Under the Knife: ARC Club serves students' health

Geneseo's American Red Cross offers an extensive list of benevolent services to the campus community and Geneseo at large, including providing practical medical and disaster preparation to all.

Run primarily by eight hard-working officers, the club totals just under 20 members.

As part of their Together We Prepare initiative, the group travels to local high schools to teach National Honor Society members about disaster preparation. These NHS students later educate fourth graders on the same subject to further spread knowledge and awareness.

"Fires have recently been a chief interest of our education, as they are increasingly common in Livingston County," said senior Chad Salitan, president of the organization.

The group also works with the Northern Livingston County chapter of ARC in organizing and volunteering at multiple on and off campus blood drives each semester, and is now featuring online registration to speed up the process of donating. The next blood drive will be held in April in the College Union.

Every other semester, ARC provides a free four-hour class on international humanitarian law. Taught by international relations professor Jeremy Grace, the class propagates the Red Cross' fundamental ambition with regard to the protection of civilians, prisoners of war and the wounded at wartimes. The club also provides classes specifically designed to train volunteers to enter disaster areas and provide aid.

ARC also provides CPR, AED and First Aid certification and recertification classes each semester. Where a full course typically costs $40, the Red Cross provides it to Geneseo students for just $5.

Senior Alena Prusinowski said that this is her "favorite part of the club: allowing students to take CPR at an extreme discount is such an excellent thing because everybody ought to be trained in these life-saving skills." This semester's certification classes will take place on March 28 and recertification will be held on April 4.

The officers, many of whom are graduating this year, are the predominant organizers of ARC, rather than a general member base running most functions. The group leaders said they hope to hand responsibilities on to new faces via upcoming elections. Junior Tina Critelli-Jensen said she is looking forward to elections and seeing "all the new faces that will run the club next year."

The group invites students of all disciplines to join and participate. Critelli-Jensen said she is involved "because it is a great club for individuals who want to be actively involved in community service on campus and in the surrounding community." Prusinowski said she participates because "it is a very cool way to give back."

Regardless of motivation, students are encouraged to get in touch with the American Red Cross club by e-mailing RedCross@geneseo.edu.