ANN ARBOR — Using college rivalries for social good, students across the state participated in the 11th annual Gift of Life Campus Challenge, encouraging classmates, alumni, faculty and others to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.
They added a total of 1,142 new names to the donor registry and two schools came out on top.
For the third year in a row, Wayne State University added more names than any other school, with 608. Siena Heights University recruited the most donor registrants compared to student population for the second year in a row, with a score of 5.27 percent.
Each of the 14 participating colleges and universities will receive certificates of appreciation for their tremendous efforts to save and improve lives. The success of the Campus Challenge provides hope for the 3,290 Michigan residents waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and tens of thousands more in need of tissue and cornea transplants.
The Gift of Life Campus Challenge is the largest college-based organ donor drive in the nation, and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its success. In its 11-year history, the Campus Challenge has resulted in more than 35,000 people adding their names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.
During the Campus Challenge, students inspired new donor registrations by hosting sign-up tables on campus, giving presentations to classmates and displaying posters. Extra emphasis was placed on social media outreach this year, with graphics and messages specifically designed for use on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Gift of Life Michigan partnered with Redhead Design Studio for most of this year’s Campus Challenge graphics and print materials.
Gift of Life also worked with ORGANIZE, an organization focused on increasing the number of registered organ donors across the U.S. ORGANIZE conducted a series of A/B tests with Judd Kessler of the Behavioral Economics Department at Wharton to explore whether school pride incentivized students to register via their mobile web application. Results will inform best practices for future campaigns and findings will be published.
Since 2007, Michigan residents who join the Donor Registry have a red heart symbol placed on the front of their driver’s license or state ID card. Joining the Donor Registry takes less than a minute at https://giftoflifemichigan.org/. Residents can also join by calling Gift of Life at 800.482.4881 or visiting any Secretary of State office.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A list of participating schools and their final scores (in a bar graph format) is available at giftoflifemichigan.org/go/school or by contacting Gift of Life Michigan at 800-482-4881.