Name: Andrew Trolio
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Past THON Experience: Rules & Regulations Committee Member for THON 2014 and 2015, Rules & Regulation Event Safety Captain for THON 2016
Name an interesting, weird, or quirky fact about yourself:
In high school, I was a member of an academic team that focused on Environmental Science. I was assigned the thrilling topic of “Soils and Land Use,” which meant I studied and took competitive tests on dirt at a county and state level. I ended up winning around $800 in scholarships.
What made you want to apply for the Event Safety Director position for THON 2016?
In my three years of experience as a member of R&R, I have gotten an incredible appreciation for the work that we do. While a lot of our responsibilities may be go unnoticed, I have seen the importance of every single project we do to ensure that THON Weekend can provide the worry-free environment that the Families deserve. I quickly learned to love all of the intricate planning that goes into everything Event Safety does as a Committee, and I wanted to be as involved as possible. Also, while volunteering for THON, I have grown so much as an individual and I wanted to do what I could to repay this organization for everything it has done for me, and I saw the Director position as the best way to both get involved and give back to THON.
What are your responsibilities as the Event Safety Director?
The main responsibilities of the Event Safety Committee revolve around making THON Weekend, as well as all pre-THON events, as safe and secure as possible, so most of my responsibilities are tied to that mission. I work closely with Penn State Police, Emergency Medical Services, and several other University groups to prepare all of our events with resources that we cannot provide as a Committee. I also work with all R&R Captains to make sure that they and their Committee Members are educated and prepared for their roles at any and all events. I spend all year planning small details and large projects to make sure THON events runs as smoothly as possible for all volunteers and spectators that attend.
What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?
Something I wanted to improve since last spring was how we educate our Committee Members. Anyone who has been on R&R knows that there is a lot of information that a Committee Member needs to know for them to do their job. This information can get overwhelming, especially if you don’t have any prior experience on R&R. I wanted to make sure everything we tell Committee Members is useful and accurate, and that we do everything we can to make sure they are prepared for THON Weekend. I have been working with a lot of other Directors and Captains to make this possible, and hopefully we can provide even more situational experience for our Committee before THON 2017.
What makes the Event Safety committee so cool, fun, and/or important?
While not everyone my find this interesting, I love all of the small details and planning that are present in Event Safety. We spend the entire year to help plan out every event that needs to happen within the BJC. Something that may only take up a few hours during THON Weekend can require months of planning to make everything successful. At any moment, we have hundreds of volunteers placed throughout the building that each need to fulfill a unique responsibility, and that responsibility can change drastically in just an hour.
What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2016?
One of my major goals this year was to improve the communication between R&R and the rest of the THON community. There are a lot of specifics that R&R works to maintain throughout our events to ensure that they are running smoothly, and we have not always made these specific details easily available for everyone to see. We are hoping that we can provide more information prior to our events to improve the experience for anyone that want to experience THON Weekend.
Why do you THON?
There isn’t really a concise way for me to answer this question because I have so many reasons to be involved with this organization. Like so many other people, I have had close friends and family fight cancer, and I am fully aware of how terrible the disease is. When someone is going through that fight, it makes you feel almost helpless, but volunteering for THON really makes me feel that I am helping a family go through the battle.
All of the work, meetings, and late nights get tough, but I get to work with the most amazing people I’ve met to help provide Families with a worry-free, fun-filled weekend, and that is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever been able to do.
What’s your favorite THON memory?
Last year while I was a Pass Captain for Event Safety, I did my best to walk around and help any spectators that seemed confused or had questions. One student I met had some questions about getting on the floor to see his girlfriend that was dancing, so I helped him and gave him some information about our PASS System. He was extremely grateful and thanked me for the work I was doing, which was definitely a more pleasant experience that what I was used to. Later, he found two other students that had questions, took them to the area I was working in and brought them to me, telling them how helpful I was and ensuring I would be able to solve their problem. An hour or two later, I was on the event level and ran into him after he had gotten his pass. He was so excited to see me again and immediately introduced me to his girlfriend and then explained how I helped him get onto the floor.
This story isn’t all that exciting, but a lot of time the work R&R does can be thankless, so having someone really appreciate what I was doing felt incredible and really helped me get through the rest of my shift.
Per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?
I really don’t know how to answer this question so here is a joke about dinosaurs:
What is Peter Pagano’s favorite dinosaur?