The Collegiate Recovery Community at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will have its own housing for the first time starting in fall 2020.
Husker Hall, 705 N 23rd St., will house 41 students, and each student will have their own room, according to Connie Boehm, director of student resilience at Big Red Resilience and Well-Being. She said Husker Hall was not used as a residence hall this past year, but will return next year as housing for students in recovery.
Timothy Anderson, a first year law student at UNL, has helped Boehm with building the recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction. He said the community in the hall will connect students with others who are going through similar situations of recovery, which is essential for students to move past addiction.
“When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they live an all-encompassing lifestyle that is unhealthy,” he said. “They can’t simply just continue living the way they were living before and just cut out drugs and alcohol. They need to completely change their social scene and they need to change all kinds of things about themselves, their identity even.”
Boehm said the students will share the newly-renovated bathrooms, and first-year students will be required to have a meal plan. Big Red Resilience and Well-Being is also working to offer scholarships for students in recovery to live in the dorm.
“We’re joining a couple hundred other institutions across the country that have housing and collegiate recovery community programs for students in recovery,” Boehm said. “Some have had them as long as 25 years, but only probably in the past five to seven years have more and more campuses recognized the benefit of having a collegiate recovery community on their campuses.”
Boehm said students in recovery will need to fill out an application and write a personal statement. Additionally, residents must be in recovery for at least three months. After the application, she said Big Red Resilience and Well-Being will work with University Housing to place students in Husker Hall.
A resident assistant and a graduate assistant will live in the hall with the students in recovery. Boehm said Big Red Resilience and Well-Being will work with the RA and GA to help them support the students.
“They will be partnering with Big Red Resilience and Well-Being to do training around supporting the students in recovery, their well-being. [They] will do other social events together and some special programming for the students,” she said. “ … There is an ally training the RA and the GA will go through, which just helps you understand a little bit about being in recovery, talks a little bit about the language to use.”
Boehm said at her previous institution, students benefited from living with their recovery community.
“Students have told me at my previous institution they really felt like they were getting the full college experience because they had a residence hall where they knew others understood what they were going through and what they were dealing with,” Boehm said.
Boehm said students in recovery who are interested should reach out to her by email. Anderson said having role models next door will benefit the students on their journeys of recovery.
“It can be a learning process to be around other people who are rebuilding their lives,” he said. “You learn by example of seeing how other people are succeeding, and it can be really helpful.”