September 24, 2019

OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami University campus belongs to the Greeks during the annual Greek Week celebration, and for two days the Shriver Center belonged to the donors who supported the annual Greek Week Blood Drive.

The MU Greek community partnered with Community Blood Center to host the 41st annual Greek Week Blood drive Sept. 23-24.  The blood drive is the first charitable event on the Sept.  22-28 Greek Week schedule. There are competitive sports, plus dunk tank and trivia contests, and the week concludes Saturday with the Crop Walk.

"This is a great cause, volunteering and giving blood too," said Sigma Pi President Brett Bossart. "It's basically effortless, you lay there and can change lives. Philanthropy is a big focus of ours. Everybody buys in.  It's not so much about the competition. It's more about participating and being involved."

Donors and volunteers were greeted by Renate Crawford, who has served as an ambassador and adjunct physics professor at Miami since her husband Greg Crawford was named president in 2016.   "This is literally lifegiving for everybody," she said.

There are more than 50 Greek chapters at Miami and more than 5,000 members, about 31 percent of the undergraduate population. According to the office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Greeks raised $334,293 for philanthropy last year and totaled 27,204 service hours.

"It's Greek Week!" said Riley Burnside, a Phi Sigma Sigma member. "I'm also in the Phi Delta Epsilon pre-med fraternity. They want us to get involved and I like donating."

The inaugural Greek Week Blood Drive in 1978 was Community Blood Center's first college campus blood drive. It became a two-day blood drive in 2007 and remains the biggest blood drive in the region.

The Monday and Tuesday blood drive totaled 378 donors, including 183 first-time donors and 253 blood donations. Fraternity and sorority members volunteer at campus blood drives throughout the year and earn service hours for donating and volunteering.

"They encourage us for service hours," said first-time donor Marguerite Coombs, a sophomore Phi Mu member. "This is my third time donating," said sophomore Alpha Delta Pi member Natalee Bish. "It's not just for Greek Week, I'll donate any time during the year."

The Greek Week Blood Drive also depends on donors who don't belong to a fraternity or sorority, including Thomas Finn, a freshman from Chicago. "I saw the Greek Week Blood Drive on the Hub (student event calendar) and I signed up. I had time today, so I decided to go."

  "It's a lot of people's first time," said first-time donor Alana Alexander, a sophomore Gamma Phi Beta member. "They really get the word out trying to get people to donate."

"We have a lot of guys going to do it," said Ian Tennenbaum, a sophomore member of Delta Chi who made his first lifetime donation on Monday of the blood drive. "I'm also going to play basketball on Wednesday!"