THON Announces Mandatory Canning Workshops

Yesterday evening, THON Overall Elaine Tanella released a statement announcing mandatory Canning Workshops for all students who plan to participate in Canning Weekend #3 (January 20-22).

From Monday, January 16 to Wednesday, January 18, students planning on canning will have to attend one of the 30-minute workshops (times listed below). Tanella stated that the workshops will “overview safe canning practices, travel safety guidelines, general courtesy, and THON information,” so as to ensure that each student is aware of and understands all canning policies.

Once students have successfully completed a workshop session, they will receive “Permitted to Can” status. If it is found that an organization has permitted a student that has not attended a workshop session to go canning, the organization will lose dancers for THON Weekend.

As most of you know, it was during last semester’s Canning Weekend #2 that Penn State tragically lost one of its’ students in a car accident while traveling to go canning. It did not take very long until individuals started calling for the end of canning. It was difficult to tell how the Overall Committee would respond to such an unfortunate circumstance, and it appears that this is the answer.

When I asked Public Relations Overall Kirsten Quisenberry if there was any correlation between the crash and this announcement, she told me, “We [the Overall Committee] are always reevaluating our fundraising strategies. We always want to ensure the safety of our students.”

While I have no doubt that this statement is true, I am sure that these events are not mutually exclusive. Further, while no members of the Overall Committee confirmed this, University pressure (and ultimate control) may have influenced THON to introduce these mandatory workshops. My guess: no workshops = no BJC THON Weekend.

So how do we, the students involved in THON, handle this? On one hand, it is ridiculous that we, college students, have to learn how to “can”. Students have been canning for years and years, and there has been no prior need for a learning session. THON has made students quite aware of the canning policies and guidelines (click on THON 2012 Rule Book), so what else could these workshops add? THON is amazing, but it is a significant time commitment. We are students, and our schedules are already stocked up. Also, while I can not express the unfairness of the situation that led to the passing of a member of the Penn State family, there is no reason to believe that this occurrence is in any way tied to canning or THON. It could have happened at any moment, and sometimes, no matter how much one prepares, events happen without us having any control over the circumstances.

But, on the other hand, what will complaining get us? The Overalls have made sure that a great number of time slots are available so as to meet the schedules of those that they nurture. And hell, did you read the rules? Even if you have, it can’t hurt to hear them again.

While I am all for fighting against rules that I find to be unnecessary, you have to pick your battles, and, to those involved with THON, this isn’t the time. It is only 30 minutes of your day, and with a positive attitude, you will benefit from it. We still have canning, and for that, we should be thankful.

To all of those who plan to go canning, talk to your committee captain or organization leader on what steps to take to fulfill this requirement, and make sure to attend one of these workshop times:

White Building: 12:00PM, 12:30PM, 1:00PM, 1:30PM
105 Forum: 2:00PM, 2:30PM, 3:00PM, 3:30PM, 4:00PM, 4:30PM, 5:00PM, 5:30PM, 6:00PM, 6:30PM, 7:00PM, 7:30PM

Alumni Hall: 7:30PM, 8:00PM, 8:30PM, 9:00PM, 9:30PM, 10:00PM

Heritage Hall: 5:30PM, 6:00PM, 6:30PM, 7:00PM, 7:30PM, 8:00PM, 8:30PM, 9:00PM, 9:30PM

Now, go can with a smile, and stay safe!

For more information on THON 2011-2012, make sure to check out the installments of the Overall Series: Technology, Donor & Alumni Relations, Rules & Regulations, Public Relations, CommunicationsSupply Logistics, & Special Events, as well as my 10 questions with THON Overall Elaine Tanella. Also, catch up on the rest of the recent THON content: Mr. & Mrs. THON, Johnson & Johnson Dedicated to THON, THON 2012 Theme, FT5K 2011THON 2012 ThemeOverall Life Lessons2011 Summary of Fundraising ActivitiesCanning Map Weekend #1Canning “Do”s & “Don’t”sNew to THON, Canning Weekend #2 Tips, Go Green FTK.

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About the Author

Ryan Kristobak

Hailing from Lebanon, PA, I am a senior majoring in print journalism. Things I enjoy include lovesacs, denim, mullets, Fight Milk, Jonny Moseley, and "hang in there" kitten posters. Things that bother me include "fun" sized candy bars (not fun), fish, shoobies, wet door knobs, baby leashes, and Jake Lloyd.

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