SGA VPAA secures grant to combat campus drug abuseBy Will Jones | 09/13/2017 11:42am
One issue on campus that is sometimes overlooked is perhaps one of the most important: drug abuse. One member of the SGA, however, has not overlooked this issue and is instead trying to tackle it head on.
Ross D’Entremont, a junior majoring in political science and finance who currently serves as the SGA vice president for academic affairs, has received a grant through Transforming Youth Recovery to help with student drug abuse. TYR is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a “cultural shift in how we address substance use, addiction and recovery for youth, and the elimination of the stigma it brings to those with substance use disorders,” according to its website.
While D’Entremont could not disclose the exact amount of money in the grant, he said some of the funds will help the University’s Collegiate Recovery Community and its efforts to assist students on their path to sobriety.
“We also are looking at ways to build up advertisement of not only the CRC but of the drug issue on campus and trying to target those areas where drugs are really affecting students…” D’Entremont said.
While some include recreational drug use as well as alcohol and usage of more potent drugs when discussing drug abuse, D’Entremont said his “personal vendetta” is against substances like cocaine and Xanax. Some of the ways he plans to combat these drugs is with “preventive measures” and also through more advertising and connecting students with the necessary resources to get them the help they need.
“Those who abuse drugs are not criminals in need of punishment," D'Entremont said. "They are friends and family in need of help."
John Lovett, the University’s assistant director for collegiate recovery and intervention services, said D’Entrmeont’s work in conjunction with Vice President for Student Affairs David Grady as well as other members of the administration has aided the work of collegiate recovery services at the University.
Lovett said he foresees the funds from D’Entremont’s grant being used to help the sober tailgates that the Collegiate Recovery Community sponsors during Alabama home football games. For the first time, the CRC has a tailgate on the Quad, marked with yellow balloons on the top, which allows students in recovery to watch football games and have an enjoyable time free from substances. In addition to helping with sober tailgates, the funds from the grant will go towards advertising for the CRC and intervention services.
“That’s going to be a big push for this next year is kind of getting our name out there and helping people know this isn’t a court mandated program," Lovett said. "This isn’t something you’re going to have to be in trouble to be in - this is something that is here to support and here to help give students the most full college experience that they can have.”