Art gala will benefit UNT students in recovery from substance misuse

"But Creator, I'm Still Holding On," by recent University of North Texas graduate Connor Dallas Gillaspia, is one of many pieces of art that will be available in a silent auction at UNT's Collegiate Recovery Program Art Gala April 14 (Friday).

What:      Spring Benefit Art Gala at the University of North Texas, with proceeds helping to fund programs of the UNT Collegiate Recovery Program and Eagle Peer Recovery. Art created by UNT students and professional artists will be available for purchase through a silent auction.

When:      7-9 p.m. April 14 (Friday).

Where:     Rooftop terrace on the fourth floor of UNT’s University Union, located at 1155 Union Circle. Parking available in the Highland Street Parking Garage and Union Circle Parking Garage. For more information, go to http://transportation.unt.edu/visitor-information.

Cost:        Admission to the gala is free.

For details:  Contact the UNT Collegiate Recovery Program at 940-369-5358.

Forty-two percent of college students in a National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse report said they had engaged in binge drinking – consuming five or more alcoholic drinks at a time – during the previous two weeks, with one in three of the students admitting they drank primarily to get drunk. In addition, 8 percent of the students said they consume an average of 16 or more alcoholic drinks per week.

For the past four years, the University of North Texas has provided support to students who have successfully become sober, or who choose to abstain from alcohol, through the Collegiate Recovery Program, which is holding its annual Spring Benefit Art Gala April 14 (Friday).

The event takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. on the rooftop terrace, which is accessed on the fourth floor of UNT's University Union, located at 1155 Union Circle in Denton. Food and live entertainment will be included. While admission is free, art donated by students in the Collegiate Recovery Program, and work from professional artists, will be available for purchase in a silent auction.

Collegiate Recovery is part of UNT's Department of Disability and Addiction Rehabilitation and serves students recovering from substance use disorders, behavioral addictions and mental illness. Its purpose is to keep these students connected to other UNT students while meeting their desired goals of healthy living and academic success. The program offers weekly wellness meetings, a space in UNT's Chilton Hall for students in recovery to connect with each other between classes and study together, and a designated alcohol-free wing in a UNT residence hall. Eagle Peer Recovery, a student organization that sponsors alcohol-free parties and tailgating and other activities, is part of Collegiate Recovery.

Thomas Wiley, a student assistant for Collegiate Recovery, first enrolled at UNT more than 20 years ago, but left when his substance use impacted his academic progress. He returned to UNT in 2015 after becoming sober and is a rehabilitation and addiction studies major planning to graduate later this year.

He called Collegiate Recovery "indispensable" to his recovery and return to university life "because of the close-knit community and the lasting, meaningful relationships I have built."

"The CRP has become my on-campus family," he said.

For more information on the Spring Benefit Art Gala, contact the Collegiate Recovery Program office at 940-369-5358. 

By Nancy Kolsti, News Promotions