PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Spotlight on New Special Interest Org ‘Common’

When former THON chairs from Penn State commonwealth campuses arrived at University Park for the fall semester, they came together to brainstorm ideas for what they wanted in a special interest org. As they looked at their goals, they realized there wasn’t already an organization that met their needs, so they decided to form their own.

As the founders looked at their slogan — “Commonwealth, in a common place, for a common goal” — their choice for a name became obvious. It was there that “Common” was born.

The goal of “Common” was simple — the founders wanted the special interest org to bring commonwealth campus students together to raise money for pediatric cancer once they arrived at University Park. It can be a difficult transition for some transfer students, so “Common” helps to engage with them as soon as they arrive. So far, the org has students from six commonwealth campuses.

Although “Common” is only in its first year, the org was able to bring 35 students together to raise about $37,000 for the Four Diamonds Fund and earned two dancer spots. It wasn’t recognized as a THON special interest org until October 7, so it missed the first canning weekend, said “Common” commonwealth liasion Keith Hacke, a former Altoona THON chair.

“It’s a blessing we raised this much money in our first year,” Hacke, a junior majoring in energy, business, and finance. “We put in so much effort and time to recruit for the kids and families.”

To make up for this lost canning weekend, Hacke said “Common” held many alternative fundraisers, such as a candle sale. They also attended the next two canning weekends and sent thousands of THONvelopes.

“Common” had to enter the lottery to earn dancer spots this year, so it wasn’t until recently that the org learned it would have two spots. It’s guaranteed the org will get two next year, but Hacke said he hopes there will be a third dancer on the floor.

“It’s an amazing feeling looking around and seeing our success in one building,” Hacke said, as he gestured to the “Common’s” front row seats at the BJC. “We raised so much much for the kids and the Four Diamond Fund. That’s just such a good feeling.”

Next year, Hacke plans to stay involved with “Common,” but he said he wants to do more. He will apply to be a captain or committee member, leaving his dream of dancing until after he graduates. Hacke wants to dance with his older brother Mike, the 2009 THON overall, through the alumni interest group.

For now, Hacke plans to just soak in the amazing feeling of collectively raising more money than he could have imagined For The Kids.

About the Author

Jessica Tully

Jessica Tully is a first-year law student at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. She graduated in May 2014 with degrees in journalism and political science.


State College Links
More by Jessica

Phyrst and Cafe 210 West Closed Early on State Patty’s Day

At least two locals bars have closed their doors to the public early due to rowdy State Patty’s Day patrons. The Phyrst and Cafe 210 West closed at about 7 p.m. Saturday.

55 Days Of Cafe: To Drink Or Not To Drink?

Sign Your Favorite Memories At The THON Museum


Big Ten Announces 2018-2019 In-Conference Hoops Matchups

The 2018-2019 season will feature a 20-game in conference schedule for the first time.

From Manager To Walk On: Penn State Softball’s Ashton Mensinger Enjoying Unexpected Opportunity

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Loses To Maryland 13-8

Penn State Men’s Lacrosse’s Ryan Keenan Selected In MLL Draft

Penn State Baseball Snaps Eleven-Game Losing Streak Against Mount St. Mary’s

Student Life

Homecoming 2018 Logo Revealed

The Homecoming Executive Committee revealed the Homecoming 2018 logo at halftime of the Blue-White game.

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

Creamery ‘Brew And White’ Iced Coffee Now Available

Saquon Barkley Shows Some Skin On SI Cover

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is expected to be a top-five pick, and he and his most vehement supporters say there’s no reason he won’t go No. 1 overall.

Blue-White 2018 Prop Bets

Step right up and place some bets, folks!

Dry Weather Expected For Blue-White Weekend

Predicted temperatures in the mid-50s and mostly cloudy skies should make for a pleasant (but more importantly, dry) Blue-White Weekend.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

The bus was purchased at a church and designed to carry 22 children. Now it carries about 30 cases of beer.

Send this to a friend