THON Committees Now Accepting Applications
For those of you who are new to Penn State or live under a rock, the IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (aka THON) is probably the biggest thing at Penn State besides football. THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world and has raised over $78 million since 1973 for the Four Diamonds Fund. THON 2012 will be happening February 17th-19th, but the time to get involved is now.
Since THON is such a big deal and almost every club, sport, or organization participates, there are literally hundreds of opportunities. The most common way is to join a THON committee. There are 11 committees that need about 3,500 students to help make THON 2012 the best it possibly can be. We’re here to help you pick the right one and give some tips on the process.
1) Filling out the application
Applications are available here from September 5th until Spetember 16th. Most of the application is pretty self explanatory and asks for personal information (name, PSU id, GPA, contact information, major, ect).
You can list a reference if you have been involved with or know someone who has been involved in THON. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, its optional. Also, if you went crazy signing up for different activities and groups at the Involvement Fair, you can even list the days and times that don’t work for you.
All of that should be the easy part. Next, you have to decide what you want to do on THON weekend, which brings us to picking the right…
2) THON Committee
A brief description of the 11 committees that need help this year
- Communications– serve as the main liaisons to all THON volunteers within the Penn State community
- Donor & Alumni Relations– educate the THON community to increase awareness of pediatric cancer and to fundraise effectively
- Merchandise– spread awareness and provide knowledge of THON and pediatric cancer through the sale of quality products
- Hospitality– fuel THON through exceptional service and support for the families, dancers, and volunteers
- Finance– attain accurate totals of all monetary donations collected on behalf of THON
- Morale– provide physical and emotional support for the dancers on THON weekend
- OPPerations– create and maintain a safe and exciting environment for the Four Diamonds families and the entire THON community
- Public Relations– educate and inform the public about pediatric cancer, the Four Diamonds Fund, and THON
- Special Events– develop and continuing a variety of events to spread the spirit and mission of THON year-round
- Rules and Regulations– provide safety and security to the families and kids
- Entertainment– responsible for filming THON events throughout the year
You can find these committees and their full descriptions by clicking on the “Committee Descriptions” link in the application, or here. It’s important that you find something that you think you’ll enjoy working on for the next few months and during THON weekend.
If you like crunching numbers than maybe Finance is what you should apply for. Have a bubbly personality and a lot of energy? Morale may be the right committee for you. Chances are there is something that will interest you on that list.
3) Tips on selecting committees
You are given 2 choices to select from in the application but will only be on ONE committee. You should obviously put your favorite committee as your#1 pick. However, some committees are pretty selective and have limited slots available (Entertainment Committee only has 10 members) so you should definitely have a backup in mind.
A THON captain from last year recommended that applicants should select either Morale, OPPerations, or Rules & Regulations as their backup. These are some of the larger ones with hundreds of members and, due to the sheer volume of applications every year, these are easier to place people into. Don’t worry if you get placed into one of these “big” committees, as you’ll then be split into smaller subcommittees with about 20-40 people.
This way if you don’t get your first choice, you have a better chance of getting your second.
4) Question Section
Next you’ll have to answer a few questions about why you want to get involved with THON, past leadership experience, and your greatest accomplishment. You don’t need to write a dissertation, but don’t sound like a 5th grader. You go to Penn State. Take some time and answer thoroughly enough that when a captain sees your application they can get a glimpse of who you are as a person.
When you’re done filling out your application, you have to submit it online (done at the bottom of the application page) AND hand-in a hard copy at Alumni Hall (in the HUB) from 9 AM to 5 PM on Friday, September 16th. NO LATE APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED so it is very important that both are submitted by 5 PM on Friday the 16th.
Lastly, GET EXCITED! THON is a special experience that allows you to connect and interact with these amazingly strong children and their families, raise funding for pediatric cancer research, and get involved with your fellow students and the Penn State community. Through meetings, canning trips, special events, and (most importantly) THON you’ll make connections with your committee members that you can’t make anywhere else.