Campus competes to save lives

Donating your organs after you die can help keep other people alive. If that’s not enough incentive, Gift of Life is challenging schools across the state to sign students up as organ donors.

Oakland University is one of 17 Michigan schools participating in the annual Gift of Life Campus Challenge.

The campus challenge has seen nearly 22,000 people sign up on the donor registry since it began in 2004.

There will be two trophies awarded at the end of this year’s competition on Feb. 25: One to the school with the most donor registrations and the other to school with the most registrations compared to student population.

Jean Ann Miller, Center for Student Activities director, said OU has participated in the campus challenge for a few years now.

“It’s been on the quiet side,” Miller said, noting that it hasn’t been as visible as the blood drive.

This year the Oakland chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity, is heading up the cause at OU.

APO members said the biggest obstacle is assuring people that they’re agreeing to potentially donate their organs, skin tissue and eyes after they’re deceased, not right then and there. The sign-up process only takes a few minutes.

“All they have to do is fill out a form,” said Catherine Wilde, APO member.

The form requires your full name, birth date, address and driver’s license number or state ID.

APO then submits that form to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, which is confidential.

Michigan’s Secretary of State provides a heart sticker for the driver’s license or ID card of anyone who signs up.

“Everyone should become a organ donor because the decision today to become an organ donor can some day save up to eight lives,” APO President Kaitlyn Fetterman said.

Fetterman added that over 3,000 people are on waiting lists and that heart, liver, and kidney donations “are always in critical need.”

APO will have a table in the Oakland Center hallway from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from now until Feb. 18.

Those interested in more information and donating can visit the organization’s website for more information.