WKU loses to MTSU in blood drive for second year

Cameron Koch

For the second year in a row, WKU fell to Middle Tennessee State University in the Blood Drive Challenge between the two rivals.

MTSU collected 589 units of blood for the American Red Cross and WKU finished with 442 units at the end of last week’s three-day competition. The goal for the blood drive this year was 550 for each school. Last year, WKU collected 511 units of blood.

Brittany Durham, an event coordinator for the American Red Cross based out of Nashville, said the drive’s close proximity to WKU’s fall break is partly to blame for WKU’s numbers being even lower than last year.

“We are kind of learning from different things that can affect the drive,” Durham said. “We made some improvements from last year, and next year we are still going to make improvements from this year.”

However, Durham was still pleased with the results, saying more than 1,300 donors at both schools combined donated blood.

“It’s still a win-win,” Durham said. “The blood from the blood drive last week is on the shelves ready to go to patients right now.”

Hunter Williams, coordinator of student activities at WKU, also believed fall break had a role in the lower than hoped for numbers, but still highlighted the achievement of raising a large volume of blood.

“I think the drive went really well, especially with everything happening over fall break knowing that many of our students go home early — 442 is definitely not shabby at all,” Williams said.

Megan Micheli, assistant director of marketing for the athletics department, said there is room for improvement.

“We are going to have a follow up meeting to discuss the good and the bad,” Micheli said. “We definitely would like to move the blood drive to the Preston Center next year — have it at a more central location.”

The drive was a collaborative effort between the American Red Cross, Student Activities, the agriculture department and athletic department. Volunteers from each group helped run the blood drive.

Williams emphasized that this is only the drive’s second year, and everybody involved is still learning how to make the event as effective as possible. Williams hopes that the WKU vs. MTSU drive will continue to gather steam as it moves ahead and gather more support similar to the Greek Week blood drive in the spring.

“Our Greek Week blood drive is huge,” Williams said. “So we are going to see if there is a way we can take some of that energy and use it in the fall.”