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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Road to Recovery

Most student center coordinators came to campus this fall to find out that their centers had been relocated. But when Mike Dunford came to campus to help get things ready for a new coordinator, he found out that his center had been eliminated.

“I came in over the summer before classes started,” he explained. “That was the first I was aware of any of the changes that were going on. They told me that the Alcohol and Addiction Resource Center didn’t exist anymore.”

Instead, the Student Health and Wellness Center was created to encompass general student health issues, including those that deal with addiction recovery.

The Health and Wellness Center offers consolations and counseling for those with substance abuse concerns, but Dunford notes that having peer support is big part of the recovery process.

“The key to recovery so often is to talk to another addict,” he said. “They understand each other in a certain way, there’s always a shared experience.”

He explained that being able to ask for help is a big issue, but that it’s just as important to feel that you have someone you can trust to help.

“It’s somebody else that’s in recovery that you want to talk to. If you don’t know anybody here on campus [that’s in recovery], it’s a good thing to have a place you know you can go.”

Kelly Meehan, Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, said that although the Student Health and Wellness Center will be more “topically oriented” and handle a broad range of student health issues – such as stress management, safe sex, and sleep issues – it will also offer regular meetings and resources for those with addiction concerns.

She described a focus on an addiction as being a detriment and said, “The goal is to create a model that’s more strength based, that focuses more on recovery.”

At the moment, accessing any campus addiction recovery resource is challenging because the new Student Health and Wellness Center is still in a state of transition and has not been formally established. Currently located on the third floor of the Campus Center, the Student Health and Wellness Center will eventually be located in the Quinn Building with Health Services.

Meehan explained that the development of the new center is part of an effort started last spring to “strengthen student resources” by reexamining the objectives and charters of the student centers.

“We had some charters that hadn’t been changed in 18 years,” she said. “The needs of the student body changes.”

A student and facility “realignment tack force” was developed to help reevaluate those student needs and determine how campus resources can be better utilized. Meehan also commented that student feedback is an important part of the process.

“We don’t want centers to be in a defensive position,” she said. “We’re always open to comments and suggestions. Any help from students is constructive.”