Sorority sisters shine at Miami’s biggest blood drive

The nearly 40-year legacy of blood drives at Miami University may seem like ancient history to current students, but they helped write a fresh chapter with the 2016 “Ancient Greek Week” Blood Drive held Sept. 20-21 at the Shriver Center.

“Ancient Greek Week” was the theme of the Sept. 17-22 campus-wide celebration that traditionally combines community service with a competition between all MU fraternities and sororities. The two-day blood drive gives chapters an opportunity to earn points toward the overall Greek Week title by recruiting the most members to register to donate.

Donors came out in large numbers on Sept. 20 with 200 registrations to donate. Support from first-time donors helped make Sept. 21 even busier with 226 registrations. The final two-day total was 426 donors, 216 first-time donors and 340 donations.

The 2016 Greek Week Blood drive turned out to be a repeat of the “Sisters Act” from a year ago, when sorority donors outnumbered the fraternity donors by a more than two-to-one ratio. This year the women jumped to a three-to-one advantage with 250 successful female donors compared to 80 by the men.

“My housemates are my best friends and we’re all in different sororities, so it’s really cool that it’s something we can do together,” said Liana Clareson, a senior Phi Mu member from Columbus who made her fourth lifetime donation. “We’re competitive, but it’s more about the community. That’s what Greek Week is all about, donating blood and helping out CBC.”

The sororities were also well represented by volunteers at the check-in desks and Donor Café. Kappa Alpha Theta sisters Meg Scott and Sarah Armstrong earned service hours as they handed out cookies and juice to donors.

“We’re scared of needles so we’d rather volunteer,” said Armstrong.

Theta Chi volunteers Frank Higgins, James Grisanti and Matthew Wheatley also helped out as volunteers, and gave moral support to Mary Mamone, a Phi Beta Phi from Cleveland as she prepared to make her first lifetime donation.

“I feel great,” said Mamone.

Even though he was outnumbered by the sororities, Delta Tau Delta fraternity member Alexander Grace deserved extra credit for showing up to donate. He started the school year by tearing ligaments in his ankle on Labor Day and has been getting around campus with one knee on a “scooter.”

“I call him ‘Scooter Boy,’” said fraternity brother Carlos Pozuelo.

But Grace wasn’t going to let the injury prevent him from donating.

“I had no qualms about it,” he said. “It wasn’t too bad. It’s a good way to give back. I wasn’t able to give blood when I was in high school because I was playing sports all the time.”

Jack Vitou, a Theta Chi from Cleveland, made his third lifetime donation Tuesday to help save lives, and to support his fraternity during Greek Week.

“It’s a good cause and a competitive edge to a good cause,” he said.

All supporters are part of the MU legacy. CBC held its first college campus blood drives at Miami in 1978. By 2001 MU was hosting 12 blood drives a year. Last year there were 18 blood drives on campus supported by more than 1,800 donors. The Greek Week Blood Drive became a two-day blood drive in 2007 and continues to be CBC’s biggest blood drive of the year.

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