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CSUN Leaders Go Beyond Call of Duty

September 07, 1993

* What does it say about the president and vice president of a major university when they would spend the better part of a busy morning meeting with 11 recovering alcoholics and drug addicts? What do you think it does for high school dropouts who spent most of their adult years in prison because of drug-related crimes to sit in a university president's boardroom sharing experiences with well-educated leaders in one of the largest university systems in the United States?

California's state university system and the people of California were very well served by Cal State Northridge President Blenda Wilson and the vice president for student affairs, Ron Kopita, when the two met with 11 VISTA volunteers from the Los Angeles County Health Department's Acton and Warm Springs Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centers on Aug. 11.

They were gracious, attentive and genuinely engaged by the personal stories and intelligent questions of people who are too often written off by the greater society as incorrigible derelicts and useless dregs.

The VISTAs in turn were inspired by the responses of Dr. Wilson and the helpfulness of Dr. Kopita and their intent to follow up by building a bridge between CSUN and the two treatment centers. Students at CSUN will be offered an opportunity to become literacy tutors at the treatment centers while the VISTAs will be asked to come and speak to CSUN faculty and students about the problem of alcoholism and drug addiction in America today.

RICHARD RIOUX

Stevenson Ranch

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