Last Minute THON Dancer Cuts Have Some Upset
There will be only be 707 dancers at this year’s THON instead of the initial 711 because of some recent mixups with Greek organizations. Both Delta Kappa Epsilon and Chi Omega lost dancers unexpectedly; DKE is on suspension and Chi O is not a registered sorority anymore. Due to IFC and Penn State policy, those organizations aren’t able to officially participate in any event — this, despite raising money and being active all year in THON events.
One of Chi Omega’s dancers spoke with us about the details of losing her dancer spot just nine days before THON kicks off.
“We found out in November that the three of us would be dancing after our chapter voted,” said the girl who wished to remain anonymous. “I had decided when I was a freshman [that I wanted to dance] when I was involved with THON, then I became a THON Chair my sophomore and senior year. It is something that all three of us are passionate about.”
After months of looking forward to THON weekend, this dream was quickly shattered when she received a phone call from THON’s Rules and Regulations director informing her that due to her organization no longer being recognized by the university, she would no longer be able to represent her organization at THON, which has raised more than $100,000 over the past two years.
The potential dancers had already registered through THON and even received moralers, who were then assigned to other dancers at the last minute. The girls brainstormed on how to still try to stand for 46 hours, but with the lottery for independent dancers already over, Chi Omega was out of options.
As difficult as the situation has been for the three girls, they made a joint decision to attend THON to show support for their THON family, which they were just paired with this year — an honor earned by organizations that have shown they are able to emotionally support a family battling cancer.
“They don’t really understand so it’s not fair to really involve them yet,” said the Chi Omega member. “Once they come to THON and see that we aren’t on the floor I think that they will be very disappointed because we have bonded with their children. It’s sad.”
“I wish that the directors would look at the big picture here. As sad as we are that we can’t dance, the people that this truly affects is our family, and they should really change this rule for next year,” she said. “No one should ever have to go through this.”
DKE’s THON family also isn’t happy about the recent situation. Briana Johnson’s daughter Morgen is DKE’s THON child, who along with Sigma Alpha, supported the family throughout the year.
“I don’t know what happened to get them suspended but I do believe that if the two dancers had nothing to do with the issue then they should be allowed,” Johnson said. “The boys worked hard to support THON and only those who caused the issue should be suspended.”
“They and Sigma Alpha made a supper for us at the frat house before. They came to watch Morgen cheer before. SA and DKE had a little birthday party for Morgen at frat house before, and they came to THON hoops to cheer on the game with us. Then they were in the old frat house, they had a cookout with us make us sweatshirts and t-shirts every year for THON. They’re always texting and calling us — they even called and told us about being suspended. We love the boys!”
UPDATE: DKE was taken off suspension last night and is in good standing with the IFC, but still isn’t permitted to dance in THON, per a member of the fraternity who wishes to remain anonymous.
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