Students' unions across the country, including at the University of Sheffield, the University of Manchester and Newcastle University, have begun providing drugs testing kits for use by students. There is often a cost or a recommended donation attached, and students take the kits away and test the contents of their drugs.
Two of Salford Students' Union’s elected officers, Emily Voss-Bevan and Famous Dekeri, disagree on whether this is something that we should be doing here. You can read their views on this here
If you agree with Emily, click ‘Like’
If you agree with Famous, click ‘Dislike’
If you want to join in the discussion, come along to Student Leaders Conference on Saturday 17th November, and join the debate. And don’t forget to add a comment here to let other students know what you think!
Nice idea but ultimately untenable, the student union shouldn't be funding these kits as it will not reduce the people who use drugs, it will only make them more likely to continue on. The union should instead be trying to endorse ways to reduce drug usage, as oppose to simply making an illegal trade safer.
“don’t we have a responsibility to enable them to do so safely?” So we should enable people to take drugs? Whilst I think your sentiments are in the right place they are misguided. What is a safe drug? We aren’t talking about testing kits for marijuana. We are talking about testing kits for pills and other class A’s like coke and MD the risks associated with these for any individual can not be deemed to be safe. I am in no means anti drug but people need to take responsibility for their decisions and money could be spent to fund more worthy enterprises.
Student safety should be our first and foremost priority. Whatever measures we can introduce to increase their safety in our sphere of influence, we should be taking steps to do that. I agree that we should be giving our Drug Testing Kits but also have them at our Welfare Stalls on the SU club nights. Great work to the Sabbs and the Union employees on facilitating this debate.
I totally see where you're both coming from, and there is the understandable issue of the campaign looking like we are condoning students taking illegal drugs. I think it's important to mention that the steer of the campaign is that drugs are never safe, if you decide that you want to take them, this is how to make that process safer. One of the things that I plan to do if we give out drug testing kits, is providing information packs along side them. This will include recourses of where to go if you have a problem, mental health resources and information about how drugs are never safe, how to do them safer. I understand that there will be loads of differences in opinions and it's really interesting hearing them, we are defiantly going to take everything on board whether or not we go forward with the kits. It is so important that we start just talking about students and drugs :)