The annual “Scream Screen” blood drive took place in the Bart Luedeke Center Cavalla Room, hosted by 107.7 The Bronc and service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega on Oct. 17 and 18.
Representatives from the Miller-Keystone Blood Center were running the donations. There were multiple cots set up for donation as well as a canteen area for regaining blood sugar after donating.
Senior dance performance major Tiffani Britton, who is involved with both the hosting organizations, said that this year’s blood drive promised to have a good turnout despite the circumstances.
“We have about 160 people registered across all class levels and classifications, and then there’s faculty and staff as well,” she said.
Several students were donating around 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 17. Two of the cots were filled and three were at the canteen. The room was filled with sunshine from the large windows as well as the radiant energy of everyone working for Miller-Keystone.
Tracy Trapp is an account manager for the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based blood center. She usually oversees hundreds of blood drives each year, but that number has been reduced drastically due to the pandemic.
“We have so much less staff than we did that it’s impossible to stay at that pace,” Trapp said. “We’re focusing more on our fixed sites rather than mobile sites because we know we can have the staff there.”
The lack of staff did not stop Miller-Keystone from coming to Rider. Schools, she pointed out, can provide large turnouts on a single day, and that can benefit a blood supply that is much lower than normal.
Aware of the blood supply problem, Britton said that 107.7 The Bronc was offering an incentive to those who pre-registered.
“The first 100 students who registered online actually received like a $50 ‘Scream Screen’ fun pack with gift cards. We got to that goal and have a five list [of students] here,”Britton said.
One of the donors was freshman criminal justice major Alexis Ladner. She sat at the canteen eating a granola bar when she expressed a heartfelt reason for why she donated.
“I heard some of it is going to a children’s hospital, and I just love children,” she exclaimed.
Also at the canteen with Ladner was senior accounting major Chad Wagner. He said that he was a regular donor and he pre-registered online to receive the gift cards.
Everyone had their reason to donate but getting as many people as possible to donate as often as they can is important to get the blood supply back to normal, according to Trapp.
“It’s a nationwide shortage and cancer patients, trauma victims, and premature babies need this blood to live. … I urge anyone who can to donate with us or really anywhere,” said Trapp.
Miller-Keystone operates a fixed site open Wednesday through Sunday on Main Boulevard in Ewing adjacent to The College of New Jersey. There will be another blood drive held on Rider’s campus in the spring semester.