SUNY Chancellor Johnson Continues Statewide Campus Tour with Visit to Tompkins Cortland Community College

March 28, 2019

Opens College’s Recovery Space to Provide Students with Counseling Services to Combat Alcohol and Substance Use

Promotes New Food Pantry as Part of Statewide Initiative to Reduce Food Insecurity at all SUNY Campuses

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson today will visit Tompkins Cortland Community College as she continues her statewide tour of SUNY’s 64 campuses. While there, Chancellor Johnson will open the campus’s Recovery Space that provides students with counseling services to combat alcohol and substance abuse. She will also promote the Panther Pantry, which is a new on-campus resource to help combat food insecurity.

"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."

Tompkins Cortland Community College was chosen by the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) as one of five schools to receive a grant to start a Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) on its campus. The college was awarded $20,000 to help support its collegiate recovery work, which began 10 years ago with the offering of AA Meetings on campus. On staff, there is a recovery program specialist who is a certified Peer Advocate through OASAS), and is trained to provide peer support. The campus is also partnering with the College Mental Health Services and various off-campus providers to offer students with additional services should they need more intensive and longer-term support.

The Recovery Space functions as a lounge space where students can connect with peers, and coffee, tea, and snacks are always available. Support meetings are held twice a week in the space, as well as different activities and events related to the CRC (e.g., meditation and "Lunch & Learn sessions), which is the umbrella initiative focused on providing recovery support on campus.

New York State office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, "We are delighted to support colleges that are working to end the stigma of addiction by providing safe spaces for individuals in recovery to gather, socialize, and support each other on their educational journey. This type of healthy setting will play a vital and supportive role in helping to meet the growing needs for those who want to overcome addiction and become responsible, productive, drug and alcohol-free members of society."

Additionally, in collaboration with the college’s Alcohol and Drug Prevention effort, Tompkins Cortland Community College holds a large educational event open to the community. Throughout SUNY, close to 30 campuses across the state have established centers that assist students through counseling, AA meetings, Health & Wellness Center services, recovery coaching, and other programs.

Tompkins Cortland Community College President Orinthia T. Montague said, "I am so very proud of our commitment to addressing the needs of our students, even as those needs change. We have taken great steps in the past year – including opening our new Office of Mental Health and expanding our brick-and-mortar Panther Food 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."

In an effort to reduce food insecurity and provide students with a reliable and daily resource, Tompkins Cortland Community College’s Wellness Council led an initiative to include the recent opening of the Panther Pantry. Food is provided through a partnership with the Food Bank of Southern Tier, as well as from the Friendships Donations Network and donations from the campus community.

Panther Pantry is located on the first floor of Tompkins Cortland Community College’s main academic building in a high-student traffic area, and is complete with a freezer, refrigerator, and shelving. The campus also has developed their Courtyard Gardens to promote sustainable gardening practices and nutrition education. Currently, all SUNY campuses have food pantries on site or through community partnerships.

These efforts are in alignment with SUNY’s Food Insecurity Task Force, which was created in November 2017 to combat hunger for college students. For more information on the Food Insecurity Task Force, please visit here.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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