On Monday, the first day of the H8theW8 campaign, students spoke to a janitor on campus whose daughter, an organ donor, passed away last year.
“It was very touching to talk to him,” said Craig Diviny, who has been registered as an organ donor since he was 17 years old. “If I can save someone’s life when I’m gone and I don’t need it anymore, then why not? It doesn’t make sense not to be.”
Diviny is a senior advertising major and a member of Temple’s student-run advertising agency Diamond Edge Communications. DEC teamed up with Gift of Life and Donate Life Pennsylvania — two organizations encouraging people to become organ donors — to create H8theW8, a week-long, on-campus campaign that hopes to register as many interested students as possible to become organ donors. DEC also had a goal to register 500 students by today.
The last day of H8theW8, which stands for hate the wait, is today. The campaign’s concept was based on the amount of years some patients have to wait to get an organ donation.
“So they’re waiting in line for life-saving organs and basically a whole new life, whereas we’re getting annoyed at small things like waiting in line for coffee or waiting for grades,” said Aisha Masoud Abu Marzouq, a senior advertising major and a member of DEC.
As part of the campaign, DEC set up a red couch, or what they call the Big Comfy Couch, near places on campus that have long lines many students find frustrating to wait in. A member from DEC offered a registered organ donor a place on the couch while he takes that person’s spot in line.
To impact as many students as possible, DEC moved the Big Comfy Couch to different places on campus including the Starbucks in the TECH Center, Saxbys, the Bagel Hut on Montgomery Avenue near Broad Street and the lines for elevators in Gladfelter and Anderson Halls.
There will also be a H8theW8 geofilter on Snapchat at certain locations on campus like Annenberg Hall, Gladfelter Hall, Paley Library and the TECH Center.
DEC attached 2,000 bright green patient ID wristbands to the fence surrounding the construction of the new library on Liacouras Walk near Polett. There also hung two 25-foot banners. One reads: “Waiting for the new library is annoying. Waiting for a new organ is a matter of life or death.”
Every time a student registers to become an organ donor, they remove a bracelet from the fence and add it to a box full of the cut-off bracelets to represent how much change the campaign has caused.
“I was surprised by the amount of people that actually weren’t [an organ donor],” said Justin Mosley, a senior advertising major and a member of DEC. “I was shocked, I just assumed ‘oh everyone is.’”
There are also other bracelets that say “H8theW8.org” being given out to people who don’t have all the information they need to register to become an organ donor, like the last four digits of their Social Security number or their driver’s license ID number. The students were encouraged to go to the website to find more information about the process.
Diviny said he encourages students who are interested in making a difference to become an organ donor.
“It’s worth it,” he added. “You can save up to eight lives and help the lives of up to 50 people.”
Taylor Horn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.