College Celebrates Grand Opening of Recovery Space

Tompkins Cortland Becomes First Community College in New York with Space Dedicated to Students Affected by Addiction
SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson and College AOD Prevention Coordinator Sara Watrous

SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson and College AOD Prevention Coordinator Sara Watrous cut the ribbon on the College's new Recovery Space. It is the first recovery space on a community college in New York.

Thanks in large part to a grant from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), Tompkins Cortland Community College has a new Recovery Space. The ceremonial grand opening of the space was held Thursday, with attendees including College President Orinthia Montague and SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. Tompkins Cortland is the first community college in the state with a dedicated lounge and meeting space for students in recovery and those impacted by addiction.

“Tompkins Cortland Community College is deeply committed to providing students with the resources and help they need when they need it,” said Chancellor Johnson. “I applaud the campus and the example they are setting across the state to react to any current issue impacting their students while also continuing to provide a high quality and affordable education in the community.”

The Recovery Space is the new home for the Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC), which was created in late 2018 after the College received a $20,000 grant from OASAS. It functions as a lounge space where students can connect with peers in a warm, inviting environment. In addition to regularly scheduled support meetings, the space is open each weekday to any member of the campus community.

“I am so very proud of our commitment to addressing the needs of our students, even as those needs change,” said President Montague. “We have taken great steps in the past year – including opening our new Office of Mental Health and expanding our Panther Pantry. And now the Tompkins Cortland Collegiate Recovery Community, which addresses a real need by providing services to those in recovery and those affected by addiction. This space, the home for the recovery community, will make a difference in the lives of some of our most vulnerable students.”

Health Center Assistant Director for Education Matt Kiechle, Recovery Space Program Specialists Ashley Black and Aaron Bach, and Shawna Black, the Vice-Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature and Chair of the County’s Health and Human Services Committee also provided comments at the grand opening.

The Recovery Space is near the cafeteria in room 178 on the main campus.