Sarah Lawrence Students Protest FDA Gay Blood Donation Ban

Oh, he can hear you now, B. Photo: The Brass Potato's Flickr

What’s left to protest now that we’re entering the sure-to-be halcyon Obama era? At Sarah Lawrence College, in Bronxville, the new enemy is blood donation, or at least the FDA’s policy regarding it. FDA regulations bar blood donations from gay men, and four years ago Sarah Lawrence quietly banned bloodmobiles from the campus, arguing the policy violates the school’s nondiscrimination policy. A committee revisited the policy this year when a professor raised concern about dwindling blood supplies, and many students for the first time learned of the underlying issue.

The ban will stay in place, but the school will offer shuttle vans to donation centers. “I envision this van not as a donation van, but as an anti-current-policy van,” says Bobby Phillips, a sophomore on the committee, who says students can use the van to donate or to protest. “We can advertise it in a way that people will get angry,” he says. A Blood Center spokeswoman doesn’t foresee a mass uprising. “We do not have record of any other colleges that have done this,” she says.