Southeastern Louisiana University is home to the first — and only — collegiate recovery program in the state.

“Lion Up Recovery,” officially recognized by the Association of Recovery in Higher Education, is a voluntary program to help students in recovery achieve their higher education goals. State higher education and local community leaders recently joined with members of the Lion Up Recovery Advisory Board and supporters of the program for a launch event on campus.

In a press release, Southeastern President John L. Crain described the new program as “a game changer for our institution” that is an “extension of Southeastern’s core values of caring and excellence.”

“This is a great program for the university, our students and our community, and we are very proud to offer it,” Crain said.

The program offers students on-campus support groups, academic advising and counseling, accountability, and staff intervention, if needed. Leadership and civic engagement opportunities are also offered, as well as sober tailgating for select Southeastern football games, studying and sober socials, service opportunities through recovery-oriented support groups, and participation with ARHE regional and national events.

Stating that it was good to be home, Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed, who previously served as a member of Southeastern’s administrative team, thanked Southeastern for making sure talent development is all-inclusive.

“Thank you for being first, for stepping out and making sure that when we talk about talent development in the state we talk about how to develop and support every student regardless of race, place, challenge or opportunity,” Reed said. “We want to make sure that every student knows their unlimited potential can be reached at an institution like Southeastern.

“It is fitting that a campus that cares as deeply as Southeastern is the first to step up and say, ‘Here we are, our welcome mat speaks to everyone.’”

Citing Southeastern as an inspiration and a pioneer of firsts, University of Louisiana System President Jim Henderson said he is proud Southeastern has taken the lead in serving students.

“From textbook rentals to the Southeastern Promise, if students get on the path to success, Southeastern is going to be a partner to help them get to that finish line,” Henderson said.

“It should come as no surprise that Southeastern is the first university to develop a collegiate recovery program in Louisiana. Thank you for being on the cutting edge in helping move Louisiana forward.”

Southeastern Interim Coordinator of Collegiate Recovery Madison Evans said the program’s overall aim is to provide the education, resources and community connections needed to help change the trajectory of recovering students’ lives.

Kristy Miller, assistant director of Governor’s Office of Drug Policy, said she was “blown away” by Southeastern’s latest efforts to meet the needs of their students’ behavioral health.

“Southeastern students who are in recovery from substance abuse will now have a fully dedicated space where they can experience fellowship and receive much needed services and resources,” Miller said.

“It is beyond impressive and we challenge other higher education institutions across Louisiana to follow Southeastern’s lead and adopt the collegiate recovery community approach.”

For more information on Lion Up Recovery, email recovery@southeastern.edu or go to southeastern.edu/recovery.

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