Scholarship and education

How much would you pay to donate blood?

JDM061030blood.jpg

Blood drives at college campuses are typically heralded with banners announcing that they are unpaid and voluntary — this gives students an opportunity to show off their concern for social welfare, and distinguishes these campaigns from the rather unsavory practice of selling blood.

Nevertheless, compensation does exist — students are often given a small sum of "replenishment money", say, between 20 and several hundred yuan, and bonus points are sometimes awarded. This second form of compensation is particularly controversial, since not everone is eligible to donate blood and those points may influence the class rankings that decide how scholarships are awarded.

This week, news comes from Changchun University of Technology about a different financial twist to blood drives that had students up in arms on the school's BBS. In one post, a user called "Desert Eagle cs" wrote the following:

Don't donate blood. I was forced to 'donate' 50 yuan????? I'm a fish, and the dogs have the knife

I've heard that third and fourth year students will donate blood, and I'm very happy, since at least they'll be doing some small bit to contribute to society.
I think that unless there are problems with your blood, we all should be active and enthusiastic.

First and second year students aren't that fortunate — why won't they let us donate?!
If it was only this, then fine,
But they're using this to ask us to donate 50.00 yuan RMB
For us, who aren't even getting enough nutritious food, this is adding insult to injury.
Geez, this is a week's expense money.

I hope that all of the students at the school who are having a rough time can band together,
I hope that students can truly be students, and not descend to being running dogs,
I truly hope to see the day of success,
It's not impossible, walk out of class,

Reactions to this student's complaints were interesting — many of the responses were from upper-level students telling the poster to simply wait her turn, since they went through the same thing when they were underclassmen. Others said that students should be understanding toward the administration, since students can't expect to understand everything that goes into a blood drive, and besides, the whole matter would reflect badly on the school if people continued to argue until the media picked it up. Here are some examples:

· [Nomad]
Child, do you think before opening your mouth — what do you mean by "I'm a fish and the dogs have the knife"
You need to take responsibility for your words —
It's not that you won't have an opportunity — wait until you're a third-year. In your fourth year your chance will come —
And we paid the same as you back in the day — and now even though we're donating blood, we still have to pay —

· [Shangguan Min'er]:
If you don't want to leave
If you want to stay
Then — just respect the rules of the school
You know, there's something in this world called "patience"
What we are able to do is just let off steam
At many times, in many matters, the decision does not fall to us
This is what society is like, where are you going to find a truly fair existence?

· [Flourishing]:
What kind of rule is this, it's just a way to collect money
When we were first and second years we never heard of this
Our department collected 35 — on what basis are they taking our parents' money to nourish their bodies, if they donate, its because they have good character, we have no responsibility to provide for them.

· rickroot:
Fine, why not get students to go to a hospital and donate blood directly - there's money in it, and it doesn't cost anything. It achieves the same goal. Think — does donating blood express some kind of superior character these days — it's just exchanging blood for money.

· [Flourishing]:
Why don't other schools have this kind of policy??
Yesterday the paper said that the blood centers never said to do it like this.

The following letter was posted to several online discussion forums, and provides a bit more background about why some students are so upset:

Your respected lordships —

Hello!

I am a student at Changchun University of Technology.

The past few days our school has held a "Voluntary Blood Donation Drive". By itself this is a highly laudable action that is beneficial to both the people and the country. However, this event had one rule that is hard to fathom:

All students at the school, whether or not they donate blood, must pay 50 yuan RMB

As for the use of this sum, it reportedly will be divided up among those students taking part in the blood drive as a "nutrition fund."

I am a poor student, and I wish to donate blood to earn a bit of money to help my family. But as soon as this rule was issued, the majority of the school's students all wished to donate blood. So the school issued more clauses saying that it wanted to keep the number of students under 10% — among these the most ludicrous was this rule: students whose academic performance was less than stellar were not allowed to donate blood (could they be afraid that the recipient of the blood transfusion would catch stupid!!!!?). Voluntary blood donation sould be something that all red-blooded youth like to do, so long as their bodies permit it and they are not sick — there shouldn't be obstacles in everyone's way. Why was it set at under 10%? Is this fair to those of us who want to donate blood? Or maybe there isn't anything fair at the school. This afternoon the school leadership promised that everyone who donated blood would be compensated 200 yuan, several meal tickets, a week's holiday, exemption from final exams in inspected courses, one point added to their scholarship score, and 10 points to their ethics score. If every student in the school donated 50 yuan, then the campus collected 500,000 at the very least. Donors were 10%; by rights they should be paid 500 yuan RMB, but the school is only promising 200 yuan each. Who knows where the 300 yuan — 300,000 from the entire school — is going? Has someone taken it for their own use?

We are all students. We have no source of income. Every penny we spend comes from the blood and sweat of our parents! For those of us from peasant families, 50 yuan is not a small sum of money. At the very least it is two or three days of our parents' hard work.

Our school is buzzing about this affair. There is commentary on the school BBS:
http://bbs.ccut.edu.cn/read-htm-tid-39185-fpage-1-toread--page-1.html

That BBS page and others concerning the blood drive were put behind a registration wall sometime Sunday afternoon; only authenticated student BBS members may read and comment on them. Fortunately, pieces of the conversation can be found in Baidu cache.

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There are currently 2 Comments for How much would you pay to donate blood?.

Comments on How much would you pay to donate blood?

If true then this is outrageous. I've been teaching in China for two years now and have seen some rather low-down things but this is ridiculous. The problem is that the school administrators feel empowered, entitled even to run the school as their own feifdom. The administrators want some brownie points with government officials by tauting how much blood their students 'donated'. Since they can't force the students to donate, they come up with this scheme so that it appears to be kosher.

Our school does a blood drive three times a year, and it is tradition that almost everyone gives. However, it has never been forced on us to give either blood or money. It was expected, yes, as our school holds its ethical and moral standards higher than others, but it would be thought ridiculous to force this upon us. Those who wish to donate do, and those who can not but wish to help offer their time or money to help run the donation center. But to try to force this would bring the whole thing to a screeching halt, and we would have students filling the pavement in protest. Indeed, as students, we in some ways are the ones who run the school. Our money keeps it going, so why not? A reward program is fair, but not necessary. I think if the students stood together on this issue, a reasonable compromise could be made.

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