LUU should provide drug testing kits for students

Passed: December 2019 (13th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

After a recent survey conducted by LUU, it was determined that of those students who were taking drugs, 89% would test them if they were provided. Drug testing would allow students to make more informed choices about their drug use, and live safer lives while in Leeds. It would be a practical part of a broader harm reduction campaign on staying informed and getting better support from the University and Union.

We all know that the best way to reduce harm from drugs is by not taking them at all, but despite strong messaging to "just say no" it continues to happen nonetheless. We need to empower students to make choices about their health and wellbeing, not sweep them under the rug.

This would be the next step in truly opening the conversation around drug use and both its positive and negative roles in society. With purity and availability growing, LUU should be staying ahead of the game in protecting its students.

Expires: December 2022 (13th)

Submitted By: Matt Port

Officer: Welfare

Area of Work: Student Safety

Updates

March 2021: A Drug and Alcohol Impact steering group has been set up and will begin to meet in April to take the first steps in informing a wider drug harms reduction approach in the University. This will include conversations about the best way to implement testing kits while navigating the legal implications around it.

December 2020: LUU have signed up to the Drug and Alcohol Impact which will hopefully support the Student Exec and senior teams in LUU on the legal implications of providing drug testing kits at the Union - this has been the biggest barrier so far, so the aim is that this will be of considerable help in progressing this policy.

August 2020: Cost is the primary issue here - Covid has meant large-scale changes to staffing and budgets, so we are currently assessing the financial viability of this policy for the forthcoming year. Sophia, Welfare Officer, is actively involved in our Alcohol & Drug Impact working groups and is investigating possible funding avenues for this policy.

June 2020: Unfortunately there are no major updates to this work over the summer as a result of lots of LUU staff being furloughed (ongoing), as well as the LUU building and campus being closed. As staff return to work and the new Officer team settle into their roles this will be picked up again.

March 2020: Legal advice still ongoing, but Students for Sensible Drug Policy society has officially launched.

January 2020: We're currently in the process of gathering legal advice to ensure that when LUU does start providing drug testing kits we can do so in as safe and responsible a way as possible.

December 2019: This idea passed into policy in a campus wide referendum fan from Monday 9th December to Thursday 12th December. The vote count was as follows;

    • Total Votes: 1,541

    • Votes FOR: 1,468

    • Votes AGAINST: 66

    • ABSTENTIONS: 7

The referendum was quorate, reaching 1,541 votes (with 1,500 being the minimum required) – referendum only require a simple majority to pass – which this achieves with just over 95% of voters agreeing with the motion.