UCSB students have the opportunity to possibly save a life by participating in a blood drive today.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity are hosting a blood drive for the Tri-Counties Blood Bank from noon to 4 p.m. in the MultiCultural Center Meeting Room, located in the Associated Students Building, next to the UCen and Corwin Pavilion.

Alpha Kappa Alpha vice president and senior biology major Patrice Rooks said she hopes for a large turnout.

“Donating blood is a little service that can go a long way,” Rooks said. “It’s an easy and safe process that takes less than 10 minutes.”

Mary Ann Bittle, a Tri-Counties Blood Bank representative, said the blood bank needs all blood types, but is especially in need of type O blood.

The blood bank supplies 150 units of blood daily to hospitals in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, King City and Salinas, Bittle said.

According to the Tri-Counties Blood Bank website, in order to donate blood, students must weigh at least 110 lbs. Students are allowed to give blood if taking over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen and anti-depressants, and donors who have had a recent piercing are also allowed to give blood if the piercing was made with a sterile method. However, potential donors are ineligible if they have received a tattoo in the past 12 months.

Pedro “Rollie” Durruthy, Kappa Alpha Psi vice president and junior film studies and communications major, said he encourages the entire UCSB community to contribute.

“While we are traditionally an African-American Greek organization, this is an event for the whole community,” he said. “We all share the same blood.”

Rooks said although this is the first blood drive for the brother and sister fraternity and sorority, they have participated in various other community service projects such as beach cleanups and caroling during the holiday season for residents of Friendship Manor.

Durruthy said a continual supply of blood is very important.

“Especially now in this time of war, you never know who is going to need it,” he said.

Rooks said the organizers will supply food and refreshments and will make the situation as comfortable as possible.

“Giving blood can be scary,” Rooks said. “But in the end, the outcome is greater than the pain.”