Alumni Association, CSC sponsor game day AA meetings
Rachel O'Grady | Friday, September 4, 2015
Amidst the seemingly countless activities and programs of a home football weekend, the Alumni Association and the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) have teamed up to create a safe meeting space for recovering alcoholics on football weekends.
“We all know that there are many among us who suffer from alcoholism or problems with alcohol,” Bill Norberg, Notre Dame class of 1987, said. “These Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings are an extension of the groups around South Bend and those members who happened to be alumni. Alcoholics Anonymous deals with the life-threatening disease. For those who are truly addicted, it provides a way out of a merciless enslavement.”
Norberg said he helps lead the AA meetings on campus, and has done so off-campus in the past.
“You can safely say that the meetings have been on campus for over 20 years,” he said.
He has personally led the on-campus gatherings for five years now, and said he enjoys the service aspect of his position.
The CSC, located in Geddes Hall, provides the space for the meetings, while the requests for the meetings formally go through the Alumni Association.
“For many years, the Alumni Association has sought to support our alumni and friends who value the opportunity to attend AA meetings during home football weekends,” Dolly Duffy, Notre Dame class of 1984 and executive director of the Alumni Association, said.
Duffy, who is also the associate vice president for University Relations, said the meetings are aimed at fostering fellowship amongst alumni struggling with addiction. She said by sponsoring the meetings, the Alumni Association seeks to provide a comfortable territory for these individuals.
“We hope the fellowship of these meetings provides a welcome respite during these busy weekends,” Duffy said.
Norberg said that alcoholism is an issue millions face nationwide, and therefore it is important to focus on recovery everywhere.
“With the national scope of Notre Dame and the number of visitors we have on game day weekends we like to provide this service,” he said. “It provides a chance for people to come back annually and catch up just like people do at tailgates. It is just a safer environment.
“In its simplest terms there are some of us who can’t drink … and AA provides not only a way out but a safe haven. Notre Dame recognizes this need in its alumni and students and provides these meetings to give them a safe place to go.”
The meetings will be held in Geddes Hall in room 304B. For 3:30 p.m. kickoffs, the meetings will be held at 12 p.m., and for night games, meetings will be held at 4 p.m.