Michigan and Ohio State football players are not the only ones preparing for a competitive face off in a bloody intrastate rivalry this year. Monday marks the beginning of the 21st annual University of Michigan vs. Ohio State University Blood Battle.
After claiming victory for the past two years, University students are hoping to continue their winning streak with an 11th overall win.
The University is also adding a new component to the Blood Battle with its first bone marrow drive taking place during the second week of the Blood Battle, E. Royster Harper, vice president for student affairs said.
“This year, for the first time, you also can register at the Michigan Union location to give bone marrow, which benefits those with certain blood disorders, such as leukemia and aplastic anemia, as well as certain immune system and genetic disorders,” Harper said.
The bone marrow drive is sponsored by University Students Against Cancer.
USAC senior advisor and LSA senior Anita Gupta said the bone marrow register is extremely low and donations are desperately needed.
“We need as much as possible,” Gupta said, adding it only takes two teaspoons of blood to see if someone is a possible match.
“It’s all blood related. That’s a huge reason why it is part of the blood drive,” she said.
USAC hopes to get at least 500 students registered during the event, encouraging all students to come out and save a life, Gupta said.
USAC President Janice Liao said all University students are invited to help save a life. Minority students are especially encouraged to donate because their marrow reserves are often low, she added.
Members of the American Red Cross and the local Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity are responsible for the Blood Battle in 24 campus donation locations over 11 days. This year, the University hopes to claim victory with more than 2,000 collected pints of blood, APO president and Engineering senior Sean Meyers said.
Meyers said he hopes results are better than last year’s, when the University defeated Ohio State with 1,679 donated pints of blood – beating Ohio State by 271 pints.
APO publicized the two-week event with postings on the Diag and storefront windows, bus signs and banners, he said.
“APO members do everything – volunteering at the drives … and booking residence hall rooms are probably the largest acts,” Meyers said.
With everyone donating blood and showing support, Meyer said it would be nice to beat Ohio State again and take home the “Blood Drop Trophy.”
But in the end, Gupta said, it is about helping to save a life.
“You’re giving a life while living a life,” she said.