“Patriots Think Smart.” This simple, three-word slogan devised by the Student Government Association (SGA) establishes the theme for this school year. Throughout the next four quarters, the SGA team will host events to try to inform and compel students to literally “think smart.”
Every four years, SGA does the “Every Fifteen Minutes” spring project where they address the dangers of drunk driving. The theme for the year, “Patriots think smart,” ties into that project. “The theme is about Patriots making good decisions and good choices about the things we say, write, and do,” SGA sponsor Fevronia Cresham said.
The planned events are going to be held inside this school, however the SGA looks to influence more than the students. “The theme ‘patriots think smart’ is meant to enforce smart thinking along with smart decisions for the entire Wootton community, inside and outside of school,” junior Aaron Lazar said.
While the specific events for the fall and winter are already planned, SGA president Nabila Okudo said, “We are going to encourage wise decision making.”
Students can expect something different to be brought to the table that hasn’t been in years past. “Last year, our theme focused primarily on uniting as one, however this year we wanted to also focus on making good decisions every day,” Lazar said.
The teenage demographic, statistically speaking, is disproportionately affected by drunk driving, which is why the SGA team feels that positive decision-making is a topic that needs to be addressed. “Especially after all the events that have happened, not just in our community, it’s important for kids to actually get a firsthand look at everything that’s impacted by reckless choices,” junior Kayla Hill said.
This county has been heavily affected by fatalities resulting from drinking and driving, however communities across the nation are affected by this issue as well. DrivingLaws.org states that, nationwide, about “2,000 underage drinkers die each year behind the wheel and alcohol is a factor in a third of all teenage auto fatalities.”
The “Every 15 Minutes” campaign is seen as so significant, it’s repeated every four years. Cresham said, “It’s a very important theme especially in today’s world where people don’t always think about the ramifications of their words or actions.”
Back in 2014 student Arshum Rouhanian directed and edited the last “Every 15 minutes” video featuring the causes and effects of a drunk driving accident taking place right outside of this school. The SGA team plans to make a similar video this year, following the story of a group of friends and the consequences of their drunk driving.
The SGA team is also making an effort to get students enthusiastic about their project. “In the past, I know that a lot of people didn’t take spring project seriously but since this year is a topic that affects people our age, unfortunately, I think they will be able to relate to this theme more, take it more seriously, and learn something from it,” Hill said.