The Logistics of Virtual THON

Story posted 5 days ago in News, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

With THON 2021 going virtual this year, that means a lot is going to change in terms of how the 46 hour celebration will be planned. In years past, students filled the Bryce Jordan Center while dancers occupied the floor.

Students would be flowing in and out of the Bryce Jordan Center along with different acts to perform which has always helped to make THON one of the biggest events of the school year. It’s served as a celebration after months of raising money for the event.

That being said, trying to recreate the energy of the students which has been lost due to the pandemic has been the goal all year long for many planning the event. This year’s THON entertainment director Emily Scott believes the creativity of the THON committee has been a major help in creating that energy from year's past.

“What we’re doing this year is we have the incredible brain power of the THON community and captains that have dived so deep in creativity this year,” Scott said. “They have taken what we’ve done in the past, made it virtual but also made it even better coming up with new ideas and I don’t want to spoil too much of what those ideas are but there’s some new events that have never been done before.”

Along with the students not filling up the Bryce Jordan Center, there will be the absence of the dancers who participate in the event as well.

Normally, THON dancers go on the floor of the BJC throughout the entirety of the event as they stay awake and stand up for the whole 46 hours. This year, the safety of the dancers has become more important than ever according to Scott, as the 592 dancers try to still get the full dancer experience.

“The dance relations team has done an incredible job this year supporting everybody that has wanted to dance and is dancing this year,” Scott said. “They’re providing them a million-and-one resources for how they can best be safe but still get that dancer experience. Typically, the dancer experience involves being awake for 46 hours and not sitting but this year we’re pushing for dancers to push themselves but also safely know that they can take that time for rest and take care of themselves.”

Although students can’t be at the event this year to celebrate, this year’s THON committee has worked to make the event as enjoyable as possible in a virtual setting. The virtual setting will be interactive as well to keep attendees energized and attentive throughout the 46 hours.

With some special surprises set to show up during the weekend it should make for an exciting THON 2021, despite the unusual circumstances.

 

Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.