Charles Nailen/The Hoya Sarita Daftary (COL ’03) donates blood at the American Red Cross Blood Drive in Bulldog Alley Friday.

At least 260 students packed into Bulldog Alley Friday to donate blood to the Red Cross. Co-organized by Alex Diaz de Villalvilla (COL ’01) and Anna Starikovsy (MSB ’04), the blood drive collected 70 productive units of blood.

Last Tuesday’s terrorist attacks sparked a push in the number of university students donating blood. On Friday, the majority of students were taken to an E Street collection center by Volunteer Public Service vans because volunteers in Bulldog Alley could not handle all those wishing to donate, Villalvilla said.

“I’ve been so frustrated by the inability to do anything to help the victims in New York or D.C.,” Janelle Watson (SFS ’02) said. “By giving blood I feel as though I’m doing something, as little as it is.”

Adam DuFault (SFS ’02), who donated blood for the first time Friday, also felt a need to assist in wake of the recent tragedy. “It’s an obligation we all have, so here I am,” he said.

According to Diaz de Villalvilla, so many students share this sentiment that drives scheduled for Sept. 21 and 28 in Bulldog Alley are already fully booked. VPS vans will continue to escort students to the E Street Red Cross center through Friday. The vans depart from Healy gates every half-hour from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Despite Bulldog Alley’s full schedule, blood donors are still very much needed. Villalvilla said that reports claiming the Red Cross no longer needs blood are rumors. “There is no [blood] surplus whatsoever,” he said.

According to Villalvilla, the fact that few victims of the attack survived should not deceive students into thinking that there is not a blood shortage. “The nation’s blood supply is always highly limited, and in this instance, the vast majority of the blood was used.”

Villalvilla said he feels Georgetown students should donate blood if they are able to because it is a relatively easy way to actively aid this crisis. He said that, allowing for long waits at donation centers, giving blood takes five hours at most from a student’s day.

Villalvilla also stressed the importance of students continuing to donate blood even after the emotional shock of the attack wears away. “This isn’t the only crisis that’s hit the nation in recent times. There is always a blood shortage and a need for help,” he said.

Expressing concern about the small percentage of students who usually donate blood, Villalvilla added, “It’s a shame we have to see a disaster of such proportions for people to start doing something.”

While Villalvilla acknowledges the significance of services, vigils, and peace ribbons in the healing process, he does not see them as a practical response to the horrific events of last week. “I do think that solidarity is important, but it doesn’t do anything necessarily for the situation in New York or D.C.,” he said. “Anything short of taking up our offer [to donate blood] is tantamount to apathy.”

– Staff Writer Arianne Aryanpur contributed to this report.

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