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Monday, April 22, 2024

Editorial: Blood drive boycott — Bloodclot

On April 22 and April 23, the UC Davis Community Service Resource Center and Clinica Tepati sponsored the spring blood drive. BloodSource “bloodmobiles” were on the Quad from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days, and students and community members with a valid ID could stop by any time to donate blood.

Because of a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) policy created in 1983 that bans gay and bisexual identified people from donating blood, the ASUCD Gender and Sexuality Commission (GASC) is leading a boycott against the blood drive. On its Facebook page “UNBAN THE BLOOD: Boycott the Policy,” GASC claims the boycott is a response to the outdated and discriminatory FDA policy. Volunteers will be distributing flyers and brochures with “#bloodboycott” and other information regarding the ban and the boycott leading up to and during the blood drive.

While we fully support equal rights for all LGBTQIQA communities, we believe that this blood drive boycott is an ineffective method of obtaining these rights. The opposition to the ban is not in question here — we completely agree with GASC that the FDA policy should be changed — however, we disagree with GASC for its proposed method of instituting these changes.

First of all, the ban is by the FDA, not BloodSource, so the boycott is not addressing the root of the problem. Instead, it only hurts BloodSource — a nonprofit organization collecting blood to the best of its abilities despite donor restrictions — and the receivers of the blood, some of whom desperately need it.

Furthermore, while small-scale boycotts are often productive mediums of practicing free speech — something we obviously endorse — in this case, GASC would have been much better served working with and writing letters to state and federal legislators to effect change within the FDA’s policies. The flyers say that the boycott is a method that “demands” change, but how is the FDA affected by this? The boycott takes a stand against the wrong people.

Advocates against the ban, not necessarily GASC members, have pointed out that temporary setbacks in blood donation resulting from boycotts are miniscule compared to the additional blood that could be collected from newly eligible donors. This may be the case; however, it seems irresponsible to “punish” people unrelated to a certain issue, no matter how temporary, in order to push across one’s agenda.

We realize that, in this case, the “agenda” is something that we completely support, but GASC’s method of pursuing it is doing more harm than good. Because of this, we do not support the GASC’s boycott of the blood drive or similar movements against blood-collecting organizations, and we encourage people to donate in any way they can to this life-saving cause.

 

 

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