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The Daily Collegian Hates THON Hype And We’re Confused

Here at Onward State, we like to have our fun with our media “rivals” over at the Daily Collegian, whether that fun is at their expensethe expense of their writers, or even in the form of a legitimate attempt at befriending them. Usually it’s light-hearted and general fun-having, but yesterday, when I made the terrible, horrible, no good mistake of clicking on their editorial about State College’s name change come THON weekend, I could feel myself losing brain cells. This editorial was just too bad to go unopposed.

So here’s what I’m going to do. Much like my good friend Noel Purcell, I’m going to FJM this abomination of an editorial. As put by Noel: “FJM style essentially goes line-by-line (skipping non-relevant parts) and breaks down a piece of writing and criticizes it, and was popularized by the legendary site Fire Joe Morgan. The bold writing will be the article’s original contents, everything else is me.”

So, without further ado:

State College will take on the name the “City of THON” for this year’s student-run event, beginning 6 p.m. Feb. 20 and ending at 4 p.m. Feb. 22.

Ok, so far, so good. Way to go guys, you’re on your way to becoming A+ journalism majors.

While this new name doesn’t harm the event, it’s a public relations stunt that seems to take something away from the meaning. 

Well, I guess all good things must come to an end. Listen, as a former journalism snob, I get it. PR is the anti-journalism in many ways, but seriously? Building hype for a weekend that children with cancer look forward to all year takes away from the meaning? I mean, maybe I’m just completely oblivious but that makes absolutely no sense. They’ll probably explain it though, I’m sure.

The Penn State Interfraternity Council/ Panhellenic Dance Marathon is an important part of the university. But it’s not the only part.

Or not, that works too. Forgetting that they gave literally no evidence or reason for the last sentence, the rest of the paragraph is still a train-wreck. If they really think ceremonially changing the name of a college town for a weekend makes it the school’s entire identity, I can only imagine what their opinions are on things that take even an ounce of actual thinkingAnd even if that is true, god forbid people think of us as “that school where the only thing going on is raising money for children with cancer.”

And making this weekend out to be a big party — a Penn State celebration bigger than anything else if you will — cheapens what the weekend is really about.

“Making the weekend where a bunch of college students take a week off from drinking to make kids with cancer feel amazing and normal out to be the biggest party of the year cheapens what the weekend is really about, which definitely isn’t having a giant weekend-long party for kids with cancer. Don’t ask us what it really is about though because that’s not our job.”

“‘For the Kids’ are three words that motivate and inspire more than 15,000 students across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to give their time and selfless dedication in the pursuit of finding a cure for childhood cancer,” the official proclamation read. Don’t forget what “For the Kids” means.

Ok, so apparently TDC has a problem with the fact that “For the Kids” motivates college students to volunteer and raise money year-round for pediatric cancer research, because pediatric cancer isn’t literally “for the kids” or something, I think. Because, you know, everyone saw this and thought, “Wow, how nice they’re renaming the town to make college kids happy. Too bad the Four Diamonds children and their families won’t think this is cool.”

THON is supposed to be about the kids and families in the Four Diamonds. It’s to raise money to help the lives of those affected by cancer — those whose daily lives often revolve around a battle for their lives.

And to almost commercialize the event, even if somewhat unintentionally, seems wrong.

Yeah! How dare you, State College! How dare you raise awareness for an event that is preceded by students literally standing on street corners for three weekends building awareness and asking for money! This is an event that raises money for an organization that was named after a story that a 14-year-old wrote about heroes in a magical place. God forbid they rename the town for the weekend to make it feel like the kids are escaping to a magical place where all that exists is this party event that they’ve been looking forward to all year.

Also, how could this possibly be seen as commercialization? The borough didn’t announce a City of THON t-shirt sale. And even if it did commercialize the event, what would happen? More people would donate? Or show up?  Because you know what they always say: “Stop giving us your money, we have enough to fight a disease that we haven’t found a cure for yet!”

We don’t think this is maliciously done, so much as it is a good intention poorly executed.

“We know you think this was a good idea, but it’s not because we’re the campus newspaper and we said so and we hate fun so it’s a bad idea.”

If you truly want to help THON, hold events downtown for kids, families and those in attendance who donate money throughout the weekend. Open up resources for these families while they’re here.

Holy shit, and they think the borough’s idea was bad? This idea literally suggests incentivizing leaving THON during THON weekend. I can see it now — “Hey!” the Collegian staff yells at passing families, “stop going to that huge fun thing you came all way here to go to, there’s more to State College than THON!”

The “City of THON” was done in good faith, but it’s a swing and a miss. It lessens the weekend’s cause.

Don’t let it make you forget what THON is really about.

Yes, let us not forget what THON is about.  Just ask the Collegian and its wonderful advertisers, local strip club, The End Zone, whose ad, I kid you not, actually showed up at the top of this editorial the first time I read it. “Don’t let it make you forget what THON is really about. But also, help patronize our great advertisers by spending your weekend at the End Zone!”

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About the Author

Mike Reisman

is a senior Supply Chain Management major with an Economics minor (Read: Business Douche) from South Jersey. He has an intense fear of graduating so please don't bring it up. He writes about stupid things nobody cares about, and student life if the site is low on content that is clearly supposed be funny but is really very unfunny. He is lovingly (?) known around the staff as Baby Mike which may or may not be because he has a child (hint: it’s not). He’s also a second generation Penn Stater who has been wearing Penn State sweatshirts since before he was two, a habit he hasn’t grown out of. If you really hate yourself, you can follow him on twitter at @mike_reisman or email him at [email protected]


[Live Blog] Penn State THON 2019: Day One

Be sure to follow @THONwardState, @OnwardState, and our Facebook Page for up-to-the-second coverage of everything going on inside the Bryce Jordan Center all weekend long.

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