SVSU competing in Gift of Life
1.17 percent of student body has signed up for Michigan organ donor program as part of 'Challenge'
February 26, 2007 —
For the past two weeks, the Student Life Center has given SVSU students the opportunity to participate in the Gift of Life University Challenge registry. The challenge is an annucal competition between several of Michigan's colleges to see who can get the most students signed up to become organ donors. SVSU has participated in this competition for the past two years.
Competing with schools such as Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Northern Michigan University, and many others around Michigan, SVSU has posted positive results thus far. As of Feb. 21, SVSU stood in eighth place with 112 of 9,543 students registered.
Even though Michigan State is in the lead with the number of students registered (447/45,166), SVSU has a higher standing because a larger percentage of the student body has registered.
Currently, 1.17 percent of SVSU's students are registered, while Michigan State has 0.98 percent of their students registered. SVSU is also beating out other large schools, including U of M, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Ferris State, all with under one percent of students registered.
Some people are often reluctant to donate, thinking that because they are a donor, less action will be taken to save their life in the case of an accident. Other students feel that this competition to sign up for organ donation is a good thing.
"I think that it's a good idea to make it more competitive because more people will sign up," senior Angela Seeley commented. "But at the same time you want people to sign up for the right reasons, and not just do it to win a competition."
The way the registry works is that a student - or anyone representing the school, for that matter - simply visits the Gift of Life Web site and sign up.
After answering a few questions, the donor will receive a heart sticker in the mail to put on their driver's license, showing that they are a registered donor.
The donor will then be signed up for life and their organs will be harvested upon sudden death such as a car accident. Their donation can potentially save a life.
Currently, there are 3,119 people on the waiting list for organs in Michigan. Most of these people are waiting for kidneys, but others are waiting for new livers, lungs, hearts, pancreases, and in some cases multiple organs.
According to Assistant Director of Student Life Carly Waligora, SVSU's goal is to get as many students interested as possible.
"We just want to present it as an option to students," she says. "Not pressure them into it."
It is anticipated that SVSU will continue to participate in the Gift of Life program in the future.