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Talon

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Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

Club Spotlight: Students Against Driving Under the Influence

New this year, the club brings awareness to an important issue that affects the community
Club Spotlight: Students Against Driving Under the Influence

In the United States today, 31% of traffic crash fatalities involve drivers under the influence, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The issue, experienced nationwide, has its own connection to Oak Park High School.

Club President Anvitha Voruganti started the club after recognizing a need for it on campus. The issue has impacted her personally after childhood friends were killed by a driver under the influence.

“I’ve heard of [instances] at our school where people do it, so I felt like it would be a good way to guide them and raise awareness,” Voruganti said. “I hope more students don’t drink and drive or are high and drive, so that’s the main goal [of the club].” 

In its first semester, Students Against DUI has focused its time and resources on informational campaigns. Club members have designed posters and awareness bracelets that are available for anyone to wear to show support.

“I’m trying to get the school to either do an assembly about [DUI prevention] or get a police officer to our clubs,” Voruganti said.

Spanish teacher Señor Henning agreed to be the club’s faculty adviser because of the potential the club has to make a difference.

“This issue is very important because it’s one of those things that can literally save lives,” Henning said. “[Driving under the influence] is one of those bad decisions that can change the course of your life.”

Club members are unified by the group’s core beliefs, and mission to spread awareness. Some are motivated by personal experience, having seen how drunk or high drivers can cause tragic accidents.

“I joined it this year, not only because my friend was leading it and she experienced a loss, but also because I think it’s really important for our community,” club member and junior Hansika Sangaraju said. “I know a couple of people a few years ago in our community have suffered from [DUI-related accidents.]”

With half of OPHS eligible to get behind the wheel, the campus club is even more relevant to its members.

“I think it’s really important, now that we’re in high school and upperclassmen are starting to drive, that we’re not repeating the mistakes that hurt anyone in our community and elsewhere,” Sangaraju said.

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Mara Hankins, Editor-in-Chief
A junior, Mara Hankins currently serves as the editor-in-chief for the 2022-2023 school year. She is also the director and founder of Medea Creek Middle School's Journalism Program, a student mentorship opportunity that has given younger students their own publication, the Panther Post. She was the news editor for the 2022-2023 school year and a senior staff writer for the 2021-2022 year.
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