Meet the THON 2014 Directors: Mac Weiler, OPPerations Director
With THON season in full swing, we conducted a series of interviews with each member of the THON 2014 Executive Committee in order to better connect the Penn State community with the leaders of the largest student run philanthropy in the world. This week features OPPerations Director Mac Weiler.
Mac Weiler, OPPerations Director
Current Year: Senior
Major/Minor: Information Sciences and Technology, Security Risk Analysis Minor
Fun Fact: I have a really good Wookie call.
Onward State: Why did you apply to be a part of the Executive Committee for THON 2014?
Mac Weiler: I guess it goes back to THON 2013. THON 2013 was my first year on the OPPerations Committee, so it was a totally new experience for me, and I really enjoyed it. I just loved the aspect of set up and tear down, I loved the entire weekend of kind of getting that feeling that you’re really helping to keep the THON community safe. That’s really our biggest goal — to keep the community safe, to keep the kids safe, and to have a healthy and clean environment. That was just something that I felt really passionately about, so by the end of that weekend, I knew that I wanted to do everything that I could to keep that going and to make that as clean and as strong of a drive for the committee as possible. Afterwards, I felt like I wanted to do more and to play a bigger role and give more of my time and my effort so that I could do everything in my power, so I applied.
OS: Summarize some of the responsibilities of the OPPerations Committee, and then the role you play as Director within those responsibilities.
MW: My role is mostly seeing all of the OPPerations Committee. We have a lot of tasks that go into planning THON weekend, 5K, Family Carnival, most of that tuned towards set up and tear down and maintenance throughout the weekend. We also do smaller events like mat cleanings to get ready for THON weekend, but I help oversee that and help kind of play as an advisor for the OPPerations captains so that they can come to me with questions or about things that they have to do and I can be there as someone who has gone through the experience, who has gone through the year before, and provide answers and anything like that. I also handle more of the administration stuff as well. I’m the direct contact between the BJC and THON, so I regulate that conversation and also get my captains involved with that as well. So anything that they need to know and any questions that they have, I help regulate that communication as well as facility things, so anything that has to do with buildings and anyone on campus at Penn State that we need to reserve buildings and things like that.
OS: What are your overall goals for this year? What are you looking to change and improve to make the OPPerations Committee the best it can be?
MW: One of my big goals this year is to improve our interaction with other committees so that we can help do whatever we need to do or whatever other committees would like us to do to improve their event. Like I said, big events for us are 5K, Family Carnival, THON weekend, and so it’s really just increasing that communication and our role within that event to help make it as smooth and as quick as possible. Also within the OPPerations Committee is structuring how we do things. One of my biggest goals that’s going to kind of roll over to the years to come is to structure our processes and to help create a system that we can work off of every single year, so that when we come back and look off of how it was done last year and this is how it was systemized, and then we can build on that and improve on that. Basically at this point there hasn’t been enough documentation about what we do on a step-by-step basis. My goal is to streamline that so we can do that.
OS: What moment or moments are you most looking forward to during this upcoming THON year? Be as specific or vague as you’d like.
MW: One of the things I’m most looking forward to is the THON 5K. That’s one of my favorite events each year, and this year it’s going to be a really fun experience to get to see what the OPPerations captains do in that system and in that role. That’s the first time that they will come together as a team within the entire THON community and really help work together to help set up a big event that has a lot of spectators and a lot of participants. I’m excited to see how they work together and how they accomplish their goals.
OS: Why do you THON?
MW: I THON because I don’t want anyone to ever have to hear the words “Your kid has cancer.” I don’t want anyone to ever have to hear the words “you have cancer.” That’s something that is so detrimental to not only yourself but your family and your friends. I’ve been very fortunate to have a very healthy life as well as my family having a very healthy life, so as someone who has the time and the health to fight against the disease, that’s how I want to spend my time; so that those who don’t have the ability or the health to fight against the disease, I can help fight for them.
OS: Name an event or two that you think will make this year’s line dance.
MW: I definitely think the opening of Pegula this year will make it in.
OS: If you could be any dinosaur, which would you be and why?
MW: I would definitely go with velociraptor. Not because they’re scary or anything, but I just think the velociraptor is the most excited dinosaur, because I think they have a personality that’s very enthusiastic and that they’re always very upbeat and quick.