Peer educators from CPO along with students from Fraternity and Sorority Life outreached to the campus community on October 7, also known as LiveOnNY’s Donor Enrollment Day. The campaigns included virtual and in-person events aimed toward debunking myths surrounding organ donations as well as encouraging the community to register as donors. Outreach tents were put up on the SAC Plaza where passing students could engage with peer educators and learn about the importance of registering to become an organ donor. Social media campaigns along with trivia events through Zoom allowed remote engagement for students who were not on campus.
Currently, the state of New York is ranked last in the percentage of the population registered as organ donors. This has become a critical issue as more than 10,000 New Yorkers are waiting for an organ transplant. However, this concern affects communities of color at higher rates due to health and social disparities. In efforts to combat these inequities and contribute to the global health community, Stony Brook University has been continually partnering with LiveOnNY.
Karen Cummings from LiveOnNY said, “Our partnership began seven years ago with the goal to educate the students on the importance of the cause. The University has been committed since day one to make sure students have the information they need to take action.”
With the help of all the students and staff involved, CPO was able to engage with more than 500 students passing by the outreach tents as well as to successfully register over 167 students on the day of the event. Students were able to take informational booklets provided by LiveOnNY to share with their friends and family. Additionally, social media posts reached audiences of more than 2,000 people, further educating the community on organ donations.
When asked why she became a donor, Elena Buser, health promotion student assistant, stated, “I became a donor because I feel that if I can be used to save someone else’s life, that is a great way to leave my legacy in the world.”
Kerri Mahoney, assistant director at CPO, concluded, “As a state we have a long way to go to support our neighbors and loved ones in need, but I am very hopeful after this year’s event and the conversations we had with students, that we will start seeing a change in New York.”
To learn more about CPO or to register to become an organ donor, click here.