Sac State sticks it to UC Davis

BloodSource collected more than 1,000 donations in first two days of the blood drive alone. The campus goal was 700 donations over the course of the entire drive.:


BloodSource collected more than 1,000 donations in first two days of the blood drive alone. The campus goal was 700 donations over the course of the entire drive.:

Andres Cuevas Jr.

In addition to competing in the Causeway Classic rivalry football game every year, Sacramento State and the University of California, Davis hold a blood drive every year to see which school can get the most donors from campus communities.

This year Sacramento State is going all out to win the blood drive competition. After two days of working with BloodSource to collect donations on campus, the university had more than 1,000 members of the campus community donate blood.

The winner of the competition will be announced at half time of the annual football game taking place on Nov. 8.

The winning school will receive a trophy to go along with the bragging rights of beating the other school in something.

The theme for Sac State this year was “Let’s stick it to Davis,” which embraces the eagerness of Sac State students working together to beat UC Davis.

Tim Howard, communications studies professor, along with his public relations planning and management class, put together a campaign to try and get more students to participate and be involved in this year’s blood drive.

“Our goal this year was to get at least 700 students to donate,” Howard said.

Howard said that in Sacramento alone, 700 pints of blood are needed per day, so he thought it would be great to get one day’s worth of donations covered by this event.

Along with students and faculty, BloodSource, one of California’s largest blood donation agencies, coordinated the competition by going to the campuses and taking the donations.

BloodSource has been around since 1948 and provides blood for more than 40 hospitals in more than 25 counties in northern California.

At Sac State, the blood drive took place Oct. 20 and 21 in the University Union ballroom.

For UC Davis, the blood drive will be on Nov. 4 and 5 in Freeborn Hall.

In recent years, the annual blood drive received about 100 student donations per day and around three or four hundred total donors.

This year more than 400 students donated blood on the first day alone at Sac State. Much of the success is due to the hard work that Howard and his class spent on the campaign and preparing for the event.

“Our goal as a class was to not only create awareness about the issues, but to incite action from people,” Howard said.

Howard’s class promoted and organized the Sac State drive with the idea of attracting more people to come and help out with the cause.

“My (public relations) class got to engage the theories that we learn in class and fold it into real life,” Howard said.

Jason Brand, senior communications studies and public relations major, was excited to be a part of Howard’s class and enjoyed being part of this project.

He said this was his first campaign event ever, but he was more than willing to take on the responsibility that goes along with it.

“I am having lots of fun doing what we talk about in class, and learning a lot at the same time,” Brand said.

Tim Gilmore, administrative assistant of BloodSource and Sac State alumnus, was excited to be a part of the blood drive and going back to school and working with students.

“I was part of Howard’s class when I went to school. I’m glad to see what he’s doing with the class and also to be able to be a part of it,” Gilmore said.

In order for students to donate blood, they had to go through a process that included filling out paperwork dealing with their medical past.

If the student went through the first steps and got an approval from a donor evaluator, the last step was to get their blood drawn by a nurse.

Alejandra Fuentes, junior sociology major and blood donor, felt that she helped out a good cause and also appreciated the food and drinks provided.

“They had Goldfish, Oreos, Chips Ahoy, pretzels, peanut butter cookies, water, juices and more stuff. The best part was that it was all you can eat for the snacks, and they made you stay at least ten minutes after so you get properly hydrated,” Fuentes said.

After students were done donating, they were sent to a table full of snacks and drinks available for them to replenish and rehydrate.

“We have snacks and drinks to replenish the students’ fluids, and we tell them to take it easy for the next 48 to 60 hours,” Tim Gilmore said.

Donors included students, faculty and administration.

For Stephen Perez, assistant to the president for special projects, donating means more than just simply giving one pint of blood.

“My mother died of leukemia eight and a half years ago, and a blood drive deals with the same issues that she dealt with so it’s a way of helping,” Perez said.

Perez believes that donating blood can help other people in similar situations that his mother was in.

“This is my third time donating at Sac State and it makes me feel good every time,” Perez said.

Perez said it was good to see so many people participating in the blood drive and being involved.

“Everyone who participated should be proud of themselves,” Perez said.

Aside from donating blood, students were also able to donate marrow if they wanted.

Liz Ustick, marrow recruitment specialist for BloodSource, was collecting marrow from students who volunteered.

“Our marrow bank is 70 percent Caucasian, which means that a lot of minorities can’t get a transplant when they need it,” Ustick said.

Racial and ethnic heritage are very important factors when it comes to marrow transplant matching.

The reason for this is people are most likely going to have the same tissue type as someone in their same race or ethnicity.

“Right now, 83 percent of (blacks) cannot get a marrow transplant when they need it and that’s sad,” Ustick said. “I don’t think it’s that people aren’t willing to donate though; it’s that people just don’t know.”

Ustick said that the best possible marrow donors are males between the ages of 18 to 25.

Although so many students came out and participated in the blood drive, the need for donations never ends. Students from either school can go to a BloodSource location and support their respective schools until Nov. 7.

As long as the student specifies which school he or she wants to support, the donation will be counted towards the totals in the competition.

BloodSource will be at the residence halls of Sac State on Nov. 3 from 5 to 9 p.m. to collect more donations.

Andres Cuevas Jr. can be reached [email protected].