Andrea's Walk

Andrea’s Walk is an annual event started by the Health Studies Students’ Association (HSSA) in 2016, to honour and remember former student Andrea Christidis and raise awareness about impaired driving.

On the night of October 7, 2015, Andrea Christidis was struck by a drunk driver whose car jumped the curb on campus while walking back to her residence hall. She passed away as a result of her injuries two days later. She was 18 years old. Andrea, a first-year health studies student, has been described as a kind and compassionate individual who wanted to work in the medical field.

Jared Dejong, the man responsible for the accident, pleaded guilty and was later sentenced to five years in prison. Dejong had been drinking on campus at the Spoke for several hours prior to the accident.

Andrea’s Walk aims to commemorate Andrea and raise awareness to end driving under the influence. One of the founders of Andrea’s Walk and a former member of the HSSA, Shannon Carman, lived in Elgin Hall during her first year, across the street from Medway-Sydenham Hall where Andrea lived, and had walked the same path Andrea had walked many times. Carman knew that the HSSA had a duty to honour Andrea’s life and raise awareness to prevent tragedies like this from happening on our campus—and at all—again.  

Jama Yusuf, VP Communications of the HSSA explains, “The purpose of this walk is to keep her memory alive and continue the battle against impaired driving by showing our support and commitment to the issue.” The HSSA has been partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for the past three years to raise funds to support MADD in their quest to end impaired driving and support victims and their families.

The HSSA encourages anyone who is able to attend the walk, and urges people who are unable to attend to encourage their family, friends and classmates to attend. This year would have been Andrea’s graduating year, and through this walk, they hope to keep her memory alive.

“Drinking and driving is never and should never be an option,” says Yusuf. “You are never a ‘good enough driver’ to drink and drive. You’re simply putting the lives of innocent people on the line.”

The third annual Andrea’s Walk will be held this Friday, September 28th. The walk will begin at Concrete Beach at 2P.M.. There will then be a memorial service at the site of the accident for those who wish to pay their respects, followed by refreshments in the Health Sciences building.

More information about this year’s walk can be found on the event page. If you’d like to learn more about MADD and how you can join the fight to end impaired driving, check out their website, and Twitter page.

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