The Utica College women’s soccer team is looking for a better way to encourage students to not drink and get behind the wheel. It is every parent’s worst fear knowing that something has happened to their child, all because of an occasion where a student doesn’t think it can happen to them.
A majority of our campus knows of the devastating accident that happened last semester when UC soccer player Amanda Pawlikowski and her boyfriend were driving home from Syracuse; she and her boyfriend were hit head- on by an intoxicated driver. Her boyfriend, Kane Buss, did not make it.
Though this situation is something that could never be forgotten, Pawlikowski’s teammates came up with an idea to turn this situation into a positive one by creating a group known as Students for Sober Driving.
Brianna Marfe, the president of this group and a close friend to Pawlikowski, is adamant about making a difference and to prove that getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is not worth it. “We started the club last spring to support our teammate Amanda when her boyfriend Kane died by being hit by a drunk driver,” Marfe said. “Amanda is lucky enough to still be here unfortunately Kane isn’t with us.”
“Kane wanted to be a police officer and do so many great things for people so we wanted to give something back,” she said. “We are trying to raise money not only for our club but for his scholarship that his family started and we are also working with stop DWI in Oneida County.”
Marfe and her teammates are hoping to not only make a difference in Pawlikowski’s life, but for students on our campus as well.
“We want to make sure as a club that no one has to go through the pain that Amanda and Kane’s family went through,” Marfe said.
Senior Margaret Talarico is happy that Students for Sober Driving is being promoted.
“I think it’s amazing that something good is coming out of something that was so bad regarding Amanda’s accident,” Talarico said. “It’s a great opportunity to bring students on our campus together for a great cause.”
Another student is all for this group as well. Junior Elizabeth DeAngelis thinks that this is a great opportunity to bring awareness to a serious situation that can be fatal.
“To form a group like this and to honor someone who seemed like an amazing guy is awesome,” DeAngelis said. “I can’t even imagine what Amanda had to go through, and I think it’s a great opportunity for students on our campus to see firsthand how serious this is.”
Photo: Pictured from left: Brianna Marfe, Rachel Murphy, Krystine Alvear, Jordynn Miller, and Sara Kubera. Photo submitted by Students for Sober Driving.