Student, SGA, take initiative to administration

Progress in the form of a meeting with university administration has been made for a student heading the initiative to suspend blood drives on campus.

On Monday, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Nicole Price and Dean of Students Nancy Stoll met with members of SGA and Wyatt Costello, a junior, to discuss the initiative.

Costello started a petition on Change.org because of the ban the Food and Drug Administration has placed on men who have had sex with men.

President of SGA Tyler LeBlanc said the meeting was held with two goals in mind: to discuss with Price and Stoll how SGA and Costello can help spread awareness of the issue, so that Price can take information from their meeting and discuss the initiative with President Norman Smith. From here, it is up to Smith to decide if blood drives should be suspended on campus.

Melissa Hanson/Editor-in-Chief

In a prior interview with the Journal, Costello said that his vision is not to end blood drives on campus, but rather start a movement that will stop the profiling and stereotypes the FDA applies to men who have had sex with other men.

“Even if we can’t get the university to take a stand, we want to discuss ways to raise awareness on the issue,” said LeBlanc.

He also said that SGA is still deciding how to raise awareness, but that they plan to reach out to other colleges and universities in Boston and be present at Suffolk blood drives in the future to inform donors on the issue.

On Dec. 2, the Blood Products Advisory Committee, will meet to discuss lifting the ban at the federal level. According to the FDA website, the BPAC “reviews and evaluates available data concerning the safety, effectiveness, and appropriate use of blood,” among other things.

LeBlanc hopes that by then they will have more people backing Costello’s initiative, and said that SGA “supports the petition currently going to change the law,” when referring to the FDA ban on blood.

Two weeks ago, SGA voted unanimously towards banning blood drives at Suffolk. Now, SGA will wait to hear back from Smith.