By: Avigayil Adouth  | 

A Closer Look at YU’s Recent Blood Drive Turnouts

Among the philanthropic events held at Yeshiva University are student organized blood drives. The blood drives take place on both the Beren and Wilf Campuses; officially a function of the each campuses’ respective student council, YSU on Wilf and SCWSC on Beren, in conjunction with the NYC Blood Center. The NYC Blood Center supplies all necessary materials, leaving students organizers to choose a time frame, reserve a space, and draft volunteers to help the process run smoothly from check-in to donor recuperation. Between the two campuses, there are on average eight blood drives, yielding around 740 units of blood, per academic year for the last 4 years.

9.2% of YU Students donate blood at each blood drive, a noteworthy statistic compared to the 3.8% of the United States population who give blood annually. 38% of the United States population are eligible blood donors, with an equal distribution of eligibility between men and women. To be eligible one must be at least 17 years old, in good general health, measure at least 5”1 and weigh a minimum of 110 lbs. Only 10% of that eligible community, however, choose to donate blood. The YU student body is not a sociological parallel of the US population at large, making it a difficult standard to against which to view YU statistics. Nonetheless, it is essential to keep in mind that not all students are eligible for the process when assessing the percentages of students who do choose to donate blood.

Wilf Campus blood drives take place either in the Basement of Morgenstern Hall or The Weissberg Commons. In the past 4 years, 9-14% of Wilf Students donated blood at each blood drive. An average of 116 students register for each blood drive, of which  9.3% are deferred due to an ineligibility to donate blood. Close to 15.6 Students give blood without registering, bringing the average donations per drive to 131.6 or 11.94% of students on the Wilf Campus. While the percentage of the student body who donate at each blood drive remains within the 9-14% range, April and September drives see a higher rate of donations, 11-14%, whereas the ones that are held in May or November draw no more than 10%.  It is possible to infer that this increase in student donation during these months comes as a natural outgrowth of the academic dynamic inherent in that time of year. September and April blood drives both take place close to long vacations - which could mean students are under less academic stress, or feeling refreshed from a long break at home.

The Beren Campus’ blood drives take place in the back lounge of the 36th Street dormitory. Since 2010, anywhere between 5-9% of Beren students have donated blood at a given drive. On average, 68.75, or 7.5% of Beren Campus students, donate blood. There is no significant favorability toward particular months on Beren.

One can only speculate as to why blood drives on the Wilf Campus are in general more successful than those on Beren. While the Wilf Campus is home to around 53% of the Yeshiva University undergraduate student body, it is consistently responsible for approximately 65% of Yeshiva University's blood donations. This is particularly intriguing when one considers that nationally, women tend to be responsible for close to 54% of total blood donations. It is possible that the discrepancy between campuses can be attributed to the physical layouts of each respective campus. The Wilf Campus is centralized, representative of a standard college campus. The Beren Campus’ arrangement by any measure is far more similar to that of a city school. This practical difference leads to Wilf Campus drives being more accessible to their student body, as compared to those taking place in the back lounge of one of the dorm buildings that Beren students might not pass by on a typical day. It is also important to note that, as female and graduate students spend a significantly larger amount of time on the Wilf Campus than do their male counterparts at Beren, it is likely that several of these women and graduate students contribute to the Wilf statistics by choosing to give blood there.