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THON Director Thursday: Payton Burke, Rules & Regulations, Event Safety

As we close out the remaining days of finals week and the fall semester, Penn State’s celebrated THON weekend is quickly creeping its way into the Bryce Jordan Center’s view. With just a little more than two months until the dancers stand, anticipation and emotions are running higher than ever. Winter break is just around the corner, so we’re sitting down with each of the THON 2016 Directors to ensure the campus is fully aware of their commitments and responsibilities. Last week, we talked with Technology Director Kevin Leimkuhler. This week, our conversation continued with Rules and Regulations, Event Safety Director Payton Burke.

Payton Burke, Rules and Regulations, Event Safety

Year: 5th Year Senior

Major(s)/Minor(s): Major­ing in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Minor­ing in Human Development and Family Studies

Past THON Experience:

THON 2015 Rules & Regulations Event Safety Captain

Rules & Regulations Committee Member 2012-14

Name an interesting, weird, or quirky fact about you: I don’t like my food to touch on my plate!

Onward State: What made you want to apply for the R&R Event Safety Director position?

Payton Burke: I don’t think there is just one or two things that made me apply, it was an accumulation of wanting to give THON my all, make a true impact with my time here at Penn State, and so many more reasons. I wanted to have the opportunity to make an impact on R&R and THON, not only for 2016, but THONs in the future! That is the amazing thing about THON, It changes every year and that means that there is always room for improvements for the future.

OS: What are the responsibilities of R&R Event Safety?

PB: I am responsible for the safety and security of all volunteers, families, and spectators that attend THON weekend, as well as pre­-THON events. Specifically, I monitor building capacity through the Digital Line Management System and floor capacity through the PASS System during THON weekend to ensure the safety of everyone in the building!

OS: What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?

PB: One thing that I am focusing on this year is making sure that THON and R&R is sustainable for the future.

OS: What do you think makes R&R Event Safety so cool, fun, and/or important?

PB: The R&R Committee is one of the only Committees that works with every single Committee which I find very interesting. Whether that means working with SE to plan Family Carnival to coordinating with FR on Family Passes, R&R gets to see behind the scenes of THON and the planning of THON events!

OS: What are the overall goals you wish to reach within your specific position and committee?

PB: My goal is to communicate with spectators and the general public of what R&R does!

OS: So Payton, why do you THON?

PB: I THON so no family will have to utter the words, my child has cancer. Being involved in THON has taught me that we will never know what life has in store for us and bad things may happen to good people but it also taught me that no one fights alone and the community that we have set up to not only support the families but each other is truly amazing.

OS: Can you tell us about your favorite THON memory?

PB: I have so many THON memories but I think my favorite would be something that didn’t happen at THON itself. Last year I had the opportunity to have a Committee and they continued to surprise me throughout the year! During the Sunday of THON weekend some of them asked if I would come live stream the finale with them and I said of course. When I got there I saw 18 of my Committee Members in that apartment and I couldn’t believe that they left the BJC so that they could live stream it with me and that moment will forever be my favorite!

OS: Finally, an Onward State tradition. If you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?

PB: If I was a dinosaur I would be a Pterodactyl, because I would be able to fly which would be awesome!

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About the Author

Kaitlyn Dividock

Kaitlyn is a staff writer for Onward State who is entirely too enthusiastic about Pittsburgh sports, music festivals, and crude humor. She is a senior English major who concentrates in Professional and Media Writing and minors in Sociology. She is really fun and very cool, and her favorite color is red. If for some reason you can't find her, she's probably at Primanti's with an ice cold IC Light in her hand. You can follow her on Twitter (@kaitdivi) if you want quality #content, or contact her via email at [email protected]

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