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Hillsdale College’s blood drives have under­per­formed in recent years, hardly bringing in enough donors to justify the American Red Cross’ visit. A new ini­tiative from Delta Tau Delta and Chi Omega is looking to change that.

The cam­paign is the brain­child of DTD Vice Pres­ident senior James Young, who said he is hoping to harness Hillsdale’s com­pet­itive spirit to drive up dona­tions. Beginning with the blood drive on April 28, dorms, Greek houses, and sports teams will be scored based on their total par­tic­i­pation in the drive. The most suc­cessful orga­ni­zation will take home a trophy, which the orga­nizers have named “The Giving Goblet.”

“People on Hillsdale’s campus are very gen­erous; that’s just kind of who we are,” Young said. “What we’re trying to do for this blood drive and for every single blood drive going forward is to make it a com­pe­tition, not only trying to instill pride in indi­viduals on Hillsdale’s campus but cap­turing people’s pride in their orga­ni­zation.”

Young first became inter­ested in the issue, after speaking with a Red Cross employee when donating blood during the drive in Feb­ruary.

“She expressed to me that she was really dis­ap­pointed with the levels of dona­tions that were coming from Hillsdale,” Young said. “The most recent blood drive netted 86 units of blood; the largest donation ever from Hillsdale College was 106 units of blood. And the Red Cross esti­mates that in order for it to be worth it for them to come here, they need to be aver­aging between 100 and 110 units of blood every single blood drive. When I heard that, I thought, ‘I’m taking over this event.’”

Student dorms and Greek houses have taken turns coor­di­nating blood drives with the Red Cross for years with mixed results. Simpson Head Res­ident Assistant senior Hank Prim said the semester’s first blood drive was ham­pered by sched­uling issues and a con­flict with a prospective student visit day.

“The No. 1 most important respon­si­bility is just bringing in the donors; the mar­keting has to be huge,” said Asso­ciate Dean of Men Jeffrey Rogers, who coor­di­nates the drives with student orga­ni­za­tions. “If the stu­dents aren’t excited about it, they won’t show up; they won’t tell their friends.”

Even though student vol­un­teers take care of much of the preparatory efforts for Hillsdale’s blood drives, the events still rep­resent a large allo­cation of resources from the Red Cross, Rogers said.

“There’s a lot of resources expended,” Rogers said. “There’s all the staff that has to be paid; there’s all the set-up and prepa­ration, so if they come here and they bring all that stuff and they only get like 20 units, it’s not a good drive. We want over 100 units every time.”

Young is more opti­mistic: He said he hopes by encour­aging com­pe­tition, the Giving Goblet will drive as many as 200 people to give on April 28.

“Two hundred units would only be 14 percent of the campus,” Young said.

Young and Rogers have also talked about ways to get other groups of stu­dents involved.

“A lot of times coaches aren’t so keen on having their ath­letes give blood, because it weakens them for a little bit,” Young said. “But some­thing that Chief and I have been talking about is trying to encourage the coaches to encourage the ath­letes to help.”

In the end, all that matters is getting people to become donors.

“It’s a pain for everyone involved,” Prim said, “but at the end of the day, we all have 30 minutes we can give of our­selves to help a ben­e­ficial cause.”