CSSDP at Durham College & UOIT has had a very busy school year! As of March, 2014, the chapter has raised over $300 for the national organization and a local harm reduction program through fundraising events. In addition to this, the chapter has over gone massive organizational structure changes, adopting a flattened leadership style and an inclusive, anti-oppressive stance. CSSDP@DC&UOIT launched their “I Am Campaign” in February at their large scale event which welcomed nationally acclaimed author and academic Dr. Gabor Mate at their Social Justice Week event, titled [Despair]ities: The Impact of Canada’s Drug Laws. The chapter is looking forward to their school-year wrap up event in April, and benefit concert called “[Safe] Sex, Drugs, & Rock ‘n Roll”.
Flattened Leadership, Inclusion, and Anti-Oppression
In an effort to make our club more inclusive and democratic, CSSDP@DC&UOIT has adopted a flattened leadership style which seeks to mitigate the advantages afforded to those with privilege and empower those without through democratic reforms and inclusive practices. Our chapter will now have an elected executive committee which will serve a one year term. Members are strongly encouraged to nominate individuals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and from a diverse cross-section of sexualities, age, and abilities. The Executive Committee will consist of a minimum of five individuals; however more may be added at the will of the membership. Gender parity on the Executive Committee is required and, of those who are elected to the Executive Committee, two spokespeople will be appointed by the committee (one man, one woman) for a one year term. One Financial Officer and three Signing Officers will also be appointed by the committee for a one year term, and executive committee members will rotate the roles of minute taker and meeting chair. The club had also adopted a consensus decision making platform which seeks the consent of all participants and it encourages compromise, inclusivity and group solidarity.
The CSSDP@DC&UOIT Chapter is committed to a working within an anti-racist, anti-sexist, and otherwise anti-oppressive practice and framework. We recognize that drug policy does not exist in isolation from other broad social structures such as political, economic, and cultural systems, norms, and institutions. While we believe prohibition and other regressive laws hurt everybody, these policies and laws disproportionately marginalize the most vulnerable in our society. Our chapter also aims to create a positive space for democratic meeting where all can participate meaningfully regardless of race, gender, sexuality, age, or ability. With this in mind, CSSDP@DC&UOIT has come to a consensus that as of the next school year, we will be dropping the “C” in “CSSDP” as to be more inclusive to the large amount of international students attending school on our campus.
I Am Campaign
In February 2014, CSSDP@DC&UOIT launched their “I Am Campaign”. The video consists of images of students and youth across Canada holding signs that make “I Am” statements. The campaign is intended to highlight the diversity of drug policy reformists, express the common values that many of us hold, and combat the stigma that anti-prohibitionists face for the work they do. We hope that the video will empower youth and students to come out of the drug policy reformers “closet”, and help to work towards a society where young people can speak the truth about drugs without fear of reprisal from their colleagues, employers, and families.
[Despair]ities: The Impact of Canada’s Drug Laws
CSSDP@DC/UOIT is proud to have partnered with Social Justice Week 2014 Steering Committee in this event. We welcomed Dr. Gabor Maté to deliver a 90 minute keynote speech on the impact of Canada’s drug laws. A symposium-style panel discussion then focused on how visible minorities and Indigenous Peoples, women, and people living in poverty are disproportionately affected by the criminalization of drugs.
[Safe] Sex, Drugs, & Rock ‘n Roll
[Safe] Sex, Drugs, & Rock ‘n Roll is a benefit concert hosted by CSSDP@DC&UOIT, and STILL Promotions at The Wasted Space in Oshawa on April 25, 2014. The concert is intended to raise funds for the national drug policy reform movement, and local harm reduction programs, in addition to raising awareness about the need for drug policy reform, honest drug education, and harm reduction programming. The concert will host local, up and coming bands in the evening, and acoustic performances during the day. Tickets will be sold for $7, or attendee’s may pay $10 at the door. Keep your eyes open for the event page for this event, which will be available for viewing shortly!