Thankfully, the first annual Rawls Battle of the Organizations Blood Drive did not turn out to be a bloodless battle.
The competition took place on Wednesday at the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, where students and employees donated blood to show their support for various student organizations. The organizations competed to see which group's supporters could give the greatest volume of blood. During the course of the event, participants gave a total of 37 units of blood — more than any previous Rawls College blood drive has collected, said Andrew Miller, the event's student organizer.
"Nine amazing Rawls organizations competed, and we are excited to announce that the Tech Marketing Association, under the leadership of Jake Patterson, is the first winner of the Battle of the Organizations Blood Drive," said Miller, president of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, one of the competing organizations.
Other student groups that participated included: the Multicultural Student Business Association, Rawls Ambassadors, Women in Business, the Tech Society for Human Resource Management, Rawls Information Security Association, the National Association of Black Accountants, and the Rawls Graduate Association.
Rawls freshman Kaylee Barfield was among the members of the Tech Marketing Association who turned out to support the group and give blood. Though she wanted her organization to win, she said her biggest motivation was the opportunity to improve the health of people in the world whom she has never met.
"It's more than just helping my organization," she said. "It's about helping others at the end of the day."
Rawls College senior Isabel Torres, who is the vice president of the Women in Business student organization, spent part of the day running her organization's booth outside of the main blood donation area. As she watched people arrive to give blood, she spoke about a time in her life when she was on the receiving end of such donations.
"For me, it's personal because I was sick for a long time. I had to have many blood transfusions," she said. "At one point, I had to wait four hours to get the type of blood I needed."
What difference did the gifts of blood make for her?
"I'm here," Torres said with a smile. "I'm alive."