University students are looking to declare victory off the ice over their peers at Michigan State University in the first annual Blood Face Off, which begins today and ends Feb. 18. Organizers said they are encouraged by the success of the annual Blood Battle against Ohio State University in November, when students donated more than 3,500 pints of blood – well above the 2,000-pint goal.

“This is the first annual (Blood Face Off). We hope it becomes a tradition like Blood Battle,” event co-chair Kate Papazian said.

Organizers from the Red Cross and Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity said blood donations are needed. The national blood supply inventory is estimated at 55,000 pints, but the national “safe level” is 80,000 pints. “Right now we are on the verge of going back into a critical need status,” said Joseph Nevin, donor resources representative for the Red Cross.

“The demand for blood in the Ann Arbor area is overwhelming because the hospital is such a large part of this community,” Papazian said.

The goal for Blood Face Off is 530 pints of blood, lower than the fall drive because this is the campaign’s first year and the donation period is a week shorter, Papazian said.

LSA senior Justin Street said he frequently donates blood, but was unaware of this week’s blood drive. “I wasn’t planning on (donating for Blood Face Off) because I didn’t know about it,” Street said, adding that he plans on donating blood now.

“There’s no good reason not to (donate blood). I think that’s what it comes down to,” Street added.

Nevin said the period between donations must be at least 56 days, so if a person donated for Blood Battle, they are eligible to donate in Blood Face Off. Potential donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and generally be in good health.

The University won the fall Blood Battle with a total of 2,067 pints. The Blood Face Off winner will be announced at the Michigan vs. Michigan State hockey game March 1 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

For exact requirements, locations, dates or to make an appointment, contact the Red Cross. An appointment is not required for donation.

Blood Face Off Locations: Feb. 10: Mosher Jordan Feb. 11: Stockwell Feb. 12: Bursley Feb. 12: West Quad Feb. 13: Michigan League Feb. 13: Mary Markley Feb. 14: East Quad Feb. 17: Michigan Union Feb. 17: Pierpont Commons Feb. 18: South Quad

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