Interfraternity Council to hold Be The Match events today and Sunday on Fairfield Way 

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Students enjoy a warm overcast day at 42 degrees Fahrenheit peak at 3pm. Fairfield Way looks barren as UConn continues to experience the pandemic quarantine. Farifield Way Buildings and Students by Eric Wang

The University of Connecticut Interfraternity Council will hold events supporting the organization Be The Match on Thursday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 24 from 2 — 6 p.m. on Fairfield Way, according to Adith Velavan, vice president of scholarship and philanthropy for the Interfraternity Council. 

Be The Match facilitates bone marrow and cord blood transplant treatments for blood cancer patients, according to its website. It helps patients find donors by maintaining registries of available cord blood and of individuals willing to donate bone marrow.  

The event will inform students about Be The Match and also give them an opportunity to sign up as a donor, Velavan said in an email.  

“On the days of the event there will be a tent on Fairfield Way where a representative from Be The Match will be present in order to perform a short cheek swab and registration as well as to provide promotional material and information on the organization,” Velavan said.  

According to Velavan, college students are an important part of building the Be The Match registry.  

“They have maintained a strong presence on college campuses because young students are some of the most motivated in donating to help save a life,” Velavan said.  

Also, younger people are ideal bone marrow donors, according to the Be The Match website.  

“At donor registry drives, we focus on recruiting new registry members ages 18 to 35. This is based on medical research that shows younger donors are best for patients and provide the greatest chance for transplant success,” the website reads.  

Velavan said that the Interfraternity Council was interested in helping Be The Match expand the diversity of its registry.  

“Furthermore, over the last few years, Be The Match has attempted to diversify its registry,” Velavan said. “In IFC’s efforts to improve our own diversity and inclusion, it seemed particularly apt to aid another organization in diversifying their registry, especially when it could save a life.” 

According to the website, a patient’s human leukocyte antigen types must be similar to those of the donated bone marrow in order for their body to accept the transplant. Since these are influenced by ancestry, having a more diverse registry increases the possibility that patients will be able to receive a transplant.   

Velavan said the pandemic is one reason the Interfraternity Council chose to hold an event for Be The Match. 

“As the pandemic continues to evolve, IFC thought it was appropriate to host an event that could support a health related organization and in our efforts to set this up, Be The Match was the organization that seemed the most meaningful,” Velavan said. 

Velavan also said the Interfraternity Council believes the event will help to include members of different fraternities. 

“Hopefully the manner in which this event is organized will allow members from different fraternities to interact, appreciate each others participation, and to all reconfirm our dedication to service,” Velavan said. 

The event will also give all UConn students an opportunity to help Be The Match, according to Velavan.    

“Finally, another goal of the IFC this semester was improving campus relationships,” Velavan said. “This event is open to anyone who wants to stop and learn about Be The Match, and in the process of organizing this event, we reached out to other major organizations like USG and the other Greek councils to inform as many students as we could about this event and so that they can join us in supporting a great cause.” 

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