The University of Connecticut Recovery Community (URC) has begun hosting online weekly meetings via Zoom in response to the campus closure for the duration of the spring semester.
“The mission of the UConn Recovery Community is to provide a supportive community where students in recovery, and in hope of recovery, can achieve academic success while participating in a genuine college experience free from addiction to alcohol and other drugs,” according to the URC website’s mission statement.
“It has gone very well. We have a similar number of participants,” Sandy Valentine, the URC program coordinator, said about the shift to online meetings.
She said the transition to online meetings has become a new normal for other recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
“Both the collegiate recovery and the larger recovery community have quickly adapted their recovery support services to online opportunities,” Valentine said.
According to the URC website, the online weekly meetings will now be held on Wednesdays and Fridays at 12 p.m.
Valentine said while she does not anticipate a change to the current schedule, URC will adapt the schedule if necessary or in the case that members are unable to attend.
“We are open to adapting a schedule that best suits the needs of our current and future members,” Valentine said. “We plan to continue meeting during the summer if there is interest.”
Valentine said new members can expect “a warm, caring, authentic discussion on how to learn, grow and recover from substance misuse.”
“We have had two new students attend our meetings,” Valentine said. “This new format allows students [who] may have been reluctant to attend a meeting in person for the first time to join and see what the URC is all about and hear first-hand from others whose experience can offer strength and hope.”
“We don’t require anyone to turn on their webcam, although we would love to ‘see’ them,” Valentine added.
Valentine said the only portion of the weekly meetings that has changed is the recovery yoga sessions URC would normally hold when the meetings took place on campus.
“While we aren’t holding our recovery yoga sessions, one of our members is a yoga instructor and is incorporating breathing and mindfulness exercises into the sessions,” Valentine said. “Each meeting leads with a topic for discussion, and plenty of time for each participant to share.”
Valentine noted that URC also added a biweekly meeting which invites friends, family and allies of those in recovery to join in on the session, taking place on Mondays at 12 p.m. The next “Virtual Friends, Family and Allies Meeting” is scheduled to take place April 20, according to the URC website.
Thumbnail image courtesy of the URC website.
Amanda Kilyk is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.