By Enxhi Myslymi, Managing Editor, and Christina Mowry, Assistant News Editor
On Nov. 13, Fairfield seniors, as part of the Beach Residents Advocacy Group, raised more than $1,100 for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The group sponsored a Taco Loco food truck fundraiser near the Seagrape Café, where they charged $2 per taco; every dollar raised went to MADD, according to President of BRAG Storm Miller ‘15.
“We did this fundraiser in an effort to improve relations at the beach and do some community outreach work,” Miller said.
When asked why BRAG chose to support MADD, Miller explained that Lt. Thomas Mrozek of the Fairfield Police Department originally asked BRAG to attend a MADD walk that occurred during Alumni Weekend.
“We figured that our turnout would be real low since everyone was doing Alumni Weekend things, but we wanted to find a creative way to still help them out,” said Miller. “We thought MADD was a great organization considering a lot of our Friday and Saturday nights involve drinking.”
Founded in 1980, MADD aims to “stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking,” according to its website. As part of their victim services, MADD provides 24 hour support to victims affected by drunk driving.
The taco truck fundraiser was deemed a success due to the number of participants and funds raised.
“This fundraiser in general was packed … People were all over the place,” said Assistant Director of Residence Life Pejay Lucky.
Miller said that besides raising funds for MADD, BRAG also hopes to “improve relations at the beach” with local Fairfield residents.
The group, which includes Kevin Gavin ‘15 and Ellie Goepel ‘15, has organized beach cleanups from August to October and a breakfast for all beach residents.
According to Lucky, town residents have been “appreciative of stuff we’ve done like the beach cleanup.” However, some residents “are steeped in the history” of Fairfield students living on the beach, and there is a minority that “still doesn’t ever want anything to do with students.”
Similar to the Inter-Residential Housing Association on campus, Lucky explained that BRAG’s two focuses are building community and advocacy. The group aims to have “one big advocacy project” per semester, with the MADD fundraiser as the fall event.
In addition to a spring advocacy project, BRAG hopes to host a forum for students who will live off campus next year.
“[We would] discuss with them safety, and trash and to prepare them for living off campus, Miller said. “That would be March or April of next year.”
Miller also explained that as a student advocacy group, BRAG aims to “represent concerns and needs for the students living down at the beach.”
Part of what BRAG does, according to Miller, is to speak up for students in situations where “a student thinks they’re treated unfairly by a police officer or a neighbor.”
For Gavin, “making a good reputation for ourselves and the school community” is a significant goal BRAG hopes to achieve.
“We don’t want everyone to think that we’re here to drink,” Gavin said. “At the end of the day, we are people and we do have heart.”