UGBC’s Senate discussed its efforts to publicize Project Life’s upcoming visit to Boston College on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 during its meeting on Tuesday night.
“So there are people that are fighting blood cancer and other blood disorders, and their last chance at survival is a life saving transplant from someone that is on the registry to donate stem cells or bone marrow,” said Meghan Heckelman, UGBC vice president and LSEHD ’25.
Project Life is a program that partners with the Gift of Life Marrow Registry, a bone marrow and stem cell registry, to recruit college students to join the list of potential donors, according to Heckelman.
Heckelman said that over the course of her two years at Boston College, the national project has come to campus and swabbed over 1,200 students, resulting in a couple successful matches and transplants.
“So there’s a junior at BC right now, she literally flew to DC last week, donated her stem cells to save someone with leukemia, I think it was,” Heckelman said. “And she graciously volunteered to be in a video which we’re hoping to release before Project Life on the UGBC Instagram account so that people understand what the process is like.”
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the process, specifically the use of bone marrow to complete transplants rather than stem cells, according to Heckelman.
“I think there’s a lot of misconceptions about the bone marrow when … 90 percent of the time it’s actually stem cells not bone marrow,” Heckelman said.
The Senate also applauded the formation of a trans-specific community on campus, hosted through the GLBTQ+ Leadership Council (GLC).
“GLC just started to meet and Claire Mengel and I were able to co-found the first trans-specific student group on campus,” GLC Policy Coordinator H Edwards, MCAS ’26, said. “It’s through GLC. We are trying to expand it. It’s called Trans Collective. We may be looking to expand it.”
Additionally, Heckelman spoke of UGBC’s plans to find ways to fund transportation to nursing students’ clinicals and education students’ teaching practicums.
“Right now the school of nursing, those students have clinicals, and then the school of education, they have practicums for student teaching and stuff like that,” Heckelman said. “The transportation to those sites is not currently funded. So UGBC is looking into ways that we can maybe get that funded, whether it’s from our end or [the school’s] end.”
Correction (Sept. 27, 2023 9:58 p.m.): This article was corrected from a previous version to state that Meghan Heckelman is LSEHD ’25, not MCAS ’25. It also was corrected to clarify that H Edwards and Claire Mengel co-founded the trans-specific student group on campus and that the name of the group is Trans Collective, not Trans Collective Circle.