Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

    Symposium Day blood drive sends message

    Professor Meg Gillette and her foundations track honors students are holding a blood drive on Symposium Day from 10am to 3pm in PepsiCo Recreation Center.
    Foundations students plan to use this blood drive to aid in hurricane relief as well as bring awareness to campus about what they called discrimination against gay men in the process of blood donation.
    According to the FDA, any man that has had sex with a man within the last 12 months should be deferred from donating blood. The most recent research into HIV and this reason for deferral was presented in 2014.
    The students of Foundations decided, after reading On Immunity by Eula Biss, that they would organize their own blood drive to discuss with the student body the ideas of the body that Biss presents in her novel.
    Gavin Wink, one of the students, said, “The big theme of this class is the body and whether we’re in control of our own bodies. [The blood drive] ties into that really well, about sharing your body for the common good.”
    On Immunity is a nonfiction novel that discusses Biss’s journey through motherhood and her research on vaccinations.
    The students have created and signed a petition to send to the FDA after the drive that states their opinion against the regulations preventing sexually active gay men from donating blood. The petition will also be available to sign at the drive.
    “While we still support donation, freshman Cassandra Karn said, “We want to kind of protest this discrimination.”
    Freshman James Wheeler said that the students’ goal is to make the campus aware of the FDA regulation through use of informational boards and other public speech. Even if students are not donating, the drive is meant as a communicative tool for the whole student body.
    Most of the foundations students will either be donating or working at the drive.
    Any student that donated in the recent Greek blood drive is not eligible to donate on Thursday. It is required to wait at least eight weeks before donating again, but the students encourage all to come and learn.

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    Symposium Day blood drive sends message