TW: this manifesto contains a reference to sexual violence
The University of Stirling has failed in its duty to support students in numerous ways in the time I’ve been a student.
One of these failures is its drug policy. In 2019 Scotland saw over 1,200 drug related deaths. With this number increasing rapidly, it is clear that criminalisation is entirely ineffective.
Yet the University of Stirling maintains an approach which punishes rather than supports students.
The First Minister called the number of drug deaths a ‘national disgrace’ and appointed a designated minister to tackle the issue. The SNP highlight how Scotland needs to turn away from the criminalisation approach to drugs. If our own government can see that punishing people for drug use is harming more than helping, why can’t the University?
The University’s disciplinary code punishes drug use in its disciplinary code as a ‘level one’ offense - with punishments of up to a £200 fine, a three month suspension and even eviction from University accommodation. Can anyone argue that this is fair or - more importantly - protective?
Furthermore, as I have experienced myself, the University offers very little support to students during a disciplinary process.
Many students are suffering for various unique reasons and should be offered help rather than the harm given by the disciplinary procedures.
Vote for me to further the Help not Harm campaign’s demands:
That instead of punishing students for possession, the University offers them counselling.
That the University adopts a Help not Harm approach to campus control/supervision and adopts a Help not Harm campaign on drug use.
That possession of drugs (with the exception of those notoriously misused for date rape i.e. GHB and rohypnol) be removed from the University’s and Student Union’s disciplinary code.
Many of those with drug issues are themselves in difficult positions, whether that be emotionally or financially. In their current attitude, the University is only making their situation worse.
A vote for me is a vote to put students first.