The mix of rain and snow may have temporarily dampened the spirits of many last week, but it did not stop hundreds of Quinnipiac students from trekking through the slush to perform their civic duty.
From Feb. 12-14, Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) and Community Action Project (CAP) worked with the Red Cross to operate a blood drive in which nearly 300 people participated.
Turnout did not meet expectations as a result of the poor weather and seemingly prevalent illness throughout campus. Despite the relatively low turnout the project added significantly to the blood supply. As of Thursday afternoon, Daisy Vargas, CAP’s public relations chair, estimated 229 pints of blood had been donated by the Quinnipiac community.
“It was a little slow. Not as many people came as usual,” said Vargas, a junior broadcast journalism major.
In the past, the two organizations have worked together to sponsor blood drives approximately once per semester.
The efforts of TKE, CAP, the Red Cross and especially those who donated, are highly appreciated. According to the Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds.
“I think it’s a great thing and everyone should do it if they can at some point in their life,” freshman entry level master’s physician assistant (ELMPA) major Kathryn Kerley said.
Medical equipment and personnel temporarily filled Alumni Hall. For a few days, the building looked like a hospital wing.
Students who volunteered to donate, first read pamphlets and were then screened by medical technicians. Those that traveled abroad recently filled out extra paper work and the screening process emphasized iron levels, medications and past medical history.
Those that passed the screening went on to give blood.
Music played in the background to create a comfortable atmosphere.
Leading up to the drive, TKE and CAP alternated manning sign-up tables in the Student Center, recruiting interested students.
During the blood drive itself, CAP handled registration duties at the entrance to Alumni Hall. TKE chipped in by servicing the “canteen” area, where food and beverages were served to students after they donated.
Freshman bio-med major Nick Jillson was not deterred. “It’s not a bad process,” he said.
Jillson had donated prior to last week. “I like it, it’s a good feeling afterward,” he said.
“I think college students are all very willing to help out,” Vargas said.
Giving blood is not necessarily a solitary activity. Many students giving blood Tuesday afternoon appeared to come with friends.
“Normally I come with a friend or two, so it’s kind of like a social thing,” Jillson said.
For those that couldn’t make it out to Alumni Hall last week, there will be a second chance.
TKE and CAP will sponsor another blood drive April 16-18.
“I think it’s great that people want to give back,” Vargas said.