How Does R&R Feel About Everyone Hating Them?

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THON’s worst kept secret is that Rules and Regulations is almost everybody’s least favorite committee. I’ve earned my right to say that, because I served my time on an R&R committee last year. Let me tell you, it was the most unpopular I’ve ever been in my entire life (including my troubled middle school years). I’ll say this in an effort to be fair–the unpopularity is mostly unwarranted. R&R members are just trying to do their job like all other THON volunteers. Still, it’s currently early hours in the BJC and we’re at full capacity. These are the perfect conditions for mutiny against Rules and Regs. So, I set out to the concourse to ask the regulators how they feel about the haters.

The general consensus from R&R members was that words hurt. I found Shannon McConnell guarding a portal and she opened up to me about the bad vibes.

“People don’t understand,” she confided. “I feel like we’re under-appreciated and misunderstood.”

Sounds a lot like my teen years! She made a good point when she noted, “People forget that we’re all here for the same cause.”

Surprisingly enough, most of the R&R members I spoke to were in agreement that dancer parents are the biggest haters. In the words of committee member Jackie Gross, “It’s really just parents — all of the kids are so nice because they’ve been on a committee before. The parents don’t know what they’re getting into.”

From personal experience, I’ve seen the damage that dancer parents can do THON weekend. Last year, I watched two pass leaders break down into tears when the pass system failed and frustrated dancer parents went for the jugular. The drama was something out of a Degrassi episode. I’m not kidding when I say they held each other and sobbed in the middle of the concourse.

Kristen Stasik, who was working Pass when I spoke to her, feels that a lot of dancer parents have lost perspective about the meaning of THON.

“THON’s not about your kids, it’s about the Four Diamonds kids,” she reasoned.

Still, some parents have gone out of their way to thank the regulators. This morning, a Penn State dad gave Kristen dried mangos to thank her for her work. If anybody made me eat a dried mango I would think they were punishing me, but Kristen seemed pretty excited about it.

Jackie Gross and another Rules and Regs member, Sara Rosenberg, were celebrating their birthdays tonight on shift. I can’t imagine anything worse than spending my birthday getting yelled at, but they took it in stride. Sara even used it as leverage! “Whenever people are mean to me, I just say, ‘It’s my birthday,’” she laughed.

She wasn’t the only one letting the rudeness roll off her back, Kim Schmid of security laughed when I asked her how her weekend was going. “I haven’t had any problems yet, people move when I tell them,” she said. “But sometimes they just don’t understand the rules.”

So, here’s the short of it: Rules and Regs committees KNOW that they’re hated, but they’re mostly desensitized to it. Most seemed to think the good outweighed the bad. Still, the haters keep on hatin’. I’ll leave you with this tweet, and you can decide whether you’re Team R&R or Team Hater.

Photo By: Zack Rutstein

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