Phi Kappa Psi fraternity brought its first “Drunk Driving Awareness Day” to UC Irvine’s campus on Ring Road this past Wednesday, May 27, complete with a chilling reminder of a post-drunk driving joyride.
The fraternity teamed up with the Orange County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in order to increase student and campus awareness of the ramifications of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Since 1981, the O.C. chapter of MADD has helped to change how the criminal justice system and the public view the crime of drinking and driving.
Through MADD, Phi Kappa Psi was able to bring a “Crashed Car Exhibit” to Ring Road. The exhibit features a car completely totaled in a real drunk-driving accident.
The exhibit, serving as the fraternity’s spring philanthropy, was inspired by the need to have a philanthropic event that would mean something for university-aged men and women.
“We just wanted something that was more relevant to college students, so we’re raising awareness for [driving under the influence],” said Jared Smith, a second-year political science major and member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
ASUCI helped to support the event by offering a $400 grant to assist Phi Kappa Psi in towing the “crashed Car Exhibit” to campus, as well as for other expenses undertaken.
The group brought Chronic Tacos to campus to sell to students with hopes of donating funds to MADD. It also gave away free green bracelets with “13,140” written on them in order to increase awareness.
“13,140 is the number of people who die in drunk driving accidents every year,” Smith said.
While the group worked to raise money for MADD, it stated that its main goal was to increase student awareness of driving under the influence.
The actual accident site of the vehicle on display in the “Crashed Car Exhibit” was in nearby Huntington Beach at Magnolia Street and Hamilton Avenue.
Case reports were displayed outside the car in a handful of different languages, and viewers were able to review the outcome of the accident.
One report read: “The violent impact of the collision caused the defendant’s car and the Toyota Camry he hit to travel a few hundred feet … both occupants of the Toyota that was broad-sided were killed instantly.”
These true-to-life details about an accident in a nearby city made many students stop to take a second look at the vehicle.
Aaron Spivak and Michael Hirschberg, both third-year business economics majors, were among the student viewers intrigued by the display.
Both thought the display was an effective method of spreading awareness about the effects of intoxicated driving.
“It’s definitely more effective than just talking about it,” Spivak said.
Phi Kappa Psi fraternity members expected the event to be successful in increasing student awareness and plan to donate several hundred dollars to MADD.
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