Power Red: Red Cross Comes to the WUC

Written by: Dakota Gange 

Thursday, Nov. 3 brought students and faculty together below a glistening disco ball in a room filled with the melodic voices of Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Shakira. Though, between the machines, needles and stretcher-like beds, this was no party-like event. 

The first Red Cross blood drive of the 2022–23 school year was held in the Pacific Room of the Werner University Center. Though blood drives on campus are run by the Red Cross and its team of phlebotomists, it is Western’s Student Veterans of America and Pre-Med Club that bring the Red Cross to Western’s campus. 

In addition to regular blood donation, the option to donate “Power Red” was also highlighted. 

Explained by redcrossblood.org, “Power Red is similar to a whole blood donation, except a special machine is used to allow you to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation while returning your plasma and platelets to you.” It is required that iron levels are higher for one to donate Power Red than is typically required for regular blood donations.

Student Veterans of America’s Communications Officer, Brant Morgan, and Pre-Med Club President, Lorena Soriano, spearheaded the event.

Morgan is currently studying information systems concentrating in cyber systems and wishes to become an ethical hacker, with plans to do an FBI internship during the summer of 2024. 

Inspired by having to re-learn how to walk at the age of 12 after surviving a life-threatening meningitis illness, Soriano, who is studying pre-med, dreams of becoming a pediatrician.

Both could be seen managing the needs of the drive, or handing out snacks, water and t-shirts to those who had donated. 

Previously, the blood drives were solely run by the Veterans Resource Center, which oversees SVA. However, after teaming up with the Pre-Med club, there has been a significant increase in donations this fall term.  

“This is a good partnership. Especially after the hurricane in Florida, that’s made a big impact on why we need more involvement (donors). Since spring term we’ve seen tremendously more involvement with people donating on campus,” said Morgan, who is also a Peer Advisor in Veterans Education team leader. PAVE is a Western-funded program that supports veteran students through advising, outreach and resources. 

SVA and Pre-Med Club plan to continue their partnership in the promotion of the blood drives, hosting one every term. 

For more information or to stay up to date on future blood drives, check out the SVA’s Instagram at @wousva.

Contact the author at howlmanaging@mail.wou.edu