CORVALLIS, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon State University is remodeling one of its dorms to help students who are recovering from drug or alcohol addictions.
The university announced its plans to establish a sober dorm just a month ago.
It’s the first housing community of its kind at any Oregon college or university, OSU Marketing & Communication Director Jennifer Viña said.
The Recover Living and Learning Community will be a substance-free space for students in recovery. It will open this fall in Dixon Lodge, a one-time cooperative. It will have dual-occupancy rooms, a community kitchen and programming space.
There is already a Collegiate Recovery Community Clubhouse open in McNary Hall.
OSU student Maren Vick tells KOIN 6 News she’s been sober for 2 years, but being enrolled in college made her recovery from alcohol addiction tough.
“It started when I was a teenager and continued through college,” Vick said. “It’s easy to have your disease overcome that and keep going with drinking.”
She joined OSU’s Collegiate Recovery Community on her path to sobriety.
“We still want to have fun on the weekends… hang out and watch movies and play games,” she said. “That can be uncomfortable with drugs and alcohol for some of us.”
Now Vick and other students in recovery will have their own space to call home.
“If you enter this building you know that you are going to be in a recovery-first environment,” OSU recovery specialist John Ruyak said. “This is everything for them. It’s their home, it’s where they socialize, it’s where they eat, it’s where they stay.”
The sober dorm was made possibly by a donation from OSU alumnus Tom Skoro and his wife Joan. Scholarships will be available to help offset some of the costs and make it broader for students who might otherwise want to live off-campus.