By Amanda Joerndt/Jambar Contributor
YSU Recovery, a new student organization at Youngstown State University, gives recovering students a safe place to receive help with their journey.
The YSU Recovery program will host weekly meetings to provide students in recovery with a support system on campus while connecting with their peers.
The organization gives students who are battling an addiction or in recovery a sense of belonging on campus, and it will supply students with the right resources on and off campus.
Beth Brocker and Zoe Siefert, third-year students in the Graduate Studies Department of Counseling program, are currently working to make the program an official student organization by the end of September.
Brocker said the program has been known on campus, but was never declared as a student organization.
“The program has been on campus for a while but what we are trying to do is get it recognized as a student organization this fall,” Brocker said. “We want to fund sober on-campus events and activities that will really support anyone at YSU who’s in recovery.”
The meetings are not just for students battling or recovering from addiction. Members outside of campus such as family and friends who are going through their journey with them are welcome to come and talk about their experiences.
Brocker said there is a place for everyone at the meetings to gain support from other members.
“In today’s climate, a lot of students are faced with parents who have addiction issues, so even in that setting they’re more then welcome to come and talk about how addiction is impacting,” Brocker said.
The Mahoning County Drug Task Force is linked to the student organization where board members go to monthly meetings to learn about other programs and agencies available for students.
Faculty advisor Amy Williams in the department of counseling, specializes in addiction counseling and was chosen to help the student organization progress through the semester.
Williams said this organization will help current and future students have a sense of belonging and a judgement-free zone on campus.
“I feel that this will not only benefit the students now but benefit the future students who come to campus,” Williams said. “We’re geographically in a region where addiction and recovery are important topics and it’s a really good time for this. It also means a lot to me.”
One of the organization’s goals is to help stop the social stigma associated with drugs and alcohol.
Several events for the fall semester are happening on campus through the YSU Recovery program.
Siefert said they plan on having sober activities and events on campus to celebrate sobriety.
“In October and November, we’re going to set up a table at Wellness Week where we’ll have information for students about the organization,” Siefert said. “Some sober events that we have planned for the semester are game nights and halloween parties to have events where they can feel safe and have a good time.”
YSU Recovery plans to connect with Campus Outreach to participate in the National Alcohol Screening Day to aid in educating members about alcohol use and finding resources for recovery.
The organization is a good starting point for students to learn about the recovery process and socialize with others who are fighting the same battle.
YSU Recovery meetings are every Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Esterly Room in Kilcawley Center.