WKU, MTSU set for second blood drive

Cameron Koch

Few competitions involve seeing who can lose the most blood, but that is exactly what the WKU vs. MTSU Blood Drive Challenge is all about. 

Monday from 12 to 6 p.m., Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Garret Conference Center Ballroom, students will be able to donate blood to WKU’s blood drive collection.

All the blood raised during the competition will be donated to the American Red Cross. According to the American Red Cross website, one pint of donated blood can save up to three lives.

This will be the event’s second year. WKU had previously put on a blood drive that was hosted by the agriculture department.

Brittany Durham, who works for the American Red Cross out of Nashville and helps coordinate blood donating events in the area, was contacted by the MTSU athletic director. He wanted to see if a competition could be set up between MTSU and WKU to help raise more blood, and the rest is history.

Durham was pleased with last year’s drive.

“We did way above the projected goal and over 1000 units total for the red cross, which is amazing,” Durham said.

Last year both schools exceeded the projected goal of 400 units of blood, with WKU raising 511 and MTSU coming out on top with 551 units. This year the expectations are being raised, with a goal of 550 for each school.

Durham is working with Student Activities and the athletic department here at WKU to help raise those numbers.

Hunter Williams, coordinator of Leadership and Volunteerism in Student Activities, is working to spread the word about the drive and thinks the partnership with the American Red Cross is a great thing.

“We are just another outlet that can reach out to the students and encourage them to go give blood,” Williams said. “It is such a good cause and an easy way for students, faculty and staff to give back.”

Megan Micheli, assistant director of Marketing for WKU athletics, said that the variety of departments involved and the competition aspect of the drive will help.

“Getting more departments’ hands on with the blood drive can only help us,” Micheli said. “Our expectation is to win this year.”

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

The winner of the competition will be announced at the WKU vs. MTSU football game on Oct. 6 at MTSU, with the winner receiving a special trophy and, more importantly, bragging rights.

Speaking about WKU, Durham hopes the university will push itself further than it did in the previous competition.

“We are hoping they can step up and bring in 40 more donors than they did last year,” Durham said.