Alpha Phi Omega, We Are Blood host blood drive on campus

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Sophomore Zoë Morris, left, shares a laugh with phlebotomist Maria Perez in We Are Blood’s donation truck that visted campus on Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. We Are Blood has seen a surge in donations in the wake of the shooting in El Paso on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019.

Photo Credit: Jack Myer | Daily Texan Staff

A UT coed service organization is partnering with We Are Blood to bring blood drives to the UT community.

Alpha Phi Omega and the nonprofit, which is focused on collecting blood to serve the Central Texas community, will be offering blood drives in a truck parked on campus throughout the week. Donation stations are open at two locations: Winship Circle from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and outside the Student Services Building from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“In the afternoons when people are coming back home, they typically donate a bit more because during the day, people are going to classes, going back and forth. They don’t have a lot of time,“ said Katia Davis, blood drive co-coordinator and Alpha Phi Omega member. “They’ll come back whenever they have free time to be able to donate.”

Davis, an international business and international relations and global studies sophomore, said donors can expect the process to take around 30 to 45 minutes. Drive co-coordinator Olivia Barboza said the actual donation takes about 10 minutes, but donors are asked a series of questions to determine if they are healthy enough to give blood and if the blood is usable.

 

Barboza, Alpha Phi Omega member, said the organization is hopeful that a more aggressive social media campaign will boost this year’s turnout. The organization offers the blood drive every semester.

“We decided to launch a larger social media campaign and get a lot more advertising out,” neuroscience sophomore Barboza said. “Based on everybody who’s signed up so far for this week, it looks like we’ll be getting … more than we did last semester.”

Barboza said Alpha Phi Omega encouraged students to make an appointment before donating to expedite the process, but the number of scheduled versus walk-in
donors is about even.

Biology freshman Cynthia Lira, who donated blood once before, said she thinks drives such as these are set up to make it easy for students to donate blood. She said she didn’t know about the drive until she saw the truck on her way to class and decided to get her blood drawn.

Barboza said there was a greater focus this year to raise awareness for the importance of blood donation within Alpha Phi Omega. 

“This semester, Katia and I really tried to have speakers come in and talk about why giving blood is so important, especially to our local community,” Barboza said.