The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

2006 a record year for SJU blood drives

St. John’s set a record last year for the amount of blood collected in blood drives at the University throughout the year.
St. John’s received more than 1,225 pints of blood from students, faculty and staff of the Queens and Staten Island Campuses combined in 2006. The amount surpassed St. John’s previous mark of over 500 pints set in 2005.

Blood drives on the St. John’s campus are headed by the Office of Community Relations. The Community Relations department does not act alone, however. The Office of Student Life, the Office of Health and Awareness and various athletic and student groups, including fraternities and sororities, play a large part in the organizing and promoting these events.

“It’s a real collaborative effort.” Said Kevin Ryan, Associate for the Office of Community Relations, “It’s been successful because students and faculty are willing to give blood and do remarkable things.”

The blood donation process starts with completing a donor registration form, which asks basic information about the donor such as their name, age and address as well as their medical history.

After filling out the form, the pulse, blood pressure and temperature of the donor are taken, and they are then moved to a bed where one pint of blood is extracted. The act of donating takes around 10 minutes to complete and afterwards, the contributor receives a light snack and drink, such as cookies and apple juice.

The blood donations go to the New York Blood Center. According to nybloodcenter.org, once collected, each donation is brought to their labs and tested for diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis. After testing, the donations are labeled and stored before being transported to a hospital in need.

Each contribution is separated into three different components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. This makes it is possible for one person’s donation to be used to help multiple people.
Now in his 3rd year working with the blood drives, Mr. Ryan hopes students and faculty will further embrace the Vincentian mission and continue to donate.

“At St. John’s, we try to help people whenever possible. That’s the Vincentian way, whether it’s helping people get an education or helping people to live. I think [these events] are another way to further the mission of the university, which is to help people anywhere and in anyway that you can.”

Freshman Matt O’Leary, who gave blood at one of the blood drives this semester, agrees.

“I feel that a huge part of life is to give life, so I donated blood as my way of sharing what I have with people who may not have as much.”

There have been 3 blood drives so far this year and 3 more are scheduled for the rest of the semester. The first will be held on April 12th in the Residence Village and the other two will be held on April 17th and 18th in Council Hall.

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