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SU community members can make a difference at Feb. 13 blood drive and Better Together food packaging event

February 08, 2012

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Members of the SU community will have the opportunity to make an impact both locally and globally on Monday, Feb. 13, leading up to the men’s basketball showdown between SU and Louisville.

bloodIndividuals can donate blood as part of the American Red Cross “Are you up for the challenge?: Give Blood” campaign from 2-9 p.m. in Goldstein Auditorium in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center. For the third year in a row, students, faculty and staff at Syracuse University and the University of Connecticut will compete in the annual SU vs. UConn Blood Battle, sponsored by the American Red Cross and Student Affairs. While the battle officially takes place in April, participants are encouraged to give blood and pre-register at the Feb. 13 kick-off event. To schedule an appointment to donate blood on Feb. 13, call 315-233-6010.

The SU vs. Louisville game is to be shown on the widescreen at 7 p.m. Students will be able to purchase “One Dollar Tailgate Food” using Supercard, credit cards and cash. Hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, pizza and soda will be available; meal plans will not.

There will also be chances to win prizes, as well as free snacks for participants. First-Year Players, a student-run musical theater group, and the SU Spirit Squad will provide entertainment.

Also in the Goldstein Auditorium, from 4-6 p.m., Better Together Syracuse will host a food packaging event. Volunteers will package 25,000 dehydrated, high-protein, nutritive meals through Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. The meals are used in crisis situations and in feeding programs for schools and orphanages in developing countries around the world.

Not everyone is eligible or able to donate blood, and blood donation is not the only way to support this effort. Volunteers are needed for meal packaging. If you are interested in volunteering, in lieu of donating blood or in general, contact Syeisha Byrd, director of the Office of Engagement Programs at Hendricks Chapel and coordinator of Better Together Syracuse, at 443-1254 or

In tandem with the SU vs. UConn Blood Battle, SU's Division of Student Affairs is launching a Blood Drive Activism campaign to educate the SU community on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) blood ban on men who have sex with men (MSM). Participants in the Feb. 13 blood drive and the subsequent April blood drives will be invited to “donate in protest” of the ban by signing a hard-copy postcard that encourages the FDA to end the ban. Postcards will be available at a table in the auditorium staffed by students from Pride Union and the LGBT Resource Center. Signed postcards will be mailed to the FDA. Campus and local community members are also invited to participate by signing an online petition at, which will be made available during the April blood drives.

The SU vs. UConn Blood Battle was initiated by the Connecticut and New York-Penn American Red Cross offices in 2009-10 in an effort to increase blood donations at college campuses. The SU vs. UConn Blood Battle was patterned after the Ohio State vs. Michigan Blood Battle, which began in 2004.

The winner in the SU v. UConn Blood Battle will be determined by the ratio of enrollment to participation. UConn won the challenge in 2010; SU won in 2011. Blood donations from SU students, faculty and staff—as well as the number of donation drives on campus—have increased over the past six years. Each pint of blood can help save three lives; and in all, SU blood drives have helped to save more than 100,000 lives since the SU-Red Cross partnership began more than 40 years ago.

In 2009-10, 1,447 pints of blood were collected at 42 drives on the SU campus. In 2010-11, 2,111 pints were collected at 51 drives, resulting in 6,333 lives saved in the past year.

By giving blood at the Schine Center during the SU-Louisville game Feb. 13, participants will automatically be pre-registered for the five-day mega-drive from April 10-16. Blood drives will also take place April 4 and 30. Blood donation sites will include SUNY-ESF, the Schine Student Center, the Goldstein Student Center, Day Hall and the Law School. Only the pints collected during the April Blood Battle count in the competition.

For more information about the February or April SU vs. UConn Blood Battles, contact Bridget Yule, director of Student Centers and Programming Services, at 443-9142 or

For information on the Blood Drive Activism campaign, contact Jill Ouikahilo, communications director for Student Affairs, at 443-8568 or

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