Penn State, Michigan State Compete for Blood
The first floor of the Hintz Family Alumni Center was in rare form Wednesday, as it was transformed from its usual serene and studious atmosphere to a bustling blood donor room –– complete with the aromas of Papa John’s pizza and cookies wafting out the doors.
In its 19th annual Penn State vs. Michigan State University blood drive competition, the Penn State Student Red Cross Club scrambled to get the blood drive back in order after Superstorm Sandy caused dangerous weather in the State College area on Monday, forcing the blood drive to end around 1:30 that afternoon. The blood drive resumed Tuesday, with a heightened sense of competition –– Penn State is losing to Michigan State, with the score standing at 202-373 in successful donations as of Friday morning. But there’s plenty of time for catching up, as the competition between Penn State and Michigan State is set to continue through Nov. 15. (For the record, Penn State has won the yearly competition twelve times; Michigan State, six).
As if that isn’t enough competition, other Penn State organizations, both big and small, compete for the Alpha Epsilon Delta “blood cup” trophy, which is given to the org that provides the most donors during the drive. Anyone who donates to the Red Cross also gets a free T-shirt and a coupon to a downtown State College business.
“What’s really fun is, we’re all driven by competition,” says Divya Ghorpade, vice president of the Penn State Student Red Cross. “But at the end of the day, no matter who wins, it’s all going toward a great cause. It’s fun that competition can drive something so good.”
Ashley Tidd, a junior studying international politics, was lying on a hospital bed Wednesday after donating blood, looking a little weary but overall feeling OK (the whole process takes about one hour). She admits the free T-shirt incentive might have lured her in, but it’s ultimately the good cause and sense of competition that spurred her to donate.
“I’ve never done it before, so I figured I should try it,” she says. “Beating Michigan State is another incentive.”
So what does Penn State receive if we beat Michigan State in the blood drive this year?
“We just get pride,” says Ghorpade with a laugh. “We get to say we won.”
-Erika Spicer, Intern