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STUDENT ORGANIZING MANUAL Everything You Need To Know About Starting and Running an SSDP Chapter

GET ACTIVE ON YOUR CAMPUS

ABOUTTHISGUIDE 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.

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.

It is designed to give an efficient overview of every aspect of forming and running an SSDP chapter at your college campus.

Thanks for your interest in joining the student movement to end the war on drugs! Find this and other guides online: http://ssdp.org/resources/guides/

ssdp student organizing manual


ABOUTSSDP

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.

NATIONALSTAFF 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 laison. 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.

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SSDPCHAPTERREGIONS

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

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

ssdp.org/chapters/regions

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How to Start a Chapter

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recruiting members

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Retaining members

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effective leadership

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online organizing

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organizing meetings

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organizing events

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raising money

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media

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campaigns

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SSDp amplify project

Appendix 1

sample chapter curriculum

Appendix 2

sample flyer

Appendix 3

sample budget

Appendix 4

sample press release

Appendix 5

action-alert signup sheet

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TABLEOFCONTENTS

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STARTINGACHAPTER 1

Contact SSDp National

The first step you should take in starting an SSDP chapter is to contact SSDP’s national office. Fill out our Chapter Startup Inquiry form at http://www.ssdp.org/chapters/start and you’ll be contacted shortly by an SSDP outreach director. SSDP outreach directors 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.

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

Each 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.

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Find Students Interested in Joining the Chapter

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 . The following chapters will explore online organizing, tabling and recruiting members in further detail.

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Find a Faculty Sponsor

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 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.

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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 http://www.ssdp.org/resources 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.

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Attend an SSDP Meet the Staff Call

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Keep the SSDP Staff Updated

At this point, we’ll provide you with dates and times to attend an SSDP Orientation Conference Call. These monthly conference calls are an opportunity for you to meet SSDP's entire national staff and at least one national board member. We will do our best to answer your questions about the organization, including an overview of the many services the staff provides for your chapter.You'll also get to meet many other students from across the country who are leading SSDP chapters. Visit http://www.ssdp.org/orientation to schedule your call. 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!

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RECRUITINGMEMBERS 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.

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. The appendix of this manual has a sample sheet and you download them from our website at www.ssdp.org/resources/action_alert_sign_up.doc. • 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 www.ssdp.org/resources/ flyers.shtml or you can create your own.

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.

Example of a Table Setup

tabling checklist SSDP MATERIALS SSDP BANNER EMAIL SIGNUP SHEETS PENS AND MARKERS CLIP BOARDS TAPE AND POST-ITS PAPERWEIGHTS NOTEBOOK MEETING FLYERS DONATION JAR

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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 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

RECRUITINGMEMBERS

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)

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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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

RETAININGMEMBERS

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.

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

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why members stay

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get your hands dirty

EFFECTIVELEADERS

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.

Lead by example and inspire your chapter members by being a hands on leader that working hard to make your chapter’s meetings, events and campaigns successful. There’s nothing worse than a chapter leader who delegates responsibilities without assuming any for him or herself. A Leader... • Is committed to the mission and success of an organization. • Is able to plan and implement campaigns to meet an organization’s goals. • Is able to forge and cope with change. • Has the ability to think systematically, creatively, and inventively. • 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.

facilitate

One of the first skills you must master is meeting facilitation. Remember, above all else the objective of a meeting is to make decisions. Meetings should empower the chapter and the activists who comprise the chapter to act. There’s nothing worse than a dull, tedious meeting.

speak

As a leader, people expect you to serve as a spokesperson for the organization. Therefore, it’s important that you be able to give a good speech. While there are people who are naturally talented, anyone can become a better speaker with practice. Always remember that a speech is meant to inspire people. Whether people want to take action is the ultimate measure of a speech. Therefore, construct a presentation around an action you want people to take after they hear you speak. As you write, remember that it is not necessarily facts and figures that stir someone to action; it’s the mood of an oration, the tone and style of the speaker.

communicate

SSDP chapter leaders must be able to communicate with their chapter members. Being able to listen is important. 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.

Each chapter should send out updates every week to chapter members detailing things the chapter is working on to increase transparency and keep members in the loop.

lead by example Always remember that you must set a good example for others to follow. Be professional.You are representing Students for Sensible Drug Policy and all of it’s chapters. Be sure to do it in a professional manner. Have a strong understanding of SSDP’s mission and values statements to ensure that your activities as a chapter leader remain consistent with them.

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CHAPTERSTRUCTURE

How you structure your chapter members and leadership is ultimately up to you, this is by no means a rigid or required structure, we just hope to guide your thought process as you determine roles and responsibilities of your chapter. We encourage the implementation of an executive board structure, similar to that of a student government, for your core leadership. This clearly defines roles and responsibilities for operating a chapter and is the most common structure among SSDP’s chapters. PRESIDENT & SECRETARY TREASURER • Be present at all meetings or • Be aware of important  VICE-PRESIDENT arrange for a replacement deadlines and share information •  Determine items to be • Take meeting minutes including with the group included on weekly meeting any comments/concerns not • Keep track of finances in detail agendas included on the agenda (incoming and outgoing) •  Supervise all group activities • Print and distribute agendas • Draft and submit budgets to •  Speak to the media on behalf prior to weekly meetings relevant campus administrators/ of the chapter • Post minutes to the website or institutions (i.e. SGA funding •  Determine the direction & email list board) focus of the group • Distribute all necessary funds •  Set meeting dates / times and • Keep hard copies of the minutes to speakers, national office, reserve rooms for meetings & • Keep track of new members, other vendors other events add to email list • Keep inventory of materials •  Research & write legislation • Update and maintain chapter used for fundraising to implement policy changes Facebook group, email list, etc. •  Be in contact with school   administrators & the SSDP national office   LEADERSHIP BOARD MEMBERS: In addition to the executive board, some chapters have a nonhierarchical structure similar to a board of directors. In these cases, members are able to take on other responsibilities that are of particular interest to them. This can be difficult to effectively implement if roles and responsibilities are not made clear and members are not held accountable. Here are some examples of leadership board roles:

Event Planner

Membership Coordinator

• Come up with creative ideas for fundraisers, events, speakers, meetings, rallies, protests, initiatives, proposals, field trips, etc.

• Recruit new members • Retain current members • Guide the direction of the organization

graphic designer • Creates posters for meetings and events • Designs chapter logo

Outreach coordinator • Train and recruit new members of the executive board • Organizes tabling and outreach events

Media Director • Write letters to the editor, guest columns, etc. • Writes press releases and contacts media

Researcher • Conduct research on policies • Serves as a reliable source of information about drug policy reform

Choosing the structure of your chapter helps to identify your members strengths and spread out responsibilities. Always encourage people to take on leadership roles and make it easy for members to participate in planning/executive meetings. Seek out members with specific skills that match up to tasks or responsibilities.

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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. This chapter explains how to take advantage of these tools for forming and running a successful chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

ONLINEORGANIZING

Facebook

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: www.ssdp.org/facebook/vcu

• 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? Share the link on the wall of your chapter’s group.

Google Group or Email List Serve

Some schools will provide campus organizations with a email list serve 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, events information and to update your members on the status of any campaigns you may be working on.

Google Documents

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 in real time. For example, let’s say you’re hosting a fundraising event and you have created a spreadsheet with the contact information for attendees and you need to have another person in your group add new names to it. With programs like excel you would need to email the file, have the other person make edits and then have them email it back. 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 Some chapters utilize twitter to help promote activity. 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 visit http://twitter.com/SSDP for a list of chapters with Twitter accounts.

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ORGANIZINGMEETINGS 12

As you know, meetings are an essential part of running an 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. We know that preparing for meetings can sometimes be stressful. But it doesn’t need to be. This guide can help you to start planning productive meetings. Prepare for the Meeting You must take some time, energy, and resources to prepare for chapter meetings. 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. • 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. • Reminders: 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. • Punch and Pie: 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!”

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The Meeting

ORGANIZINGMEETINGS

• 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. Whenever possible, email the agenda to members before the meeting so they can come prepared to discuss. • Collect Contact Info: Always pass around a sign-in sheet where members can write down their contact information (name, e-mail, phone number, screen name). 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 is called an “ice breaker.” It’s a great way to get different opinions about drug policy and make people feel more comfortable at the meeting. “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, ask if they thought the meeting was useful and if not, what could be done better. Remember to always be respectful and professional. Stick to the agenda, but be flexible if people need more time to address an important item or if people need to take a break. Thank people for their participation in the meeting. Finally, as the leader, try to arrive early. Not only must a facilitator plan and implement the meeting, a facilitator must follow-up. It’s important to  follow-up, and to do it promptly. 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. Give a special thanks to 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. 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. 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.

Do:

• Once the meeting begins, introduce yourself and the organization. • Take attendance and collect contact information (name, phone, email) with a sign up sheet • Have the secretary or a volunteer take notes throughout the meeting. • Delegate tasks and create action steps. • 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.   Do Not: • Talk about your own personal drug use (legal or illegal). • Allow the meeting to drag or get off track. • Allow the chapter to become dominated by your existing circle of friends.

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CAMPUSEVENTS

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.

Common Chapter Events

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

Grass The Union: The Business Behind Getting High Traffic In Pot We Trust Waiting to Inhale

Short Films, Documentaries, and Specials • • • • •

Ecstasy Rising Marijuana: It’s Time for a Conversation Perversion of Justice ACLU Freedom Files Clergy Against the Drug War

hold 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 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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Putting on a successful event is easy. We’ve outlined some of the steps that need to be taken to ensure any event your chapter wants to organize is a success.

CAMPUSEVENTS

1. 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. 2. 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. 3. 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.

4. 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. 5. 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 afterward to spend time with • Does it conflict with any other campus event? attendees and talk about your chapter’s • Have you reserved a venue to hold your event? important work and invite them to get involved. • Are you aware of the policies regarding the use of

things to consider

6. Follow-up Be sure to thank the speaker, as well as everyone who attended the event. Add them to the chapter email list and remind them about upcoming meetings and events. Remember, events are a way to build the base of your chapter, to prepare you for future campaigns and actions to actually effect change to law and policy.

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campus facilities? • Will the event location attract students? • What is the estimated attendance? • Will you be selling tickets for your event? • Will you be having food at your event? • What are your A/V requirements? • How are you advertising? • Do you have enough members and volunteers to help set up, run the event, and clean up afterward?


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 travel to SSDP’s international conference.

RAISINGMONEY

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. Lots of organizations will be competing for funds so don’t wait until the last minute.

15

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 •Holiday sales, e.g. roses on Valentine's Day •T-Shrits •Plants, flowers, balloons •Bake Sales •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 touch base with your regional outreach coordinator, faculty advisor or student government for help and ideas - that’s what they’re for.

smart tip

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


Letters to the Editor

MEDIA

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.

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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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 OpEd 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 offcampus 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

MEDIA

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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campaigns MARIJUANA POLICY

HARM REDUCTION

SSDPCAMPAIGNS

• Medical Marijuana • Marijuana Legalization • Lowest Law Enforcement Priority

SSDP on Capitol Hill

•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

Local Campaigns Does your city have potential for a successful drug policy reform campaign? Tell your outreach director if you think so. We can help you launch a ballot initiative, introduce resolutions to city government or lobby a representative in support of reform legislation.

State Campaigns Campaigns to bring about more sensible drug policies are being waged in states around the country. Your SSDP chapter should be actively engaged in any drug policy reform efforts that are taking place in your state. Ask your regional outreach director about getting involved in state level reform. They can help you get connected with the campaign organizers.

Federal Campaigns SSDP chapters should be actively engaged in any drug policy reform efforts that your chapter supports. Visit our website to learn more about legislation at the federal level and what you can do to influence Congress to enact more sensible drug laws for our country.

Campus Change Campaign The Campus Change Campaign is a campus-by-campus effort to help students foster sensible, compassionate approaches to drugs at their own schools. As students, we have a chance to take the lead in formulating and enacting alternatives. SSDP chapters all over the country have successfully changed bad campus drug policies or implemented sensible ones. See our Campus Change Campaign section online for information, materials, and other resources to get going: http://www.ssdp.org/campaigns/ccc/

lobbying Every campaign will involve some lobbying. Whether you’re meeting with a student government rep, a school administrator or a Senator, learning how to talk with decision makers and change their minds is an important part of being involved with SSDP.

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CAMPAIGNS

Set up a meeting

how to lobby

• Find out who your representative and senators are by visiting http://www.congress.org. • 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.”

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.

SSDP’s 2011 Training Conference & Lobby Day

www.schoolsnotprisons.com


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.

AMPLIFY

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.

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. http://www.ssdp.org/amplify.You can also

amplifiers Bands that are part of the AMPLIFY project are called amplifiers.You might know some of them: •Slightly Stoopid •Giant Panda Guerilla •Rebelution Dub Squad •Lotus •Papadosio •Pnuma Trio •Sellassie •Mr. Lif •Signal Path •Passafire •The Green •Roots of Creation •Antioquia •The Black Seeds

SSDPers Tabling for Amplify in Ohio

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

www.schoolsnotprisons.com

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Jason Ortiz

University of Connecticut Alum “Throughout my time as an SSDP chapter leader, I learned how to run campaigns, organize students and become a leader. I’m now running for state representative in Connecticut.”

SSDP Members Lobbying in California

Valerie Douroux

University of Utah “Our chapter received the outstanding chapter award at the 2010 International Conference for our work on campus and in our community. With the guidance of SSDP’s national staff, we are one of the most active organizations on our campus. ”

Devon Tackels

Virginia Commonwealth University “SSDP has taught me that I can bring about real change in my community. Our chapter has been working on passing a Good Samaritan Policy that would save lives and we’re working with the campus administration to do it!”

Eli Day

University of Michigan “I’ve only been involved with SSDP for a short time, but I’ve met students from around the world that are involved in making real changes from campus to Capitol Hill. SSDP has also allowed me to see drug policy reform is an important issue for our generation ”

www.schoolsnotprisons.com


CHAPTERCURRICULUM Once you make your chapter official with your school, what’s next? Here is an example of what running a chapter of SSDP at your school could look like:

WEEK

SEPTEMBER

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

1

Hold your first meeting: Screen the SSDP introduction video. Discuss possible campaigns to work on.

Host a discussion forum or debate to draw attention to legislation or a campaign taking place in your state.

Third SSDP meeting: Discuss plans for any upcoming events such as a bringing a speaker to campus.

2

2nd SSDP Meeting: Elect chapter officers. Plan your chapter’s first event.

4th SSDP Meeting: Talk about recent news regarding drug policy and plan a movie screening.

Speaker: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

3

1st Event Movie Screening: 10 Rules for Dealing with Police

Day of Action Call and write your representatives to ask for their support on legislation.

Movie Screening: In Pot We Trust

4

3rd SSDP Meeting Identify any state campaigns or initiatives to be involved with.

Set up a table on campus to promote the next meeting and any upcoming events.

5th SSDP Meeting: Topic: What does sensible drug policy mean to you?

Of course, this is just an outline and each chapter will be different depending on what issues they find most important. Opportunities for speakers will vary depending on your chapter’s location.You can always contact your outreach director for ideas and help with planning events and running campaigns. If the above example seems like an overwhelming amount of work that’s okay. SSDP chapters come in all different shapes and sizes!


Sample meeting flyer

You can download and edit this and other flyers at http://ssdp.org/resources/flyers.php 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 outreach@ssdp.org


Budget Fall 2010 President: Jon Perri

Vice President: Jimi Devine

Secretary: Lisa Dougherty

Treasurer: Jeff Anderson

Purpose of expense: The fall semester budget of 2010 for SSDP Franklin Pierce SSDP 40 University Drive Rindge, NH. 03461 ssdp@fpc.edu

Item # 1

Description Custom SSDP Banner

2

Chapter Organizing Kits from

Quantity Unit Price Total 1 $168.00 1

$250.00 $250.00

1

$500.00 $500.00

n/a

$4,000

1

$200.00

SSDP National 3

LEAP Speaker Honorarium

4

Travel for 10 students to SSDP International Conference

5

Food for Movie Screening Night

6

Gas for Lobby Trip to State

1

$30

$30.00

House 7

T-Shirt Fundraiser

30

$10 $300.00

Total $5,448.00

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.


Students for Sensible Drug Policy 1317 F Street, NW, Suite 501 Washington, DC 20004 T: 202-393-5280 www.schoolsnotprisons.org FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 24, 2010 CONTACT: Devon Tackels, SSDP Regional Outreach Coordinator – (202) 393-5280 or devon@ssdp.org Boris Berenburg, SFSU SSDP Chapter President – (714) 679-6436 or bberenberg@gmail.com

Student Group Dispels Ecstasy Myths Group Says Government Spread Misinformation About Ecstasy Film Screening Followed by Q&A with Expert San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco State University Chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy is hosting a short news special about misinformation campaign led by the government around the drug ecstasy. Following the film will be a Q&A session with Rick Doblin, the founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), an organization sponsoring research into ecstasy’s medical uses. WHO: Students for Sensible Drug Policy WHAT: Ecstasy: The Good, The Bad and The Truth WHERE: Humanities 111 WHEN: March 20, 2012 6:00 p.m. The video being shown is Ecstasy Rising, a 2005 ABC Special hosted by Peter Jennings that unveils the government’s misinformation campaign about MDMA (ecstasy). The special features interviews with experts on drug policy as well as leading researchers in drug abuse and psychedelic drug applications. “Most people have heard the claim that ecstasy use will put holes in your brain. But few were made aware that this study was retracted after it was revealed that the researchers used meth and not ecstasy to produce those results,” explains SFSU SSDP chapter President Sugam Soni. “We hope to educate the SFSU community on the truths about ecstasy and provide them with an opportunity to ask questions of one of the worlds leading experts on MDMA research.” Rick Doblin of MAPS will be answering questions via Skype after the special is shown. Doblin and MAPS have led the way in sponsoring research into the effects of ecstasy in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For more information contact Devon Tackels at (202) 393-5280. 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.

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ACTION ALERT LIST

students for sensible drug policy


PLEASE SUPPORT OUR WORK We hope this student organizing manual provided you with the tools and ideas you need to start spreading the word on and off your campus.

international conferences and pay for many other general operating costs.Your donation is like planting a seed for reform.

It’s bad enough that millions of Americans are arrested every year As a non-profit organization, we on drug offenses, but also need your help to continue we’re paying for it, like it our work at the national level. If you’re able to make a donation to or not. An average of SSDP, no matter how small, please $200 comes out of each of our pockets annually to wage the war do. on drugs! Vote with your dollars by making a donation to change Donations to SSDP are tax the status quo. deductible and help us to afford ssdp.org/donate materials for chapters, organize

SSDP NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT To continue changing drug policies at the campus, local and national levels, we need your help! SSDP is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, so your donations are tax deductible. You can donate online at ssdp.org/donate

For the price of two cups of coffee per month ($5), you can become a Movement Sustainer. As a sustainer, you’ll receive our quarterly newsletter in the mail. ssdp.org/sustain

Name _______________________________ Address _____________________________ City, State, Zip _________________________ Phone_______________________________

“Yes, I’d like to become a monthly sustainer with a recurring donation of $_______ per month!” Amount: $10 $25 $35 $50 $100 Other___ “Yes, I’d like to make a one time donation!” Amount: $10 $25 $35 $50 $100

plant a seed of reform

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“I would like to volunteer for SSDP!” (Specify any interests or skills, e.g. web design, graphic design, fundraising, organizing etc...) _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________

Email _______________________________ Circle One: Alumni/Student/Other__________

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Send checks and forms to: Students for Sensible Drug Policy 1623 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20009


SSDPNOTES _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________ _________________________


HELPFULLINKS Resources: http://www.ssdp.org/resources Sample flyers, press releases, budgets, constitutions, powerpoints, information on finding speakers, documentaries, and much more.

Mission Statement: http://www.ssdp.org/about SSDP’s mission and values statement can be found here as well as information on SSDP’s structure as a grassroots non-profit organization.

SSDP 101: http://www.ssdp.org/orientation Find SSDP’s schedule of staff run conference calls like Meet the Staff, SSDP Orientation, and more specific calls on issues ranging from successful campaign management to recruiting new members.

Campaigns: http://www.ssdp.org/campaigns Descriptions and resources for all of SSDP’s campaigns including Good Samaritan Policies, Campus Change Campaign, Higher Education Act Reform, Student rights and privacy an more.

Chapter Map: http://www.ssdp.org/chapters Find a map including contact info and locations for all of SSDP’s official chapters.

Blog: http://www.ssdp.org/blog The DARE Generation Diary keeps you up to date on all the latest news in SSDP and drug policy.

STAFF

Headquarters

Aaron Houston, Executive Director

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

Stacia Cosner, Associate Director Zara Snapp, International Laison Devon Tackels, Regional Outreach Coordinator Drew Stromberg, Regional Outreach Coordinator

connect with ssdp

Student Organizing Manual  

Student organizing manual by Students for Sensible Drug Policy

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