THON Director Thursday: Meet THON 2022 Event Safety Director Tyler Saiers

Name: Tyler Saiers
Major: Labor & Human Resources

Past THON Experience:
Rules & Regulations Pass Committee Member for THON 2019
Rules & Regulations Pass Captain for THON 2020
Rules & Regulations Head of Pass Captain for THON 2021

Name an interesting, weird, or quirky fact about yourself:

I have never seen “The Lion King”.

What made you want to apply for the Event Safety director position for THON 2022?

Throughout my time at Penn State, my involvement in THON has completely changed my life in ways that I could never have imagined. THON was one of the first organizations that welcomed me to campus and made Happy Valley feel like home. THON is an organization devoted to helping others, and I am beyond
grateful to be a part of something that touches so many lives in more ways than one. The passion and dedication that every THON volunteer shows have always amazed me. As the Event Safety director, I wanted to facilitate these interactions, welcome new members, and instilling the same passion for THON
that I have in others, and give back to the organization that has given me so much.

What are your responsibilities as the Event Safety director?

As the Event Safety director, my main responsibilities include being the liaison between THON and the Bryce Jordan Center, University Emergency Management, and University Police. There are many partnerships that allow THON to operate at the size that we do, so to keep THON moving forward it is
essential that all parties involved feel confident that we as students will meet and exceed their standards. The Event Safety committee is devoted to creating a safe and secure environment for all who attend pre- THON events as well as throughout the entirety of THON Weekend. Rules & Regulations Event Safety exists to ensure no harm ever comes to any person as part of a THON event.

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

Returning from a year of Zoom meetings and dancing at home, I knew that education would be a vital component to returning to the Bryce Jordan Center. We have implemented numerous new training procedures for all THON Volunteers that focus on general security, dancer wellness, and the spectator

We have also implemented a THON Weekend reporting system allowing any spectator to report discriminatory, hateful, and bigoted acts. This plan includes immediate response and action from THON including potential collaboration between police, BJC staff, and the Office of Student Affairs.

What makes the Event Safety committee so cool, fun, and/or important?

The Event Safety committee, in my unbiased opinion, is one of the coolest and most flexible committees in THON. We can be found anywhere in the Bryce Jordan Center and are the first and last faces that spectators see when coming to and leaving THON Weekend. Rules and Regulations committee members
have the opportunity to interact with families, dancers, spectators, donors, and other volunteers during their shift.

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2022?

My goal is to make the Rules and Regulations committee a resource to the THON community. It is our responsibility to create a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for all of those who wish to attend THON events. I have also challenged my committee to question the norm and find new and innovative ways to push the Event Safety committee into the future.

Why do you THON?

I THON for Four Diamonds families. The strength, resilience, and courage that they show day after day amazes me. Discovering that their loved one has cancer is heartbreaking for each and every one of them, yet they choose to persevere and take on each day. I want to help them in any way possible, even if it is only for a weekend, I want them to be relieved of the stress and chaos that has engulfed their life.
Serving as a THON volunteer makes me feel hopeful. Hopeful that one day, childhood cancer will be an obstacle of the past. Hopefully, children will grow up to be doctors, astronauts, or whatever their heart desires. Hopeful that we can one day, dance in celebration. Once I joined THON, I knew I wanted to help our dreams and the dreams of so many others come to reality.

What’s your favorite THON memory?

My favorite THON memory is from my first THON in 2019. My captain, Kara, had talked about THON Weekend the entire year but I had trouble rationalizing what the weekend would be like. I was very skeptical about the so-called magic of the weekend but was excited to experience the weekend with my committee. During my first shift, my committee was placed in the stands directly across from the stage. From there I was able to watch the dancers stand, see the crowd cheer in excitement, and feel the magic that is THON Weekend.

Per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur, which one would you be and why?

If I could be any dinosaur, I would be a Brontosaurus. They seem super chill and in every movie I’ve ever seen. They just vibe in the background.

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About the Author

Mackenzie Cullen

Sadly, Mackenzie graduated from Penn State in 2022. She majored in English and served as one of Onward State's associate editors. You can keep up with her life and send compliments to @MackenzieC__ on Twitter.

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