Mizzou Black Men’s Initiative partnered with the American Red Cross, the Interfraternity Council and Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi fraternities Tuesday to sponsor the third annual Blood Brothers Blood Drive.
Stotler Lounge was transformed into a blood donation clinic. White foldable dividers filled the room to give donors added privacy. A staff of four Red Cross nurses were stationed around the room, and radio played softly in the background.
MBMI Event Coordinator Marcus Mayes sat with his computer at a table covered with post-donation snacks to make sure the event went smoothly.
Mayes said the sponsors of the drive set a goal of 100 donations. He said he was concerned the rain would deter donors from attending.
Students and staff trickled in throughout the day. Mayes said two hours were added to the drive this year in the hope that more people would sign up to donate.
The donor count at the end of the drive was 100, said Craig Jackson, donor recruitment representative for the Red Cross. He said 20 percent of the blood donations in Boone County come from college campuses.
“Our blood donations drop in number during winter and summer break, so it’s always good to replenish the supply,” he said.
Jackson said, although this blood drive does not bring in as many donors as the Homecoming or Greek Week drives, this was an above average drive for Boone County. On average, 25 units of blood are donated per drive, but the Blood Brothers drive brought in four times that number.
Phillip Simpkins, a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, said his fraternity sees the drive as a very important event because one of fraternity's well-known alumni, Charles Drew, completed groundbreaking research in the field of blood transfusions and also helped improve blood storage techniques.
Austin Ratzki, an IFC member, also helped out at the drive. He said he donated blood at the first Blood Brothers Drive in 2011 and decided to donate again this year. Ratzki said it is important to show support for the Blood Brothers Drive even though it is not as big as the drives held during Greek Week or Homecoming.
“Everyone needs blood and anything will help,” he said.
Mayes said he was satisfied with the turnout, but, like every year, the biggest challenge the blood drive faced was informing the student body about the event.
“It’s hard to spread the news,” he said. “The first week of classes is always chaotic.”