On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Kappa Alpha Psi professional business fraternity will be holding their annual blood drive for the spring semester.
The blood drive will include a competition between Fort Hays State University and fellow regent school Emporia State University to see who will have the most donors. The two schools have been competing for the trophy for a year, according to junior Venessa Acevedo, vice president of administration for AKP. Currently, the trophy sits in the third floor of McCartney hall.
This year, AKP is looking to receive 225 donors from Fort Hays to defend the title and help Kansans in need of blood donation.
“Basically we just have two days of the actual blood drive … last semester we were a little short, so we set up a table in McMindes just to get extra sign up to go to the actual blood center,” Acevedo said. “Just to help make up the little extra we were off.”
AKP have been on the campaign to get donation this week, which includes posters around campus, Facebook events and a table taking appointments for donation days. Students are encouraged to make an appointments first, to avoid lines that take away time. The campaign also included classroom visits from Dawn Gable, donor recruitment representative from the American Red Cross Central Plains Region. Gable shared the importance of donations from the eyes of one Fort Hays student.
“We actually found out this semester that one of the stories that Dawn often tells about is a kid who helped save a blood drive in his hometown of Hoxie. A few days later, he was actually in an accident and actually needed blood. He’s her story and we just found out that he’s actually one of our pledges this year. It was kind of interesting to actually put a face to the story.”
Acevedo said this will be her first time donating and admits to being a bit nervous for the experience.
“I’ve never actually been able to donate. In high school I was low on iron and I didn’t weigh enough. My friends said it was really important and part of me was kind of scared. I have a tattoo too, so it’s not that I’m scared of needles,” Acevedo said. “There have been quite a few people in my family that have needed blood for car accidents or sickness. My cousin’s daughter right now is four years old, and she’s going through chemo, so I know she needs stuff.”
Any students can donate, with some exceptions. Students who have received a tattoo outside of a licensed tattoo parlor in Kansas within a year aren’t able to donate. Students must also have been in the United States for at least a year and not have traveled to Africa or certain parts of Mexico. Students will receive a questionnaire prior to donations to see if they are eligible for donations. For more information, or to make an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org.