Blood Drives United is not the best-known club on campus. Talk to someone about ‘BDU’ and they’ll probably squint and ask for clarification. Even dropping the name of the competition we run each year, Blood Battle, a series of blood drives where we collect over 2500 pints of blood, doesn’t elicit much of a reaction. Our lack of a profile on campus is something of a problem for a club that aims to engage more than 10% of the student body in donating blood. For us more than anyone, visibility is key.
So this year, we’ve decided to take tips from other popular clubs such as Dance Marathon that have the largely engagement we’re looking for. This year, we’ve decided to have mass meetings for the first time ever. BLI was instrumental in funding our very first one.
Previously, we’ve relied largely on service frats to staff our drives. But we want our own following, independent of those groups. To that end, this year BLI helped us rent a room and buy pizza for any interested volunteers. We ended up having a great time: I met plenty of freshmen who would never have had the opportunity to get involved in BDU if not for this meeting, and hopefully many of them will be joining our leadership as well.
Building a Team and Engaging the World can seem like some of the most obvious BLI habits, but as our club demonstrates, often we fail to adequately engage them. This meeting was our first step towards becoming better, more fully involved leaders in charge of a club, not just a competition, and we are very grateful to BLI for giving us that opportunity. We hope every other club on campus can take the time to think about what leadership habits they’re overlooking so they too can have an experience like we did.
By Willa Hart