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Division of Student Affairs changes name of OASIS and adds new recovery community



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Substance Use Intervention Services is located at 506 N. Fess Ave. The organization was formerly known as OASIS. Anna Brown Buy Photos

The Division of Student Affairs changed the name of the Office of Alternative Screening and Intervention Services to Substance Use Intervention Services.

Substance Use Intervention Services will perform the same functions as OASIS, providing services to students recovering from substance use disorders. The staff will still answer questions from students regarding their substance use or a friend’s.

Heather Barrett, associate director of Substance Use Intervention Services, said the name needed to change. The program had mainly been associated with students’ negative experiences because some students were required to go through brief invention via OASIS.

“We still see mandated students here, but we are also hoping to just kind of be seen also as the place where students can just go for resources as well,” Barrett said.

Pete Grogg, executive director of the IU Health Center, said this change was well-timed because of the program’s move from Eigenmann Hall to their own building at 506 N. Fess Ave.

“We thought it would be a good opportunity since they would be moving to new offices to stop and rebrand and let people get a name that is more reflective and easier to understand,” Grogg said.

A new addition to the SUIS is the Collegiate Recovery Community. This group will serve as a safe place for students in recovery to connect with others going through the same process.

This community was created in response to a request from the student organization Students in Recovery at Bloomington. Although they had an established support group, students felt that with university support, the resources for students in recovery would increase, said organization member Jake Desmond. 

“We really needed institutional support, leadership and a presence as far as being a part of the university,” Desmond said. 

Barrett said a long term goal would be acquiring housing for students in recovery or an academic advisor that works with them.

To secure funding for the recovery community, members of Students in Recovery at Bloomington created a grant proposal with support from Barrett, Grogg, and Leslie Fasone, senior director for wellness, prevention and victim advocacy.

IU awarded a grant of $100,000 a year for three years to fund the Collegiate Recovery Community. The grant is currently funding the salary of Indiana’s first full-time coordinator for a university recovery community, Travis Lawson. The funds will also go to programming for events such as sober events and weekly meetings.

These sober events include a coffee crawl, which mimics the structure of a bar crawl but instead involves coffee shops. The events are also open to allies, or students who want to support their friends or family members in recovery but do not consider themselves in recovery.

“So, if you had a friend who was in recovery and wanted to come to a meeting or a sober event and they’re like, ‘Hey I am nervous about going by myself,’ or, ‘I want some support, would you come along?’ we would welcome that,” Lawson said.

The weekly meetings will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday nights at the Substance Use Intervention Services location.

The community had its first meeting Tuesday. The meeting mainly consisted of talking through the logistics of the group and discussing the wants and needs of the students involved, Lawson said.

“It was great to get to talk to the students and collaborate with them about the vision they see for the Collegiate Recovery Community,” Lawson said. “Being in its inception, we want feedback from the students. We want to know how to best support them.”

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly called Substance Use Intervention Services by the name Substance Abuse Intervention Services. The IDS regrets this error.

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