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Davis, California

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Causeway Classic blood drive returns to UC Davis

The rivalry between UC Davis and Sac State isn’t just limited to the football field – BloodSource will hold its second-annual Causeway Classic Blood Drive competition between the two campuses at Freeborn Hall, Nov. 17 through 18.

The contest, where the winning campus is determined on the basis of the number of blood donations, has provided the most donations from UC Davis sources. UC Davis was last years’ winner of the Causeway Classic Blood Drive with a total of 1,200 pints of blood.

“[BloodSource] started the competition because we thought the competitive spirit would bring out a larger number of donors,” said BloodSource account manager Brie Leon. “It’s a staple of the community; blood donors of UC Davis are directly benefiting others that live in their community.”

Incentives to donate include a free t-shirt and a ticket to the Esquire IMAX theatre in Sacramento. Additionally, the campus organization with the highest participation will receive a check for $500.

Yet circulating ASUCD senate resolution 29, authored last spring by senator Mo Torres questioned the legitimacy of the blood drives on campus. Due to FDA policy, men who have sex with men are not eligible to donate blood. Opposition to the policy arose and led to the legislation seeking to end ASUCD sponsorship of the Causeway Classic Blood Drive and all other drives periodically held on campus.

Though the legislation failed to pass, students remain divided on the issue. Torres did not return requests for comment.

“The FDA Policy is discriminatory, but [the legislation] would mean severing ties with a non-profit organization that helps save lives in our community,” said junior political science and sociology double major Andre Lee. “This is not addressing the FDA policy, this is addressing BloodSource, that has to follow the policy. I think that the goals were right, but by attacking the non-profit organization, we are holding people’s lives hostage.”

Regardless of the varying perspectives on the FDA policy, it remains true that UC Davis has provided the largest number of donations for Sacramento’s BloodSource.

Junior Caitlin Jones has directly felt the benefits of the blood drives held on campus. After being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer originating from white blood cells, Jones received the blood transfusion needed to replenish the necessary nutrients she lost because of a bone marrow transplant received to treat the cancer. Since the transfusion, Jones has been living cancer-free for a year.

“Your blood is like your immunity-it contains oxygen and the white blood cells needed to fight off harmful material,” Jones said. “The blood drives draw in a large amount of donors so that you can therefore supply a wider variety of people who are in need.”

Students and the Davis community can stop by Freeborn Hall and donate between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. today and tomorrow. The winner of the second annual Causeway Classic Blood Drive will be announced at Saturday’s football game, wherein the winning campus will receive a trophy for their success.

“We are floored with the amount of support we’ve seen; when you see all the students and staff come to donate, you see how much people care,” Leon said. “You never know when an accident is going to happen, and if it was someone you loved, you would want to make sure that it was their blood on the shelf.”

REBECCA SHRAGGE can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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