you choose, remember that an email list is a necessity for every chapter to send out updates on meeting times and locations, event information and to update your members on the status of any campaigns you may be working on.

Google Docs

Google Docs can be a useful tool for your chapter’s leadership. It allows you to create and share files like spreadsheets, presentations, or text documents that can be worked on collaboratively in real time. With Google Docs, you can both work on the spreadsheet together from different computers at the same time! This results in more efficient use of time and puts all the information into one document that is automatically updated when edits are made. Don’t hesitate to ask your outreach director about more information and details on how to get started with Google Docs.


Twitter allows you to post short updates about what is going with your chapter or legislation in your state. Follow @SSDP to get updates from the national staff, and for a list of chapters with Twitter accounts.

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ORGANIZING EVENTS Organizing events on campus is not the sole reason your chapter exists. It is, however, a way to increase the presence of your chapter on campus, grow the chapter, educate people on campus and in the community, gain media coverage, and start to build support for a campaign.

Hosting a speaker

This is one of the most important events your chapter can hold. Good speakers convey enthusiasm, build a sense of community, and impart important information. Hosting speakers can help to draw attention to a campaign you are currently working on. For example, if there is a medical marijuana bill in your state, contact the campaign managers and ask if someone would be willing to come to your campus and discuss the legislation.

Movie screenings

Movies are easy and fun events to organize. And the best ones are educational too. One favorite film among SSDP chapters and activists is “10 Rules for Dealing With Policy.” Screening “10 Rules” can be part of a larger Know Your Rights training. Contact SSDP for more information on “10 Rules” and other movies. Some other films include:

Feature Length Films

• The Union: The Business Behind Getting High • Traffic • In Pot We Trust • Waiting to Inhale • American Violet • The House We Live In

Shorts, Documentaries, and Specials • • • • • • • •

Ecstasy Rising Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation Perversion of Justice ACLU Freedom Files Clergy Against the Drug War The Wire Weed Wars Ken Burns’ Prohibition

Host a symposium Use a symposium to expose all sides of a controversial issue. Symposiums are usually best when more than one organization is involved because it adds different perspectives and increases turnout. SSDP can connect you with chapters and activists that have had successful symposiums.


Debates are exciting and crowd drawing events that give an audience different perspectives on drug policy issues. Try to organize debates between drug policy reform experts and someone that opposes legalization. Warning: It’s not easy to find people willing to debate drug policy reformers; they know they’ll lose! You can also reach out to your campus debate club and ask them to participate in a mock debate on marijuana legalization or another issue. If you or other chapter members plan to publicly debate anyone, make sure you contact SSDP’s national staff for talking points and tips.

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Book the event Two or three people should share the responsibility of organizing the event. The lead

organizer should pick a date, time, and locations that work for the chapter, the speaker, and the university. Check with the university calendar and other student organizations to avoid competition with other meetings or events likely to attract the same audience. Don’t rush: the more time you have to plan, the better your event will be.

Pack the house Filling the seats is the most important part of organizing any event.You must find people to attend the event. It looks and feels better to pack a smaller room that seats 50, even if it’s overflowing with people, than to have a large venue for 300 that seems and feels empty. Here are some helpful tips: •Ask a few teachers to offer extra credit to students who attend the event. •Send an email with the event details to your chapter email list and SSDP’s regional list. •Make posters and put them up on campus bulletin boards and high traffic areas. •Ask other groups to announce the events at their meetings and send it out to their lists. •Post announcements and reminders on Facebook and Twitter. •Create a Facebook Event hosted by your chapter’s Facebook Group. •Get your event listed in campus and community newspapers. These papers will often have a free calendar of events or you can take out an advertisement, if you can afford one.

Get media to cover the event Designate one person as a spokesperson to work with the media. He or she should work with your Outreach Director to develop press releases and help with pitching the story to local reporters. SSDP will also provide you with talking points and we can help you develop Op-Ed pieces and letters to the editor as well.

Prepare in advance For any event, you must be prepared in order for things to run smoothly.

•If you’re hosting a speaker, call and confirm the travel and lodging plans. •Find out if you need to provide any audio/visual equipment and order it from your school early. •Arrive early to meet the speaker before the event and ensure the room is set up correctly and that any A/V equipment there and working correctly. •Try to anticipate and prepare for any other problems that might arise.

Pass around sign up sheets Collect names, e-mails, and preferred phone numbers from everyone who attends the event. Unless they opt-out, add them to your chapter’s email list. Announce the time, day and location of your chapter’s meetings before and after the event. Have a table with SSDP literature, materials, and resources out during the event. Stick around Things to consider afterward to spend time with attendees and talk about your chapter’s important work and • Does it conflict with any other campus event? invite them to get involved. • Have you reserved a venue to hold your event? • Are you aware of the policies regarding the use of Follow-up Be sure to thank the speaker, campus facilities? as well as everyone who attended the event. • Will the event location attract students? Add them to the chapter email list and remind • What is the estimated attendance? them about upcoming meetings and events. • Will you be selling tickets for your event? Remember, events are a way to build the base • Will you be having food at your event? of your chapter, to prepare you for future • What are your A/V requirements? campaigns and actions to actually effect • How are you advertising? change to law and policy. • Do you have enough members and volunteers to help set up, run the event, and clean up afterward?


MEDIA Op-Eds Like LTEs, Op-Eds are opinion pieces from outside writers that are selected for publication by newspapers. However, Op-Eds are longer, usually 600-800 words. What also separates Op-Eds from LTEs is that papers usually only accept Op-Eds from “important people,” such as heads of organizations, public officials, celebrities, and experts. Consequently, you may have to ghost-write a piece for someone else to sign, depending on the newspaper. For example, you may want to think about asking a professor, student government leader, your college president, or someone affected by drug policies to edit and sign an Op-Ed that you’ve drafted for them. But you can also easily make the case that you do have special expertise on the issue because you are a student advocate affected by the policy about which you’re writing.

Editorials Newspapers’ editorial boards frequently take official positions on matters of public policy. As activists, we can influence editorial boards to opine in favor of drug policy reform. This is especially easy on campus. Get to know the editors of your campus paper and feed them information.You can also influence off-campus papers to write favorable editorials too. Just put together concise and captivating e-mail pitches and follow up with phone calls. At some papers, the editorial board may request that you meet with them in person to lobby for your position. Bring some concise written materials to leave behind. Also consider bringing someone who has been individually affected by the Drug War to show the personal importance of reform.

Interviews with Reporters When doing interviews, remember that anything you say can be quoted! Take some time to prepare in advance to nail down your core message and talking points. Stick to these during the interview. Try to anticipate potential questions, partly by thinking about some of the common arguments against our position. Practice being interviewed with a friend beforehand and come up with some effective responses to these questions and arguments. Formulate sound bites (5-12 seconds long) in advance and practice saying them naturally. Repeat them throughout the interview.You will probably only get a small quote in print or appear on TV or the radio for a few seconds so you want what is used to sound credible and to convey the seriousness and importance of the issue. Remember that anything you say can be used against you in the court of public opinion, no matter how friendly the reporter seems – so don’t say anything you wouldn’t want to appear in print or on the air. Sound bites should include action verbs, for example, “Students are being FORCED out of school.” Deliver some sound bites in the form of questions, for example, “Why would we want to remove at-risk students from school?” or, “How, exactly, will closing the doors of education help solve our nation’s drug problems?” Never make up an answer or lie to a reporter. Instead, pledge to find the answer and get back to him or her later. Use the economy of expression when doing an interview – keep it simple. Don’t get bogged down in small and boring details unless a reporter asks for more in-depth information. Speak slowly and clearly while delivering sound bites and answering questions. Dress conservatively, especially for TV interviews.You don’t want to go through all the trouble of setting up an interview and then alienate the audience with your appearance.

Cultivating Relationships with Reporters Reporters write articles for a living – it’s their job. They’re looking for interesting things to write about, and we have interesting things to tell them, so don’t be afraid to reach out and pitch stories. After an interview, always follow up with reporters promptly if you promised to get them more information. After a piece is published, send a short note or make a quick phone call to thank a reporter for writing a fair and balanced article, or to politely point out any inaccuracies or glaring omissions that you noticed. Once you’ve worked with a reporter, try to maintain the relationship. Let them know when you’ve got something new going on.

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Most citizens and lawmakers get information about public policy issues from the news media. So it makes a lot of sense for us, as advocates for policy change, to take advantage of all opportunities to spread our messages using media outlets like newspapers, TV, radio, and the internet.

Letters to the Editor The easiest and single most effective media activity you can do is write letters to the editor (LTEs). Because LTEs are among the most widely-read parts of newspapers, many people will learn about SSDP’s issues every time you get a letter published. It also feels really good to see something that YOU wrote in print, and to realize that YOU are making a difference by educating hundreds or thousands of people (depending on the size of the paper). And best of all, writing a letter takes only 10-15 minutes. LTEs are generally 150-300 words long. Take a look at a copy of the paper before you start writing so you can see what kind of letters they usually publish. Make sure to include your full contact information (name, phone number, address, and organizational affiliation) below your letter so that the paper can confirm your identity. Your chances of publication will be greater if you are writing in response to a previously published article, editorial, column, Op-Ed, or another LTE, but it is certainly possible to get LTEs published out of the blue. If you’re writing in response to a previous piece, you can dispute or elaborate on a point that was made, or highlight some aspect of the issue that wasn’t covered.You usually have a better chance of being published if you live in the geographical area being covered by the paper, but local papers often print LTEs from people outside of their immediate readership areas. Once a letter is written, you can alter it slightly and send it to several papers, multiplying your effectiveness with just a little more effort. However, you should avoid sending the exact same letter to more than one paper in a given geographical area.

Press Releases If you want reporters to write stories about SSDP you should send them press releases, especially when your chapter does something particularly newsworthy like host an event, launch a campaign, or achieve a victory.You should also send out press releases in response to news developments related to drug policy so that reporters can include SSDP’s position in articles.Your press releases should be constructed just as you’d want ideal articles on the topic to appear; simply pretend you’re writing what you want the paper to print. Press releases should generally be confined to one page. Put SSDP’s letterhead on top to make it official. Check the appendix of this manual for a sample press release. Start with a compelling headline and sub-headline, include a catchy news hook and important information in the lead paragraph, then work out the rest of page with details. Include quotes from one or two members of your chapter and/or from the SSDP national office. Use SSDP’s mission statement as the last paragraph of your release. Type “###” at the bottom of the page to signify the end of the release.

press release tips •Most reporters prefer to receive press releases via e-mail (in plain text only with no attachments). •It is also a good idea to send a fax of your fancy-looking letterhead version. •Always try to address them to specific reporters. •Follow up with short phone calls to make sure that reporters received the releases and to see if they’d like additional information. •If you need help developing a list of reporters in your area, ask the SSDP national office for help or find another local nonprofit that will lend you their list. Always make sure to download the SSDP national office’s press releases and give them to your campus and local papers. When your local papers pick up a national story, it not only helps us educate people, but it can bolster your chapter’s recruitment efforts.

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CAMPAIGNS MARIJUANA POLICY • Medical Marijuana • Marijuana Legalization • Lowest Law Enforcement Priority

SSDP on Capitol Hill

HARM REDUCTION •911 Good Samaritan Policies •Needle Exchange Programs •Stopping Random Student Drug Testing •Harm Reduction Legislation •Prison and Criminal Justice Reform •Repealing HEA Aid Elimination Penalty CAMPUS CHANGE CAMPAIGN •Good Samaritan Policies •Marijuana/Alcohol Penalty Equalization •Harm Reduction Centers •Safe Ride Programs •Dorm Privacy

Call 911 Good Samaritan Policies

(aka Medical Amnesty Policies) are life-saving measures that enable people to make responsible decisions by shielding them from punishment when they call for medical help during an emergency relating to alcohol or other drugs, since the threat of punitive policies can often cause hesitation during confusing and stressful party situations. This is a policy you can enact on the campus and/or state level.

On the Record Project

This is a project of SSDP that seeks to get politicians on the record about their stances on drug policy. Recently, SSDP has taken this project to another level. SSDP chapters in GOP primary states have had the amazing opportunity to put candidates on the spot about their positions on all drug policy issues, not just medical marijuana. The “On the Record” Project mobilized student activists along recent campaign stops in GOP primary states of contention to confront politicians about their drug policies. Our students managed to successfully get GOP frontrunners Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum on video answering our questions about drug policy.

Global Drug Policy

SSDP is ramping up its international activities with students in nine countries working towards changing local, national and international policy. These countries include Mexico, Colombia, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Poland, Australia, Ghana and Nigeria. And we are always looking to support opening new chapters!

The Higher Education Act

Since 2000, students with drug convictions have lost access to federal financial aid as a result of a little known provision of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Added by Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) as a committee amendment in 1998, the Aid Elimination Penalty slipped into the 257-page HEA reauthorization bill without debate or a recorded vote.

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CAMPAIGNS Government Anti-Drug Ads

Since 1998, the federal government has spent more than $1 billion on an offensive and misleading anti-drug advertising campaign run by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. But scientific studies have repeatedly shown that the Nation- al Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign is not only ineffective at reducing drug abuse, but that the ads may actually increase pro-drug attitudes in teens. SSDP was part of a successful effort to reduce this funding, but since then the Youth Anti- Drug Media Campaign is fighting to get it implementing an array of different policies, we have the chance to find out what truly sensible drug policy looks like.

Student Drug Testing

The federal government has recently ramped up its campaign to encourage schools to implement drug testing regimes and even offers grants to fund them. Meanwhile, representatives from drug testing companies are increasingly arranging presentations in front of local school boards to promote their products. As a result, some schools require students to submit to drug testing if they want to participate in any extra-curricular activity. Suspicion-less student drug testing has been shown to be costly, ineffective, and it breaks down the necessary trust between students, teachers, and parents.

Lowering the Drinking Age

American youth alcohol policy is a perfect example of drug policy with unrealistic expectations and serious unintended consequences. Our current policy attempts to prevent underage drinking by criminalizing youth who consume alcohol before they are 21 years old. This is the highest drinking age that exists among all countries in the world, and millions of dollars have been spent on the enforcement of this law.Yet today, more than 90% of high school seniors claim that alcohol is “fairly easy” or “very easy” to obtain, and nearly half have admitted to drinking in the past 30 days.

End Zero Tolerance

We at SSDP are working to educate the public about the failure of zero tolerance policies, their predictable, fatal consequences when directed at their target young people, and the violations of basic human rights when zero tolerance policies are enforced.

Drug Education and Counseling

Drug abuse and addiction are real problems in many schools throughout the country. Clearly, students, parents, and educators need to work together to address the problems that drug abuse presents to schools and communities. Unfortunately, more often than not, the government-sponsored programs aimed at solving these problems actually make them worse, while alienating students in the process.

Campus Change Campaign

As students on college campuses, we have a unique opportunity to take the lead in formulating and enacting alternative drug policies. With a broad network of students on college campuses across the country implementing an array of different policies, we have the chance to find out what truly sensible drug policy looks like.

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LOBBYING Set up a meeting

• Find out who your representative and senators are by visiting • Call the member of Congress’s local office (or DC office, if you plan to be there). • Identify yourself as a constituent by saying where you live. • Ask to set up a meeting with the member. If the member is unavailable to meet, ask specifically to meet with “the aide who handles [your issue] legislation.”

Be prepared

• Come to the meeting with specific talking points. • If you are in a group, make sure that you have already discussed which issues should be raised and that you are all in agreement on how best to articulate your position. • Rehearse responses to potential questions or concerns that might be raised regarding your position.

Be professional

• Dress professionally. • Never be late. Members and their staffers work at a frantic pace with extremely tight schedules. • Always address and refer to members as “Senator” or “Congressman/Congresswoman.”

SSDP’s 2011 Training Conference & Lobby Day

Be courteous

• It’s polite to introduce information with phrases like “as you may know...” • When responding to a member’s concerns, do not be argumentative or confrontational. • When you’re asked a question that you don’t have the answer to, don’t guess or try to make something up on the spot. Say, “I’m not sure about that, but I can get back to you.”

Be specific

• Make sure to make a specific request (e.g. cosponsor/oppose/introduce/repeal H.R./S. ___). If you are unable to refer to a bill number or law, be sure to make a very specific and limited request so that the member knows exactly how to address your concerns.

Follow up

• Make sure to get a business card from the staffer handling your issue before you leave. • Offer to keep in touch on the issue, and offer yourself as a resource. • Write a brief thank-you e-mail to the member and/or staffer you met with, mentioning the date and subject of your meeting. • Inform SSDP’s National Headquarters of the results of your meeting.

Find our complete lobbying guide at

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AMPLIFY is a project of Students for Sensible Drug Policy that connects student activists with artists who support our mission to get student involved in reforming drug policy. The project works by creating a mutually beneficial relationship between SSDP and artists where both parties help to promote each other. SSDP chapters throughout the country are able to act as street teams for artists that are part of the AMPLIFY project. For example, when a band is coming through your city, your chapter can put up fliers, create facebook event pages and pass out handbills to promote the show. The artists then give your chapter free passes and a table at their live show where you can pass out information, collect email addresses and sell t-shirts. It’s a fun and exciting way to amplify your activism! Just visit the AMPLIFY website to sign up for a show near your and to find our detailed guide on how to make the most of your AMPLIFY experience.

amplifiers Bands that are part of the AMPLIFY project are called amplifiers.You might know some of them:

•Slightly Stoopid •Rebelution

•Papadosio •Easy Star All Stars

•EOTO •Lotus •Pnuma Trio •Mr. Lif •Big Gigantic

•The Green •Antioquia •Cas Haley •John Brown’s Body •Cindercat

•Passafire •Roots of Creation •The Black Seeds •Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad

•Yellow Dubmarine •Rubblebucket •Jahman Brahman

SSDPers Tabling for AMPLIFY in Ohio

Amplify Project Staff Chris Wallis - AMPLIFY Project Coordinator Brooke Napier - Outreach Coordinator Brian Gilbert - Outreach Coordinator

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Officer Meetings

Special Events/Notes

9:00pm,10:00pm,$8/19$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Tabling$at$student$organizaKon$fair$ 11am,4pm,$8/22 Tabling$at$student$union$11am,4pm,$ 8/28

Week$2:$ Aug.$26, Sept.$1

TOPIC:'Welcome'back!' 7:30,8:30pm,$8/29$ Margaret$Brent$Room

9:00pm,10:00pm,$8/26$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Week$3:$ Sept.$2,8

TOPIC:'Know'Your'Rights' 7:30,8:30pm,$9/5$ Margaret$Brent$Room

9:00pm,10:00pm,$9/2$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Week$4:$ Sept.$9,15

Topic:'Drug'educaAon' 7:30,8:30pm,$9/12 Margaret$Brent$Room

9:00pm,10:00pm,$9/9$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Week$5:$ Sept.$16,22

TOPIC:'Psychedelics' 7:30,8:30pm,$9/16 Margaret$Brent$Room

9:00pm,10:00pm,$9/16$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Week$6:$ Sept.$23,29

TOPIC:'Colorado'legalizaAon' 7:30,8:30pm,$9/23 Margaret$Brent$Room

9:00pm,10:00pm,$9/23$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Week$7:$ Sept.$30, Oct.$6

TOPIC:'Campus'drug'policies 7:30,8:30pm,$10/3 Margaret$Brent$Room

9:00pm,10:00pm,$9/30$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Week$8:$ Oct.$7,13

TOPIC:'Leadership'skills 7:30,8:30pm,$10/10 Margaret$Brent$Room

9:00pm,10:00pm,$10/7$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Week$9:$ Oct.$14,20



Week$10:$ Oct.$21,27

TOPIC:'History'of'drug'prohibiAon 7:30,8:30pm,$10/24 Margaret$Brent$Room

9:00pm,10:00pm,$10/21$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Week$11:$ Oct.$28, Nov.$3

TOPIC:'Careers'and'resumes 7:30,8:30pm,$10/30 Margaret$Brent$Room

9:00pm,10:00pm,$10/28$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Phonebanking$pizza$party$#1:$11/1,$ 6,10pm$@$Drew’s$house

Week$12:$ Nov.$4,10

TOPIC:'ElecAon'results!! 7:30,8:30pm,$11/7 Margaret$Brent$Room

9:00pm,10:00pm,$11/4$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Phonebanking$pizza$party$#2:$$11/4,$ 5,9pm$@$Devon’s$house 11/6$=$ELECTION$DAY!

Week$13:$ Nov.$11,17

TOPIC:'Leadership'transiAon' 7:30,8:30pm,$11/14 Margaret$Brent$Room

9:00pm,10:00pm,$11/11$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

Southeast$Regional$SSDP$Conference$ in$Tallahassee!$11/15,17

Week$14:$ Nov.$18,24




Week$15:$ Nov.$25, Dec.$1


9:00pm,10:00pm,$11/25$Stacia’s$ house,$47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW

11/27$=$Special$guest$speaker:$Aaron$ Houston,$SSDP$NaKonal$Staff$6,8pm$ in$Margaret$Brent$Room

Week$16:$ Dec.$2,8

7:30,8:30pm,$12/5$=$LAST$meeKng$ of$the$semester$+$officer$elecKons!$ Margaret$Brent$Room,$Stamp$ Student$Union

*WITH$NEW$OFFICERS*$ 9:00pm,10:00pm,$Stacia’s$house,$ 47$Rhode$Island$Ave$NW$

Week$17:$ Dec.$9,15



9/25$=$NaKonal$Voter$RegistraKon$ Day$of$AcKon$(Tabling$11am,4pm)




Sample meeting flyer

You can download and edit this and other flyers at If you’ve got a good idea for a flyer or are a talented graphic designer, put together some of your own posters and share them with the national office at





Projector, laptop adapter, sound for movie screening


“DARE to resist the war on drugs” t-shirts to sell as a chapter fundraiser Conference Registration Registration for 10 students to attend regional SSDP conference Copies 50 copies of event flyers (@ $0.11 per copy x 4 events) Educational Materials Large SSDP care package Educational Materials DVD: “Busted! The Citizens Guide to Surviving Police Encounters” for film screening Educational Materials Pack of drug information cards (10 cards each, 16 types) Educational Materials 4 Know Your Rights card packs (50 cards in each) Food Pizza, soda, cups, plates, napkins for each SSDP meeting (max. $30.00 per week x 10 weeks) Office Supplies Sidewalk chalk for campus promotion (4 buckets) Office Supplies Clipboards for collecting petition signatures, member information Promotional Materials Tablecloth banner with custom logo used for tabling Speaker honorarium

Honorarium for LEAP speaker, Neill Franklin (includes travel and lodging expenses)

Speaker honorarium

Honorarium for SSDP staff member workshop (includes travel and lodging expenses) Gas for travel to regional SSDP conference ($50 each way, $100 total per vehicle)




Unit Price


UMD Event Services SSDP National







SSDP National




Kinkos SSDP National Flex Your Rights

4 1 1

$5.50 $75.00 $20.00

$22.00 $75.00 $20.00





4 10

$5.00 $30.00

$20.00 $300.00

CVS OfficeMax

4 6

$12.00 $1.25

$48.00 $7.50

CustomBannerLa Law Enforcement Against Prohibition SSDP National














SSDP National Safeway



UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND STUDENTS FOR SENSIBLE DRUG POLICY President: Stacia Cosner, 410-299-3433 Treasurer: Edward Spriggs 202-393-5280 Student Involvement Suite #AB5, Stamp Student Union, University of Maryland 1 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20740 NOTE: Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss any of this or if there are any questions we could answer or documentation that we could provide. Thank you in advance for your time.

Receiving funding from your school is one of the most important things your chapter can do. Make sure you understand the budgeting process or find someone who does to serve as chapter treasurer. Some SSDP chapters have received over $15,000 in one semester just by asking their school! That money is there for clubs and organizations and what better way to spend it than ending the drug war! In addition to submitting a spreadsheet similar to the one above, you’ll likely need to provide a detailed description of each expense and explain why it is beneficial to your campus community.You may also be required to give a short presentation about your funding to student government. Be prepared to meet any deadlines. Turning in a budget late could mean that your chapter loses out on fund for the whole year. If you have any questions about the budgeting process at your school, talk with your faculty advisor.


1317 F Street NW Suite 501 Washington, DC 20004




UConn SSDP successfully changes a campus marijuana policy Penalties for marijuana possession now equal to underage drinking penalties STORRS, CT – Following a meeting with student government leaders on January 30, 2011, the University of Connecticut’s Office of Community Standards altered its penalties for students found in possession of small amounts of marijuana, equalizing the punishment with underage drinking. The change is largely in response to Connecticut’s recent decriminalization of marijuana, which lowered the penalty for possession of under half an ounce of marijuana to a fine of $150 and a 60-day license suspension for those under 21, rather than up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. The penalty for underage alcohol possession is a fine of $181 and a 150-day license suspension. Sam Tracy, current President of the Student Body and former president of UConn Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), says, “I am happy to have worked with the Office of Community Standards to update the list of possible sanctions, effectively equalizing the punishments for underage drinking and possession of small amounts of marijuana. This change has made UConn’s response to these two minor drug violations much more sensible, focusing on the health of the student rather than on harsh sanctions that do nothing to solve the problem.” The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) has been working on reforming marijuana penalties for many months now, beginning with its endorsement of marijuana decriminalization in March 2011. Student Body President Sam Tracy authored the endorsement as a Senator and later won the race for President on a platform that included reforming campus marijuana policies. In November 2011, the Undergraduate Student Government passed a statement of position supporting allowing Resident Assistants to handle marijuana violations, rather than the current policy in which Resident Assistants are required to call the UConn Police Department if they suspect someone is in possession of marijuana. The Office of Community Standards’ website had previously stated that a possible sanction for underage alcohol possession was a warning and the “UConn Compass” program, which is designed to help students make healthy decisions, and that the possible sanction for “possession and/or use of illegal drugs” was a University Suspension. On January 31, the Office of Community Standards revised its policies to state that the possible sanctions for both underage alcohol possession and possession of small amounts of marijuana include a warning, UConn Compass, and a Wellness and Prevention educational sanction. The possible sanctions for both offenses, when involving aggravating factors such as prior offenses or large amounts of either drug, include “University Probation, Removal from Housing, [and a] Wellness and Prevention educational sanction.” Michael Gallie, current president of UConn’s chapter of SSDP, says, “Equalizing UConn’s penalties for underage alcohol and small amounts of marijuana simply makes sense – when state law treats the two infractions as equal, it’s sensible for the state’s flagship university to do so as well.” CONTACT: Sam Tracy, UConn Student Body President – – 860-970-6119 Stacia Cosner, SSDP National Staff -- -- 410-299-3433 XXXX Students for Sensible Drug Policy is the only international network of students dedicated to ending the war on drugs. At heart, SSDP is a grassroots organization, led by a student-run board of directors. We create change by bringing young people together and creating safe spaces for students of all political and ideological stripes to have honest conversations about drugs and drug policy. Founded in 1998, SSDP comprises thousands of members at hundreds of campuses in countries around the globe.


Delegation Worksheet

I am delegating _________________ the responsibility of _____________________________. [fill in name] [fill in responsibility]

Agree on expectations

1. WHAT needs to be done? Describe the outcome you are looking for. Try to be specific about your goal. (i.e. “UMD SSDP will host a screening of a marijuana documentary with at least 50 people in attendance”)

______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 2. WHEN does the task need to be completed? If there are other critical dates along the way, note that here too. (i.e. “The deadline for reserving the room is 10/13-one month before the event. A/V arrangements need to be made by 11/6-one week before the event.)

______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 3. WHERE can your chapter member/officer find resources to help make it happen? These can include people, places, and/or things. (i.e. “Jane organized a screening like this at her school, so talking to her about her experience might help. Our chapter can use the copy machine in the student resource office on campus. Edward can help you with the paperwork for paying for the room reservation. The SSDP website has sample flyers and templates, as well as a list of marijuana documentaries.”)

______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 4. WHY does this work matter, and why is this person the one to make it happen?

It’s important not to overlook this step. Always remember to remind people how important our work is and how it wouldn’t be possible without their contributions. (i.e. “This event will get people talking and thinking about the issue of marijuana policy, and many will want to get more involved after seeing a well-run, successful event. After seeing the film, they’ll tell their friends about it and about SSDP, helping to build our movement. You did such a great job helping with our LEAP event last semester, so I’m confident you can take the lead on this screening.”)

______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 5. WHO else should be involved? Does the person need to get any part of the task approved by anyone? Do they need to keep certain folks in the loop? (i.e. “Once you have a film in mind, let me know what it is so I can approve the choice before you move forward. The date and location need to be cleared with the reservations office.”)

______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 6. Tips of HOW to do it (if any):

______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ 7. How will you follow up to make sure you and your chapter member/officer are aligned on key points and next steps? Verbal repeat-back (i.e. “Just to make sure we’re on the same page can you tell me what you’re taking away from this?”) Written/Emailed repeat-back (i.e. “Just to make sure we’re on the same page, can you send me a quick email summarized what we discussed today?”) Other: _______________________ Adapted by SSDP from The Management Center’s “Delegation Worksheet” %20Worksheet.doc (c) The Management Center




for!Students!for!Sensible!Drug!Policy’s! E=mail!List Name%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%E'mail*%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%Phone%#%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%Gradua4on% %%%%%%%%%%%(*required)%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%Year%

__________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______ __________________"""______________@__________._____""(___)____'_____""""______


SSDP NOTES _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ 31

HELPFUL LINKS RESOURCES: Sample flyers, chapter rosters, press releases, budgets, constitutions, powerpoints, speakers bureau, manuals and guides, stock images, documentaries, and much more.

MISSION STATEMENT: SSDP’s mission and values statement can be found here as well as information on SSDP’s structure as a grassroots non-profit organization.

CAMPAIGNS: Descriptions and resources for all of SSDP’s campaigns including Good Samaritan Policies, Campus Change Campaign, On The Record, Student rights and privacy an more.

CHAPTER MAP: Find a map including contact info and locations for all of SSDP’s official chapters.

BLOG: The DARE Generation Diary keeps you up to date on all the latest news in SSDP and drug policy.

STORE: Order care packages, t-shirts, tote bags, “Screw The Drug War” condoms and more!

Headquarters connect with ssdp 1317 F st. NW, Suite #501 Washington, DC 20004 (202) 393-5280

STAFF Aaron Houston, Executive Director

Devon Tackels, Regional Outreach Coordinator

Stacia Cosner, Associate Director

Drew Stromberg, Regional Outreach Coordinator

Zara Snapp, International Liaison

Edward Spriggs, Office Manager


SSDP Student Organizing Manual  

Updated for the fall 2012 semester, this guide includes everything you need to know about starting and running a successful chapter of Stude...

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