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THON Is All Fun And Games, But Only After You’ve Secured Your Section

If you’ve never never been to THON or involved in a large org, you may not be familiar with the politics around where each group is seated within the Bryce Jordan Center.

Coming into the weekend, returning orgs know how important securing their sections is. They constantly stress entrance plans, especially to new members. Many organizations want to get as close to the floor as they can, in order to cheer on and support their dancers.

The time you come in, however, means nothing if you don’t have the people to fill the section you want. THON doesn’t permit saving seats, so if there’s not a body in it, it’s not your seat. This often pushes smaller organizations out simply because larger orgs are able to get more butts in the BJC Friday afternoon.

Although the overturning of sections can be borderline ruthless, usually these opportunistic orgs are still within THON’s rules. Based on THON’s 2019 Spectator Resource Packet, there is no saving seats in the BJC, which includes:

  • Telling someone you’ll save their seat while they leave the portal
  • Physically preventing others from using the seats
  • Intimidating others so they’re less inclined to stand in front of the seat
  • Placing belongings on top of seats so others will not stand in front of them

According to members in various orgs, there has been a lot of reshuffling this year.

Special interest org Atlas allegedly lost the section they’ve had since 2005 to Alpha Omicron Pi and Phi Kappa Psi. Eclipse reportedly got in on the action as well, taking over the spot usually associated with Delta Kappa Epsilon and SNAP, securing a prime location right across from the stage. Greek partnership Alpha Gamma Rho and Phi Sigma Sigma apparently came in with more than 80 students, claiming ballet club Volé’s section for themselves. Surely these were not the only instances of an overturned section, as any org that ended up on the upper level can tell you their own story.

Even if, by some miracle, your organization secures a prime section during entrance plan Friday afternoon, remember that you aren’t guaranteed that same section, or really any section at all, come morning.

If your section runs too thin, other groups may be able to sneak their way in and do what you did to them just hours earlier — overrun your section.

If this happens, say a prayer to the new members on the night shift.

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About the Author

Corrin Smucker

Corrin is double majoring in Spanish and Public Relations here at Penn State and is minoring in International Business. She is always excited to share with readers all Penn State has to offer, and what makes it the greatest school on the East Coast (or even the nation).

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