It's official: Weber State University students "bleed purple."
"It's kind of purple," said Elizabeth Marx, 17, a WSU junior who donated at the "Blood Battle," a three-day blood drive that started Tuesday in the Shepherd Union Building ballroom.
"It's purplish," the Ogden resident said, eyeing her donated pint. "It's a dark burgundy, at least."
Marx said she's a regular donor and didn't know about the Blood Battle, an American Red Cross campaign to pit Wasatch Front universities against each other, vying for the most donations.
"But, hey, go Weber!" she said. "Weber deserved to win something."
Sebastian Smith, 18, of Brigham City, also wasn't aware of the competition.
"But now that I know, I say Weber is going to totally rock out the other schools," he said.
"I'm a massive supporter of blood donation and donate as often as I get a chance. I like knowing I may be saving lives.
"I don't get to be a superhero, so this is how I help."
Ryan Gailey, 22, of Morgan, said he donates blood because his parents set the example.
"It's just one way you can get involved with the community," he said. "I think people of my generation like to get involved. You almost have to get involved, or you get left behind."
Kaylee Brewer, 19, a WSU student from Perry, said she's all for a Blood Battle if it gets people to donate.
"It's a cool idea," she said. "But I'm here because it's a good thing to do."
Marx likes the humanitarian and ecological aspects of donating blood.
"Why wouldn't you donate?" she said. "It doesn't cause you bodily harm. Blood is a renewable resource that bodies replenish. It helps people. It's a way to share my energy and myself, to be a part of someone and help them back to health.
"And I like the cookies. I am a poor college student, so I may take an extra cookie. You, create a diversion."
Jesse Holt, American Red Cross donor-recruitment representative, said the main push for the Blood Battle was last fall.
Of the three northern schools participating, Utah State University came in first with 1,500 pints donated, University of Utah was second with 996 pints, and Weber State finished third with almost 300 pints.
But WSU also had the shortest drive and was a first-time participant in the Blood Battle, unlike the other two schools.
"I think Weber is going to reach 500 pints this time," Holt said. "Weber State's Davis campus already donated 44, which is amazing, and I think momentum will pick up here on the main campus over the three days.
"By the last day, we'll be turning people away."
The WSU blood drive continues from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday in the Shepherd Union ballroom. Weber State is at 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden.
The public is welcome to donate.
This winter blood drive is more about education, spreading the word about the importance of blood donation, and recruiting young people who may become lifelong donors, Holt said.
But official Blood Battle bragging rights really go to the winners of the fall drive. Think of this week's drive as more of a Blood Skirmish. Holt said blood donated will help supply Utah's 33 hospitals.
Michelle Hall, 20, is vice president of Student Services, the campus organization sponsoring this blood drive.
"We didn't win in the fall, but we had some of the highest donation numbers we have ever had," she said.
"I really just wanted to help get Weber State on the map. I want bigger and better for us. And I want to give students the opportunity to get involved.
"In my experience volunteering for different causes, there are often greater personal rewards in volunteer work than in jobs that pay."