Tattoos welcomed at the American Red Cross blood drive


The American Red Cross donor bus in Falcon Square on April 13. The bus holds five beds so that five donations are collected at a time. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

The American Red Cross blood donation bus was stationed at Falcon Square on Monday and will continue to be there until Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The American Red Cross has made a change in their tattoo policy and it is no longer required to wait 12 months to donate blood after getting a tattoo. This is posted on a sign on a table to inform students.

Senior account manager of donor resources development Guinevere Endter said, “I want donors to know that now you can donate even on the day you get a tattoo as long as the tattoo is done at an establishment licensed by the state of California.”

The change in policy is in part due to the California legislation the Safe Body Art Act that was signed into law by the governor on October 2011.

Endter said anyone who wants to donate can sign up and goes through a series of steps needed to make sure they are eligible to donate.

Jorge Ramos a business major was there to give blood. For him it was his first time donating.

He said, “Today something good happened. I’m happy and I wanted to spread the love. I saw the bus and decided to donate. I would not have donated if the bus wasn’t here.” Unlike Ramos, Julio Flores, biology major, knows the procedure very well.

He said, “This is about my tenth time donating. I started [donating blood] my sophomore year in high school. I donate because I like helping people.” Irene Nino de Rivera, anthropology major, also started donating at an early age. She said, “My first time donating was in high school. I’ve only donated a few times since then. It is more difficult for women to donate because of the iron level requirement, men don’t have that problem.”

Another person there to donate was administrative justice major Jose Gutierrez. It was his third time donating.

Gutierrez said, “I have a universal blood type, I get e-mails and calls to donate all the time.” The students emphasized their goal was to help those in need. Donors stay in the canteen for 10 to 15 minutes eating cookies and drinking juice and recieve a free t-shirt.