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Adventures in the BJC: Part 1

It was a slow morning at THON around 7 a.m on Saturday. The Onward State staff slapped their faces to keep from drifting off, the shrill notes of the Greek Hour musical “performances” still ringing in our ears. All of a sudden an ad for something called the “THON Salon” flashed across the jumbo tron. Intrigued, fellow OS writer Zack Rutstein and I set off in search of answers — anything to break the monotony of the stagnant press row.

After asking a few security volunteers if such a thing even existed, we received a tip that we should head towards the back of the BJC, near the truck loading zone. We did so, but with more than a little trepidation…


We’ve walked past this area of the BJC hundreds times throughout our Penn State careers, but never really noticed anything other than what looked like a normal parking lot. Wait? Why would anyone send us here? Is this really where press is supposed to go? Are we about to be murdered? Like the intrepid journalists we are, we shook aside our fear, and entered the unknown.


Now that we were pretty sure we had already crossed the threshold of “breaking and entering”, we decided we really had nothing else to do but to soldier on. Our next goal was to look for a way in. As we crossed the parking lot we saw some important looking THON volunteers giving us a death stare. Despite our hesitance and confusion, we projected an air of confidence that convinced them that we kind of knew what we were doing. Just trespassing, NBD, nothing to see here.


Success was within reach! We had found a door, leading who knows where. Steeling ourselves for the worst, we hesitantly opened the door, and entered into a room bustling with people — the exact room where we needed to be. Through the frenzy of purple, green, pink, and red shirts, we heard a voice asking us who we were here for. We responded “Onward State”. We were in.

This was our first encounter with our awesome PR reps, Lola Buonomo and Carlee Delp. We’re basically best friends now.


After a quick meet and greet, and a few sweet photo opportunities, we were on our way to what we thought was the grand prize — the elusive THON salon. Signs pointed us in the right direction, and soon enough we found it.


It turns out the THON salon is a place where dancers can go to get their hair washed by an entire team of moralers, quite a treat after standing for 14 hours in a row. The dancers have the option to either bring their own shampoo, or to use one of the many varieties offered at the salon (including both masculine and feminine scents).


Senior Julie Berger (pictured below with her moraler Ryan David) said that the hair wash felt “amazing” and that she “felt like a completely different person”. We all know how great a nice hot shower feels after a long day, so I imagine that she was experiencing something similar but magnified by about 100x.


Many other dancers seemed to share the same sentiment as Julie, as the line continued far down the hall.


Although investigating the THON salon was interesting, what we didn’t know,  was that we were only just scratching the surface. Stay tuned to Onward State for the next chapter in our Adventures in the BJC.

Catie Simpson (@catiewitha_C_) and Zack Rutstein (@ZackRutstein) contributed to the writing of this post. Click here for Part Two!

About the Author

Catie Simpson

Catie is a junior majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. She's also the resident townie and culinary enthusiast due to a brief stint at the CIA (the culinary school not the secret government agency). She currently works at a Baby Temperament Lab on campus where she tries to get babies to do dangerous things. She's also on the twitter.


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