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THON Rolls Out New Digital Line For Friday BJC Entrance

Each year, THON organizations wait outside the Bryce Jordan Center for hours leading up to the start of the event to gain the most-coveted sections in the arena. This year, however, THON is trying to prevent organization members from lining up in the cold by implementing a digital line system.

Described by THON PR Captain Sam Shively as “similar to the fast pass system at Disney,” the digital line assigns each organization a place in line and a time to enter the BJC in the hours leading up to THON weekend.

On Feb. 2 at midnight, THON orgs submitted requests for spots in the digital line. Each org was asked to register the names of eight to 50 members who would stand in line, as well as a full roster of every member. On Friday, members received e-mails with all of the information that they would need to get into the BJC in two weeks. This includes their org’s assigned number, meeting place, and times to arrive and enter the stadium. Members must present their student I.D. and the confirmation email when entering the arena.

Last year, THON began experimenting with the digital line system by distributing numbered bracelets that helped track the amount of people in the building. Once capacity was reached, a digital queue began based on the number on each bracelet. Rather than wait in the cold, individuals were directed to wait inside Pegula Ice Arena and were notified when it was their turn to enter the BJC.

The changes made this year will continue to “move away from kids standing outside for hours” by digitally forming the line two weeks before THON rather than encouraging students to line up the morning of the event. This helps amend the issues that THON experienced in the past, in which orgs lined up hours before the permitted times and, as a result, had preferential section choice.

Although THON is not publicly releasing which group was given the earliest time to enter, orgs were given times on a “first come, first serve” basis through their registration last Monday night. While THON does not allow groups to reserve sections from year to year, Shively says that spots in the digital line were “distributed fairly enough so it the arena will look as it did in the past” with groups equally represented in the lower sections of the arena. He stressed that the goal of the digital line is “focused on organization, not on giving one org priority over another” and to reduce the unpredictability of what organizations will do the morning of THON.

Even with the new system, Shively expects a line outside the BJC on the morning because of “pre-THON” hype. While organizations still have many unanswered questions about the digital line, THON is trying to release information on a need-to-know basis and will hopefully be guiding organizations through the process in the near future.

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About the Author

Alex Calderaro

Alex Calderaro is a junior majoring in Supply Chain Management from Central Jersey. As a first generation Penn Stater, she has found a home here in several places, including her sorority, and, of course, Onward State. You can contact her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @alexcalderaro.

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