University Business - April 2011 - (Page 13)
BEHIND the NEws
Sober Campus Movement Expanding
Addressing drug use And underage and binge drinking on campus is a never-ending battle for campus administrators. But with students finding drugs and alcohol at a younger age, it is also increasingly likely campuses will host students who are in recovery. According to the 2009 national Youth risk Behavior survey, 41.8 percent of students had had at least one drink of alcohol on at least one day during the 30 days before the survey and 24.2 percent of students had had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row on at least one day during the 30 days before the survey. The Collegiate recovery Community at Texas Tech University started 25 years ago, but in the past five years, administrators have seen more interest from other campuses. “We have 18 schools across the country that are open and five that are pending to open,” says Matthew russell, associate director for the replication project. “We’re standing on the edge of a movement that is catching momentum.” St. Cloud State University (Minn.) and Southern Methodist University (Texas) are two of the institutions looking into starting recovery programs. in some cases, institutions have residential programs with sponsored sober housing. in other cases, such as at TTu and Georgia Southern University, the program is based more on learning communities and providing support services where students can get away from an alcohol-based social scene. gsu has a large commuter population, so a “sober dorm” wasn’t deemed necessary, explains Kristen Harper, director of the Center for Addiction and recovery, although there is a referral process in place for students looking for sober living arrangements. “There is a stigma attached to recovery,” she cautions, which can make offering a dry dorm tricky. “unless it’s a very small or religious college, they will say [all dorms are] sober because they are underage freshmen,” says
Campus recovery communities provide plenty of chemical-free recreation activities such as those found in this Texas Tech residence hall.
russell. “everyone laughs at that except the administration until something happens and they see the problem is more complex.” The programs offer academic and social support, and recovery counseling. some, like the one at Augsburg College (Minn.), include drug testing. But in most cases, the goal is to help students have as normal a college experience as possible. Harper says it can be hard for students in recovery to listen to classmates talk about going out drinking every night, and the program provides them social activities away from chemicals. “We have conversations with them about when and how to discuss it and how to react if people start smoking a joint in front of them,” she says. russell knows of students who have gone to nightclubs, but being with a group of like-minded students allows them to have fun while staying sober.
At both TTu and gsu, students have as much or as little anonymity as they want. some students will speak to peers about their experiences during drug and alcohol week awareness events; others prefer to speak with policy makers only. Harper says there’s a lot of misunderstanding about being in recovery, especially when the media holds up celebrities like Charlie sheen and Lindsay Lohan as examples. The programs are often not advertised, but students find them. starting with three students in 2008, gsu now has 41. TTu has 85 students and had to turn some away last year. “We find our students want to stay and do an M.A. in a sober, safe environment or find other college programs and go there,” russell says, adding that anyone launching a program should get in touch. “We share our model freely.” —Ann McClure
o keep up with our goals i have to raise about $1 million a day.
—Graham Spanier, president, The Pennsylvania State University, during press conference on state budget cuts to higher education
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - April 2011
University Business - April 2011
Behind the News
Sense of Place
Models of Efficiency
Shrinking the Desktop
All Things Transfer
University Business - April 2011