Like tuition costs draining bank accounts, plasma facilities are draining students. Rising costs of tuition and housing make it difficult for many students to make ends meet, and donating plasma is now a common trend among students. Interestingly enough, plasma clinics are targeting college students since most are healthy and poor – making them ideal providers. Something has gone horribly wrong when students are finding it more agreeable to stick needles in their arms than fight for lower tuition.
Sadly, sacrifice and submission instead of resistance and re-evaluation are the options students are taking. Of the three ZLB Plasma Services in Minnesota, two are near the Twin Cities campus and the third location is in Duluth. All are close enough to campus to allow students to meet requirements that donors live within 125 miles of the clinic. Locations tend to be convenient for luring students. If there were such kidney clinics all over U.S. campuses, would students rush to those facilities?
Plasma donors now frequent facilities such as the campus ZLB Plasma Services, which allows its donors to donate twice every seven days. While it can be argued that the procedure itself is safe, this is questionable since new methods of extraction have yet to show long-term effects.
In the end, this money is perhaps worth a couple of meals, some beer, or part of rent. Students must ask how much they are willing to put up with. Plasma donation is just a minute part of student poverty. This is not to degrade donating plasma, but students should call for longer term solutions. Instead of resorting to plasma donating while being left behind by our educational institution and state, students should be critical of the extreme and pathetic situation that too many are placed in. It behooves the poor and rich at this University to all take this trend as a sign of the war against tuition hikes and rising housing costs that must be waged.