SU beats UConn in annual blood drive competition, effort benefits Golisano Children’s Hospital
Students, faculty and staff at Syracuse University rallied in the final days of competition to beat rival University of Connecticut. The annual “Are you up for the Challenge: Give Blood!” competition keeps track of which school donates the most pints of blood through the American Red Cross. All blood donations collected on the SU campus from the drive will benefit 1,257 patients at the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Lynn Fox, senior account manager at the American Red Cross, says SU needed 400 pints to win the competition this year. “We not only crushed them as far as percentage of participation, but also pint for pint,” says Fox. “Because of the energy, enthusiasm and dedication of the SU students, faculty and staff, the trophy is coming back to Syracuse!”
UConn won the challenge last year.
Ten blood drives across the SU campus in April collected 419 units of blood, for a participation percentage of .0321 (based on an enrollment of 13,040). The UConn blood drive collected 418 units of blood, for a participation percentage of .02 (based on an enrollment of 20,846 students). Addtionally, 153 first-time donors participated in the blood battle.
The SU vs. UConn Blood Battle, sponsored by the American Red Cross and the Division of Student Affairs, took place during April because it is ‘blood-drive month’ for the American Red Cross. A faculty and staff drive that was added this year, sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and Office of Academic Affairs, assisted in pushing the numbers over the top.
Nabeel Alamgir, a SU freshman and student ambassador for the American Red Cross, worked tirelessly to get the word out about the competition. “I’m a very competitive person, but for the first time I did not think about the outcome or winning,” says Alamgir. “The hospitals around Syracuse and Connecticut were winning, so I was content with what would be the final results of the competition.”
The SU vs. UConn Blood Battle was initiated by the Connecticut and New York-Penn American Red Cross offices in 2009-10, in an effort to increase blood donations at college campuses. The SU vs. UConn Battle was patterned after the Ohio State vs. Michigan Blood Battle, which began in 2004.
Each pint of blood can help save three lives. Throughout the past five years, students, faculty and staff have increased their blood donations by 58 percent: from 915 pints collected in 2005-06, to 1447 pints donated in 2009-10. The Sigma Labda Upsilon benefit drive for Sickle Cell Anemia patients saw 36 first-time minority donors. The Winnick Hillell Jewish Student Organization grew from a single drive to three drives annually, while Greek organizations Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Alpha Mu and Sigma Chi sponsor two drives annually. In all, SU blood drives have helped save more than 100,000 lives since the partnership began 40 years ago.
For more information on how to donate blood or volunteer for the American Red Cross, contact Lynn Fox at 233-6043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.