Service Learning M.A.D.D. Event

Alessia Bicknese

On Thursday, April 28, Dr. Diane Russo, University of New Haven English professor, and students from her course “Literature of Social Change” have organized an information table supporting Mothers Against Drunk Driving, just in time for Spring Weekend. M.A.D.D. has formed a great community of victims that support each other. The victim services provided by M.A.D.D. have helped pave the path to healing for families and victims of drunk driving.

The table will be run by all of Russo’s students, from the Service Learning course from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, where they will be distributing information on how to remain safe, especially during Spring Weekend, and to practice safe driving, as well as safe choices. The table will also be handing out $25 Uber cards, with every $5 going to M.A.D.D., window decals, and red ribbons. Participants will also have the option to donate money that will go directly to the M.A.D.D. organization. We want to promote safe, alternative options for of age college students.

The overall purpose of this project is to get students to consider safe travel options, especially as Spring Weekend quickly approaches. “Something that is not addressed enough, but was really heartwarming to learn, was how much effort they [M.A.D.D.] put into their victims’ services,” Alexandra Russell, a student from the course, stated. M.A.D.D. is an extremely meaningful organization, with a very powerful goal.

The entire class, including Russo, has put so much time and effort into this project. “Our class has been learning about the work of social change through literary representations and service to our community partner, M.A.D.D. My students were so inspired by their learning that we wanted to make a change in campus culture, especially as Spring Weekend approaches,” Russo stated, “We hope students will stop by and learn ways to be safe.”

The table will have a lot to offer to ensure student safety throughout Spring Weekend. “I hope we get our campus community to make wise decisions on spring weekend when it comes to driving, and I hope that students really make use of the Uber cards we are going to give out,” said another student from the course, Corrine Corsa. “This is so important because Spring Weekend is a time that most college students [of age] go all out with drinking, and we want them to have fun, but get home safely. Our goal is to not lecture students as they walk by our tables, but to give them solutions to prevent any of their friends or fellow UNH community from getting hurt.”

The table will remain outside of Bartels Campus Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, giving out free merchandise that promotes sobriety when getting behind the wheel. Hopefully, the sight of a safe driving window decal will get others on the road to think twice.