University hosts rivalry blood drive

The rivalry between USC and Notre Dame didn’t only play out on the field this weekend.

The USC Red Cross Club hosted its 2013 USC vs. Notre Dame Rivalry Blood Drive from Oct. 11 to Oct. 18.

The Rivalry Blood Drive is a competition with the University of Notre Dame to see which school can collect the most blood within the week. Stations where students could donate blood were set up at McCarthy Quad, Harris Residence Hall and University Village.

This year, USC collected 142 units of blood. Notre Dame’s results are not yet known.

In past years, the Blood Drive competed with crosstown rival UCLA, but their numbers were too low to elicit much of a competition, according to USC Red Cross Club President Diana Chung. Notre Dame proved to be a new challenge.

“Notre Dame is definitely not an easy rival,” Chung said. “They reach out not only to their campus but their entire community around campus, which we aren’t able to do because of security measures.”

The event is meant to coincide with the USC vs. Notre Dame football game.

“At the end of the weekend it’s like a kind of culmination with the football game to see who wins the blood drive and who wins the football game,” said Madelyn McCadden, a sophomore majoring in global health and a member of the Red Cross Club.

The blood drive was sponsored by various organizations including Chicanos/Latinos for Health Education, Vietnamese Student Association, Alpha Phi Omega, Trojan Pride, Tzu Ching Trojans, Delta Sigma Pi, Panhellenic Council and Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering, which sent volunteers to help run the drive.

One of the volunteers, Shelief Juarez, a sophomore majoring in political science and biology and member of the Chicanos/Latinos for Health Education, said she enjoys being able to give back.

“It’s a really good opportunity to help around campus,” Juarez said.

Students showed up to give blood for a variety of reasons, either by walk-in or appointment.

Ryan Burrow, an undeclared freshman, mentioned that his fraternity is involved in a community service initiative and was looking for ways to contribute.

“We’ve been seeing this truck on campus all week and we thought me might as well all go out and do it,” he said.

The club reports that every donation will save three lives.

Chung noted that some people must be turned away for a variety of reasons, such as being sick within the last week or having an iron deficiency.

“We definitely have to turn people away,” she said. “We want to make sure that the blood itself that we give to sick patients isn’t contaminated.”

Men who have had sexual relations with other men since 1977 are also not allowed to donate.

“There was a thing where we had to turn away someone that was gay,” McCadden said. “There’s a federal law still in place where they won’t take blood if you’re gay because of the risk of HIV.”

Kyron Richard, a sophomore majoring in public relations, said he was turned away after filling out the personal questionnaire.

“[The Red Cross attendant] was really respectful about it, but he basically told me there was an FDA regulation that didn’t allow men who had any kind of sexual contact with men since ’77 to donate blood,” Richard said.

Even still, Chung considers this year’s drive to have had a successful turnout.

“This year we didn’t have as many appointments,” Chung said. “But we definitely had a lot of walk-ins, which more than made up for the appointments.”


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1 reply
  1. Alum
    Alum says:

    Ok. Wow.

    This piece kind of went everywhere. It’s titled to discuss and begins by discussing the USC/ND rivalry. It then moves to the drive and their sponsors. It then moves to rejecting people from donating and goes into an aside discussing federal restrictions for MSM (men who have sex with men) blood donation…? I mean, what…? It either should’ve focused on the rivalry/numbers/turnout/winner or the larger picture gay donation/restrictions/MSM/cultural shifts/etc., not both.

    Matt, I’m sure you’re a fine writer. This one wasn’t quite your best work. This article is lacking a lot of focus and the editing staff should’ve picked up on that before publishing.

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