Unpopular Opinion: I’m Still Donating Blood

Since my year abroad began, Gryphon Mail has become my link back to campus. Paired with Facebook and emails from friends it is my source of campus gossip, my way of knowing what the collective Sarah Lawrence has been up to. Sometime in March, I got an email about the blood petition. As the email explained, the petition aimed to reverse the FDA ban, which prevents healthy gay and bisexual men from donating. Upon reading this, I immediately registered, signed and forwarded the email to family and friends. The FDA ban is something I firmly believe needs to be reversed. There are a good number of adjectives that come to mind when I think of how to describe the FDA’s current policy, each more colorful than the last, but perhaps the most potent one is ‘wrong.’ Not only is the ban outdated, it is blatantly prejudiced. I could rant about the reasons why, but I not here to convince you to challenge the policy. I am here instead to ask you to give blood.

Now why would I ask you to do this? Why give blood when the organizations and agencies that dictate the regulations of blood donation hold such a bias? Why?

Because blood is something we will always need. In the wake of disaster or even on an ordinary day, blood banks are in constant need of donations. Blood has a shelf life of about forty-two days, after which time it is considered outdated. So despite donations, there is always a need for more. That will not change.

I don’t know if people let the ban specifically prevent them from donating, but I sincerely hope they don’t. I believe that giving blood should be a decision independent of someone’s decision to support the blood donor petition. I also don’t think Sarah Lawrence should refuse to host a bloodmobile. Students should be able to choose whether or not to donate, with each option presented fairly. A blood drive or bloodmobile on campus would give us the option to either offer up an arm or actively protest. As it stands, Sarah Lawrence has the odd student group promoting donations or shuttle driving to centers. This effort is not enough.

I understand the impulse to not want to participate or support an organization that does not uphold the right morals. I think the FDA policy needs to be rewritten, but I don’t think it should prevent people from donating. Although the policies of FDA have not changed, we have to recognize that neither has the need for blood. There are people who still need blood and because of donations will receive blood, regardless of sexual orientation. So reconsider, fellow SLCers, your stance on blood donation. If Sarah Lawrence still won’t host a van, hop on the Metro North one weekend and visit one of New York’s donation centers. If nothing else, do it for the free cookie.

For more information on SLC’s Blood Policy please visit the Student Affairs Information Page

The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not reflect the opinion of SLCSpeaks. If you don’t agree with them, consider submitting to the Unpopular Opinion contest ideas@slcspeaks.com.

Submitted by: Zoe Marquedant

1 Comment

  • Reply October 9, 2013

    Elijah Zane

    I agree, while it sucks that they have this policy, but at the end of the day they are a net force for good and I think we shouldn’t let our own indignation get in the way of saving lives

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