Media Technologies and Production to host third annual blood drive

By Olivia LeDuc and Maddie Khaw

This Friday, March 3, students can donate blood to the American Red Cross in the third annual blood drive sponsored by Emerson’s Media Technologies and Production department, Emerson Channel, and the EVVYs. 

The blood drive will take place in the Bill Bordy Theater from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Themed after “spring break,” the event will feature music, decorations, and spring break-related movies, along with the standard medical questionnaires and donation booths.

“When people talk about blood drives, people just think it’s such a serious matter that is not really fun, so people don’t want to care too much about it,” said Tiffany Ni, a junior marketing communication major and Emerson Channel’s director of marketing. 

The spring break theme is a way to make the event “more fun and more engaging, to ultimately encourage as many eligible students as possible to participate,” Ni said. “We encourage students to participate, to show up, and to register, and we are really looking forward to seeing them on Friday.” 

The more donors, the better, said Emerson Channel Manager Diana Barton.

“Donating blood is saving a life,” Barton said. “[Students] could be saving multiple lives; you could be going that extra mile, but you don’t know until you donate blood.”

According to Barton, in the college’s last blood drive in 2020, blood donations “met, if not exceeded” the Red Cross’s prospects of blood amount collected. 

Barton hopes that the event’s festivities might draw in students who are otherwise afraid or unsure about donating blood.

“I’m just hoping that students will peek in and see that it’s a friendly place and not as bad as they think,” she said, adding that first-time donors are often “pleasantly surprised” by the experience.

Although the MTP-sponsored blood drive began in 2019, it was put on hold in 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’re happy that we’re able to bring it [back] again this year,” EVVYs adviser Eric Fox said. “The need for blood donors has never gone away, especially during COVID. If you’re able to, and it’s something that’s important to you, then I highly encourage you to donate.”

Fox said he will be making a “Power Red donation,” which allows the donor to safely give two units of red blood cells during one donation, while retaining their plasma and platelets. According to the Red Cross website, red blood cells are the most frequently used blood component, and needed by almost every type of patient requiring transfusion.

“It can help more people,” Fox said of the Power Red donation. “I know it’s important for me to donate when I can.”

To make a Power Red donation, individuals must meet specific criteria for hemoglobin, weight, and height. Students can also opt for a whole blood donation, which is the most flexible type of donation and contains red blood cells, platelets, plasma, and white blood cells.  

Before donating blood, Red Cross volunteers will provide a medical questionnaire and interview donors about their health history and places they may have recently traveled. 

Students are encouraged to sign up for an appointment through the Red Cross website or the blood drive’s QR code, but walk-ins are also available. Students who donate blood will receive a $10 Amazon gift card. 

The Red Cross provides a list of eligibility requirements for donating blood.