By Ashley Brown | The State News
One student group is storming classrooms on campus in an effort to save lives and beat other universities in the Gift of Life Campus Challenge.
From Jan. 28 to Feb. 24, the Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics Student Association, or BLDSA is working to register organ donors by attending the largest classes on campus to make students aware of the registry process, said David Thorne, a senior specialist in MSU’s College of Natural Science Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics program and adviser of BLDSA.
“A large part of their recruitment effort is going down on Facebook,” he said. “To get people to (the) Facebook site, (BLDSA members are going) to individual classrooms, giving a presentation of what the challenge will hold.”
The competition began between MSU and the University of Michigan in 2004, and MSU has won every year except 2010, when it placed third.
Nearly 20 Michigan universities and colleges are participating in this year’s challenge, including the University of Michigan, Central Michigan University and Ferris State University.
BLDSA is making strides to reclaim the winning spot among Michigan schools, said Mehak Prasad, a medical technology senior and president of the BLDSA.
“We’re setting up booths outside those classes and we have volunteers that sit there with a computer to register (students) at the table,” she said.
As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, MSU is in second place behind Hope College, with a difference of 29 registered students, said Gary Treyger, a medical technology and human biology senior and BLDSA member.
“Last year, I don’t know what happened,” he said. “We didn’t get as much involvement as we needed to. We did pretty well on the list, but this year we really want to focus on winning.”
Although a victory would be exciting, registering students for organ donation is the real cause, Treyger said.
“We pool together all the colleges and universities with the main goal to get college students to sign up to be organ donors,” he said. “We want them because organ donations save lives.”
Although MSU has won numerous challenges, BLDSA still meets some students who are reluctant to register from fear of not understanding the process, Treyger said.
“It’s not like you sign up, and then they’re like, ‘Oh, hey, can we borrow a kidney tomorrow?’” he said.
People who choose to be registered as organ donors will get a sticker on their license as an indication to emergency medical staff that their organs and tissues can be harvested upon their death, Treyger said.
Students, such as Mallory Donick, a political science and pre-law senior, are planning to join the challenge, she said.
“I think it’s right — I would actually do it,” she said. “If I’m not using my organs, someone else might as well.”
But winning isn’t everything, since nearly 10,000 Michigan patients needed a life-saving organ transplant in the past 10 years, Treyger said.
“If you sign up to be an organ donor, you never know what happens down the road, you know?” he said. “So, if you don’t do it, what if nobody else does?”
For more information on becoming an organ donor, visit giftoflifemichigan.org.
To learn more about the National Donation Campus Challenge and how to set up your own please click on picture below