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The Art Of Getting (& Keeping) A Good Spot In Stands At THON

While the dancers prowl the floor for 46 straight hours with free reign, the bleachers are a different story.

Whether the BJC is packed during the Final Four or sparsely populated at 4 a.m., the spectators are a very unique and special part of THON.

Unlike the 707 dancers on the floor, the spectators are not obliged to stay for the full time. However, each fraternity, sorority, and THON committee stakes their claim to a portion of the stadium.

How is this done? Well, it may not be as easy as one might think.

No organizations associated with the event are guaranteed an allocation of places to stand in the BJC. When the doors open, they make a mad dash to the stands reminiscent of recent basketball games.

“We went from the top tier to a better space,” Rob Kania, a freshman in Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) said.

ZBT was originally located in the upper reaches of the BJC’s second tier, before moving down into the lower bowl.

Kania described the experience as a mad dash once he saw the opening. However that was nothing compared to the entrance on Friday afternoon.

“Yeah, that [entrance to the BJC] was like the Hunger Games,” he said.

Although organizations can’t reserve seating, they maintain their spots through keeping a large presence in their claimed sections for 46 hours straight. Kania, Richard Visco, and Joey Gurzenda were three of the ZBT brothers manning the fort until reinforcements come.

Most official organizations have worked their way to the lower bowl as the crowd dissipated; those who wish to spectate Saturday evening for the pep rally and Sunday afternoon for the Final Four will most likely be asked to head to the second tier of the BJC.

Should a section fill up, Rules and Regulations will close the curtain leading to the space until enough spots reopen. Unfortunately for those holding Greek letters, big heads, or simply dancing along, the morning hours are most important to maintain their spot, as it’s the least likely time for the curtains to close.

While the process may have been rocky for ZBT, they remain in good spirits throughout the early morning hours.

“It has really brought us together, taking turns with the signs for this long,” Visco said.

“We are doing this for a great cause,” Gurzenda added. “It’s not about us, it’s for the kids.”

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About the Author

Otis Lyons

Otis is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and is one of Onward State's associate editors. He lives just north of San Francisco, and is a diehard San Jose Earthquakes fan. Feel free to send over your soccer hot takes to his twitter @otisnlyons1 and instagram @otislyons

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