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THON Director Thursday: Meet THON 2023 Event Safety Director Tyler Saiers

Name: Tyler Saiers

Major: Labor & Human Resources

Previous THON Experience:

THON 2019: Rules & Regulations Pass Committee Member

THON 2020: Rules & Regulations Pass Captain

THON 2021: Rules & Regulations Head of Pass Captain

THON 2022: Rules & Regulations Event Safety Director

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

I have never seen “The Lion King.” I know. It’s weird.

What made you want to apply for a director position for THON 2023?

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, instill 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 a THON 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?

I’ve spent a great deal of time standardizing our security procedures and comparing them to the industry standard. We have taken a critical lens to our practices to ensure the safety of all those involved at THON events. I have also worked to increase education and outreach to the THON community to best support their experience.

What makes your 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 & Regulations committee members have the opportunity to interact with families, dancers, spectators, donors, and other volunteers during their shifts.

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2023?

My goal is to make the Rules & 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. If I’m being completely honest, I had to look this one up but they’re in every movie about dinosaurs and they just vibe in the background. What’s not to love about them?!

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About the Author

Haylee Yocum

Haylee is a junior studying immunology and infectious disease. She is from Mifflintown, PA, a tiny town south of State College. She is a coffee addict, loves Taylor Swift, and can't wait to go to a concert again. Any questions can be directed to @hayleeq8 on Twitter or emailed to [email protected]

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