Organ Donation Awareness

Mar 072005
Authors: Joanna Thomas

Many students have come across people lying down in the Lory Student Center Plaza to demonstrate the numerous fatalities caused by a lack of organs available for life-saving transplants.

The National Organ Donor Awareness Competition is today, and includes a series of events and programs raising awareness for organ and tissue donation. Public Relations Student Society of America and Associated Students of CSU are sponsoring the activities.

Shyra Hall, a senior public relations major, is the public relations representative for the competition. She said the competition is between the PRSSA chapters of different universities across the country, but has a bigger purpose.

"The goal is to raise awareness about organ donation," Hall said.

In order to do so, PRSSA is holding events and sending e-mails to spread the word about organ donation, Hall said.

This is the second organ donation competition the CSU chapter of PRSSA has sponsored, but the ninth competition across the country. Hall said the competition was established by the PRSSA chapter of Rowan University in honor of the founder, Anthony Fulginiti who received a donated organ.

She said the competition, although primarily held today, also included the 5 Kilometer run/walk Saturday.

"There was a good turnout, about 70 people came out," Hall said.

She also said there were fall and spring bake sales with information sheets to get NODAC's name out and promote the cause.

Cindy Christen, the advisor for NODAC, said the competition starts with significant research and primary data from faculty and staff. After events and programs, surveys asking students what they know about organ donation and if they are registered as organ donors are re-distributed. PRSSA is evaluated on seven different levels of the competition, Christen said.

"But our real objective is to make a difference on a real important issue," Christen said.

Christen said NODAC has two objectives for the competition.

"We want to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation as well as promote family discussion."

It is especially important to raise awareness about family discussion because family members can make decisions regarding organ donation contrary to your own wishes, Christen said.

The first thing PRSSA could do was publicity. The group wanted something sudden and eye-catching, so they used what she called Gorilla public relations tactics, she said.

"It's intended to be shocking to grab attention," Christen said.

PRSSA used these tactics to hang rapt signs around Clark A building and the lay-down demonstration in the center of the plaza symbolizing bodies dead from lack of organ donation.

Events planned for today include a barbeque picnic on the plaza with food served on a first come first served basis and a concert at 7 p.m. in the Ramskeller featuring the group Ethereal Plain, artist Brian Johanson and main act, Green Lemon.

There will also be a Night of Art 5 p.m. in the student center main ballroom. Hall said the Night of Art features ballet, tap and hip-hop performances. Following the performance there will be a silent auction at 7 p.m. Hall said various companies, restaurants and organizations have donated biddable items for the auction. Entrance is free to all events.

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