One of the wrecked cars on display from Krysta’s Karing Angels gave students an up-close look at the damage and devastation left behind from drunk driving. Photo credit: Andrea Vasquez, San Jacinto College marketing department.
Students get reality check on effects of drunk driving
Andrea Vasquez-- October 30, 2012
HOUSTON – Students at the San Jacinto College South Campus got a real-life look at the impact and consequences of drinking and driving at their National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week event on Oct. 16.
The week began with the South Campus office of student life arranging its third annual display of the Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol (BACODA) Healing Field. This year, 210 American flags lined the center lawn walkways, with each flag representing an individual under 21 years old that was killed in an alcohol-related crash in Texas in 2010. This year, BACODA recognized the South Campus’ Healing Field as a satellite field in conjunction with its large Healing Field event, taking place in March of 2013, also making the South Campus a part of the National Healing Field program.
As part of a service-learning project, students from college preparatory professor Dr. Carol Chance and sociology professor Dr. Cheryl Fasullo’s classes, collaborated with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Krysta’s Karing Angels, and the South Campus office of student life for a unique campus event centered around the dangers of drinking and driving. Their goal was to give other students a look into the lives of families impacted by the loss of a loved one, legal consequences and facts about driving while under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI), and a more recent occurring cause of accidents – texting and driving.
“Surprisingly, a lot of the students that have stopped by today don’t know what MADD stands for, so I’m glad we’re helping to get their message out there,” said 21-year-old Johann Moreno, one of Dr. Fasullo’s students. “I think a lot of them are getting more out of the victim impact side by hearing the Rodriguez family’s story and seeing their crashed car displays at the event today.”
Students participated in a “booth bingo,” receiving a sticker for each booth visited, including a booth staffed by the Houston Police Department with tours of a breath alcohol testing van. After visiting all the booths, students were then entered into a drawing for four $25 Visa gift cards sponsored by MADD. In addition, a graffiti board station was set up for students to create art or messages to victims’ families that will be on display in the Houston MADD office.
“We are not against alcohol or drinking, but we are against the choice to drink and drive,” said Dave Anderson, coordinator of volunteer resources for MADD. “Last year there were 233 people 21 years old and younger that died in Harris County due to an alcohol-related crash. We don’t call them ‘accidents’ because we truly believe that it is a mental choice to drink and to drive. San Jacinto College continues to be one of our best educational partners, and because of the service-learning project with Dr. Fasullo’s students, MADD has been able to identify almost 200 victims that we didn’t even know about.” In May, Dr. Fasullo was awarded a certificate of appreciation and the first civilian to receive a medallion from MADD for her efforts in developing her service-learning project with the organization. Since then, MADD has implemented her project curriculum as one of their national educational tools for MADD programs in the United States and Canada.
Along with MADD, Krysta’s Karing Angels also participated in the event. On Feb. 11, 2010, Krysta Rodriguez was killed by a drunk driver while on her way to get something to eat. Out of the devastation and in an effort to prevent needless deaths due to drunk driving, her family and friends started Krysta’s Karing Angels. The organization provides support to families affected by drunk driving and to takes DWI crashed cars and their story to schools, universities, and other events, allowing people to see and hear about the devastating effects of drinking and driving.
Another experience students got to try out this year was the Arrive Alive Tour’s texting and DUI/DWI simulator. Student Andreah Ortiz tried out the texting and driving module. “At one point I was going 70 mph when I was trying to type the prompted text message,” she said. “I have a bad habit of texting at stop lights, but this shows you how dangerous even that can be.”
For more information on these organizations visit www.bayareacouncilondrugsandalcohol.homestead.com, www.madd.org, www.krystaskaringangels.com, and www.arrivealivetour.com.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.