Yesterday the Help Not Harm campaign met with two university societies, the Society of Progressive Students from Heriot Watt and the Socialist Society from the University of Dundee.
The meeting introduced Help Not Harm and its plans for the upcoming semester, the period from September to December. A joint social media campaign was discussed, alongside the pooling of harm reduction resources and drug statistics across universities in Scotland and beyond.
Going forward, Help Not Harm campaigners will now be active in Edinburgh and Dundee, attempting to replicate some of the wins made in the last year at Stirling University. These include: the adoption of a Help Not Harm campaign in Student Unions, commitment to harm reduction education and awareness, and the provision of free drug testing kits to all.
Help Not Harm organisers also discussed a significant ramping up of pressure on university vice-chancellors, whom have the ability to change or, in most cases, create modern drug policies at their universities.
As well as vice-chancellors, the campaign plans to contact Jamie Hepburn MSP, the current minster for Further Education at Holyrood, who’s remit also includes student welfare.
To help accomplish these aims, campaign groups forming across the country will share frameworks funding applications, guides for motion-writing and for approaching staff and research assistants at each university. They will also share digital and physical materials for distribution within local communities, funded by the SSY network, campaign donations, and contributions from each campaign group. You might see these materials in the coming weeks, from the form of infographics, to harm reduction booklets, stickers, posters and beer coasters in your local pub or Student Union.
The Help Not Harm will be continuing to advance the cause of Scottish harm reduction and an end to Scotland’s drug crisis for the foreseeable future. If you have an interest in harm reduction activism, don’t hesitate to get involved today!