THON Weekend Guide

Students, volunteers, and Four Diamonds families join together in Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center. For 46 hours, volunteers give kids and their families the opportunity to forget about their cancer diagnosis. 700+ students are recognized as dancers for THON Weekend, a feat that entails standing on their feet for the entirety of the weekend.

  • THON – The largest student-run philanthropy committed to enhancing the lives of children and families impacted by childhood cancer.
  • FTK – “For the Kids”; the reason we dance.
  • Four Diamonds Fund – THON’s sole beneficiary that funds critical cancer research and covers any financial concerns the THON families are met with.
  • Line Dance – A choreographed dance to a song that is taught at the beginning of THON. The lyrics are composed of major events, songs, and media aspects from the past year.
  • Committees – There are fourteen committees, and one overall committee. Each has a different purpose and a different color.
  • Dancer Mail – Friends & family write letters to cheer on and encourage the dancers.
  • Water Socials – At sporadic moments throughout the 46 hours, the DJ announces that it is indeed time for a social. Everyone raises his or her water bottles to stay hydrated!
  • Floor Pass – This is one of the ways to get onto the floor to see your friends or children dancing

Things to bring coming soon…

Prohibited Items

The following items are not permitted to enter the Bryce Jordan Center. If these items are found during the security screening process or anytime after, Rules & Regulations Committee Members will ask spectators to dispose of them:

  • Bags larger than a drawstring (with a maximum of two per spectator)
  • Food and beverage items
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Vapes/Juuls
  • Liquid
  • Balloons or inflatables
  • Potentially harmful balls (i.e. baseballs, footballs, etc.)
  • Water guns with removable tanks
  • Any water guns must be empty upon entering the BJC
  • Glitter
  • Silly string
  • Flag poles
  • Animals
  • Transportation items (i.e. skateboards, hoverboards, etc.)
  • Large containers (meaning they cannot fit under a seat)

 

The following rules are in place to assure that all Four Diamonds families, THON™ volunteers, and spectators are safe throughout the entirety of THON™ Weekend. In order to maintain the welcoming and positive atmosphere provided by THON™, it is important that these regulations are followed and that the procedures laid out for the weekend are respected for the duration of the event. Every rule has a reason as to why it is in place and will be enforced by all THON™ volunteers. These regulations are created and enforced by the Rules & Regulations Committee, as well as Bryce Jordan Center staff.

Any violation of THON™ Weekend rules will be subject (but not limited) to any of the following penalties:

  • Pass Revocation
  • Pass Suspension
  • Removal from the BJC

Assessment of these penalties will be at the discretion of Rules & Regulations Captains and Directors on a case-by-case basis.

General Conduct

  1. All bags will be searched at every entrance for the duration of the weekend. All spectator bags must be the size of a drawstring or smaller.
  2. No one who has consumed any amount of alcohol will be permitted inside the BJC. Individuals who do not comply with this rule will be denied access to the building.
  3. Spectators are not permitted to enter the Committee Member Storage area in the Upper Bowl. This area will be monitored by Rules & Regulations Committee Members.
  4. Cell phones and other electronic devices may not be charged using BJC outlets.
  5. Floor access is only permitted by being on a registered Pass list and utilizing the THON™ Weekend Dashboard.
  6. THON™ is not responsible for lost or stolen items during THON™ Weekend.
  7. All lost items found throughout the THON™ Weekend should be turned in to the designated Lost & Found locations. There are two such locations within the BJC:
    • Concourse: Information Booth/Donation Station across from Gate D
    • Event Level: Main intersection of the west-side hallway
  8. All unclaimed lost items from THON™ Weekend will be kept and redistributed through the Lost & Found claim in the HUB following THON™ Weekend.
  9. Police, Bryce Jordan Center staff, THON™ Directors, Rules & Regulations Captains, and on-shift Rules & Regulations Committee Members reserve the right to have anyone who is causing disruptions or not adhering to established rules either leave the building or deny them entrance.

Conduct While in the Stands/Concourse

  1. No sitting is permitted inside the building for the duration of THON™ Weekend.
    1. This includes in the stands, on the Concourse, or in the bathrooms (outside of stalls)
    2. Any spectator who needs to sit for medical reasons may request a medical wristband from the EMS Room (located across from Portal 24) or can ask a Rules & Regulations Committee Member or Captain for more information
    3. This wristband must be worn at all times so the spectator is not repeatedly asked to stand
    4. Handicapped seating is available in the BJC throughout the weekend. These areas are located behind the Information Booths/Donation Stations located across from each gate
  2. Saving seats for other spectators is prohibited within the BJC. Saving seats includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    1. Telling someone that a seat they are trying to use is saved
    2. Physically preventing others from using seats
    3. Intimidating others so they do not stand in front of a seat
    4. Spreading several people across a row/portal to discourage others from using populating it
    5. Placing belongings on top of seats in an attempt to reserve them
  3. Items may not be passed between levels of the BJC.
  4. Spectators must not populate the aisles of portals, including the areas at the bottom and top of the stairs.
    1. Only Rules & Regulations Committee Members may occupy this space
    2. The Rules & Regulations Committee will remind spectators to clear these areas
  5. Standing on seats is prohibited.
  6. Signs must not be stored on seats.
  7. Do not congregate in the Concourse.
    1. Lines for water fountains, bathrooms, merchandise, concessions, etc. should be kept along the walls of the Concourse to allow traffic to pass through
    2. These lines must not be blocking pathways to any doorways on the Concourse Level
  8. Spectators may only use the bathrooms on the Concourse. Bathrooms on the Event Level are for dancers only.

Digitally Coded Bracelets

  • Spectators can receive these via the Will Call area of the BJC
  • Will Call is located between Gates A and B
  • Spectators will be allowed to enter the BJC via Gate A or B
  • All spectators entering through Gates A and B will be subject to a security check including a bag check
  • Spectators can exit via any Gate, but must be scanned out by a Rules & Regulations Committee Member

BJC Capacity

  • As the BJC fills up, we will close the doors to spectators
  • At this time, a digital queue will begin, ordered based on the time you enter your wristband into our digital queueing system
  • As spectators exit and space in the building becomes available, spectators at the front of the line will be admitted

The Technology Committee has worked hard all year to put together a digital queuing process for floor access so that spectators do not have to wait on the concourse, missing THON™ Weekend events. After the Pass List submission window closes on February 7th, guests will be sent an email with more information on how to utilize THON™ Weekend Passes during THON™ Weekend. Guests who are on a Pass List will be required to watch a short video with guidelines and regulations on utilizing a Pass and accessing the floor. After the video, the guest will need to complete a quiz to confirm that they understand all of the information needed for THON™ Weekend regarding their Passes. Again, an email with instructions will be sent after the Pass List submission window is closed.

Check-In to the Digital Line

  • When you wish to check in, report to the Info-Booth/Donation Stations located at any of the 4 gates in the BJC.
  • When you arrive there, you will be asked to give your name.
  • An R&R Pass Committee member will look up your information to make sure that you are on a Pass List and confirm your phone number.
  • The R&R Pass Committee member will scan your bracelet to check you into the digital line on the THON™ Weekend Dashboard. You will be notified once your pass is available in two ways:
    • Text Message: When a pass is available, that person will receive a text message on the phone number they provided and verified at Check In. Once they receive the message they will have 30 minutes to go to Portal 14 to receive their pass before it expires.
    • BJC Jumbotron: When a pass is available, the person’s name will appear on the bottom ticker of the BJC jumbotron.
  • On the jumbotron, if a name appears in:
    • Green: they have 30 minutes to Check On at Portal 14 and get their pass before it expires
    • Yellow: they have 20 minutes to Check On at Portal 14 and get their pass before it expires
    • Red: they have 10 minutes to Check On at Portal 14 and get their pass before it expires
  • If a spectators fails to reach Portal 14 before the 30 minute window ends, they will forfeit their spot in line and will have to Check-In to the Digital Line again

NOTE: Those receiving scheduled passes will not use Check-In procedures – see alternative procedure below in Check-on to the Floor – Scheduled Passes.

Check-On to the Floor – Digital Line

  • After you have been notified that your pass is available, you will report to Portal 14 (the Pass Zone), where you will get in line to check onto the floor.
  • You will approach the computers where an R&R Pass Committee Member will ask for a photo ID from you that will be held as collateral. A photo ID is required to enter the floor, and must have no monetary value.
  • This Committee Member will scan your Pass and give it to you to wear around your neck. This Pass must be worn and visible at all times when on the floor!

Check-On to the Floor – Schedule Line

  • Spectators holding scheduled passes do not need to Check-in to the Digital Line. As their scheduled time approaches, they should:
    • Get in line to at check-on outside of Portal 14 no sooner than 5 minutes before their scheduled time
    • Those receiving scheduled passes must be in the building prior to their scheduled time slot and will not be granted priority access in the event of a building closure, long lines, etc.
  • If a spectator misses their scheduled time slot or is late, they will not be allowed to reschedule or receive extra time on the floor.
  • We recommend arriving 2-3 hours prior to when you are scheduled to be on the floor to allow for long lines or building closures.

Check-Off the Floor 

  • Once a passholder has been notified that their pass has expired they should exit the floor as soon as possible.
  • Passholders will be notified that their pass has expired in two different ways:
    • They will receive a text message informing them that their pass has expired
    • The visual on the screen will show what color pass has expired
  • It is extremely important that passholders exit the floor when notified that their pass has expired!
    • In order to keep people coming on and off the floor efficiently and maintain fair representation of all THON™ stakeholders, we expect cooperation from all spectators.
    • Passholders who have not left the floor will be swept off of the floor by THON™ volunteers. Passholders should not wait to be swept off the floor!
  • As passholders are exiting the floor, they will be directed back up to the concourse via the same stairs they came down after checking on (opposite of the stage).
  • Passholders will get in line to check off the floor at the top of the stairs.
  • At Check-Off, an R&R Pass Committee Member will then scan your Pass and return you photo ID.

Important Notes

Digital Line (Passcade) Passes

  • In order to enter the Digital Line, you must first check-in at a Digital Line Check-In Booth at any gate in the BJC
.
  • After checking-in, spectators will be asked to return to their seats.
  • Once entered into the Digital Line, a text-based notification system will be used to alert when passes are available.
  • Once the pass is available and the text has been sent, the spectator will have 30 minutes to report to the Pass tables at Portal 14.
  • Your name will appear on a ticker in the BJC immediately.
  • After 30 minutes, from the time of their original text, the pass will no longer be valid.
  • If you leave the building, you will forfeit your spot in the Pass digital line and must check back in upon re-entrance to the BJC.

Scheduled Passes

  • If you have been designated as a Scheduled Passholder, you will have received an email including the time that your pass is scheduled during the weekend.
  • Your organization’s THON™ Chair or Acting Chair will also know the time at which your Pass is scheduled.
  • You MUST be in the building prior to the time that your Scheduled Pass becomes valid.
  • You will NOT be guaranteed entry into the Bryce Jordan Center, so if you are not inside of the building before your Scheduled Pass time, you will forfeit your Scheduled Pass.
  • In the event that a Scheduled Passholder cannot make their scheduled time, the THON™ Chair may switch somebody else on their Pass list into that scheduled slot at the TECH Booth across from Portal 14. 

  • How do I enter the BJC during THON Weekend?
    1. Arrive at the Bryce Jordan Center and make your way to the General Spectator line located
      between Gates A & B.
    2. Receive a DLMS wristband from Will Call and a Rules & Regulations Captain or THON
      Volunteer will direct you to the appropriate Gate.
    3. Proceed through the security screening area outside of Gate A or B.
      • Security screening procedures include metal detectors and bag searches.
      • If standing metal detector sensors are triggered, spectators will be subjected to a
        handheld metal detector search
    4. Any quantity of food and beverage items are not permitted. All food and beverage items
      must be disposed of prior to entering the building.

       

      • Empty water bottles are permitted and can be filled inside the BJC.
    5. Items too large to be stored underneath a seat are prohibited.
    6. Only bags the size of a drawstring or smaller will be permitted inside the BJC.
    7. After passing the security checkpoint, you will enter the BJC through the designated gate.
    8. Upon entering the BJC, your DLMS wristband will be scanned by Rules & Regulations
      Committee Members.
  • Where am I allowed to park?
    • Spectators may park in the Commuter Lot Stadium West, Commuter Lot Jordan East,
      Commuter Lot Porter North, and Shields Lot throughout THON Weekend. These lots are
      outlined in yellow on the map below. If you require handicap parking, the lot outlined in
      dark green has been reserved for handicap placard holders. General spectators may not
      park in other lots outlines by different colors during THON Weekend.

  • Are there time limits or constraints for the parking lots?
    • There are no time limits on the parking lots for THON Weekend. There are parking signs in
      each lot that state you cannot park there between 2:00 and 4:00 AM, but THIS HAS BEEN
      LIFTED FOR THON WEEKEND.

 

General Dancer Information

  • Dancers commit themselves to standing and staying awake for a 46 hour dance marathon to
    show support to families and children battling pediatric cancer
  • There are approximately 700 dancers THON Weekend
  • Dancers come from student organizations (Greek orgs, general orgs, and special interest orgs), Commonwealth Campuses, and in independent dancer couples
  • Please be aware that throughout the weekend dancers can become delirious, emotional, and sensitive due to a lack of sleep
  • Please remember that all dancers are different and to adapt to what the dancers around you may need
    • Information below are general guidelines

What to say to/do with dancers on the floor THON Weekend

  • Always remain positive in conversation
    • Word of encouragement to keep their spirits up
    • Compliments on how they’re doing or how they look
  • Initiate body stretching
  • Encourage them to keep moving
    • Encouraging blood flow is better than standing still for pain management
    • Moving differently can be very beneficial for their muscles and feel extremely refreshing
      • Ex: walking backwards, putting arms in the air
  • Keep them occupied
    • Ex: attend dancer events/activities on the floor, take a walk through family hallway, visit the THON Salon
    • Interacting with Four Diamond Families and playing with children can really inspire dancers and improve their attitude
  • Ensure they’re extremely hydrated and well fed
  • Encourage food and liquid at least every hour
    • Visit snack shacks in hallways
  • Take a lot of photos for your dancer
    • They will appreciate having memories to look back on
    • Dancers tend to not remember some of their 46 hours spent in the BJC

What not to say to dancers on the floor THON Weekend

  • Do not let them know that you showered
    • Attempt to keep your appearance the same
    • Do not come to BJC with wet hair
  • Do not talk about outside food
    • You will be unable to bring dancers food into the BJC THON Weekend
    • Don’t talk about food you are eating when outside the BJC
  • Do not mention sleep
    • Don’t talk about sleeping when you’re away from the BJC
  • Do not talk about sitting or lying down
  • Refrain from telling them the time
    • Dancers find it to be much easier THON Weekend if they are not counting down the hours that are left
    • It is proven dancers are more successful and have a better overall experience if they
      are not worrying about the time
    • Refraining from telling them how long until things will occur (days, hours, or
      minutes)
    • Don’t tell them how long they’ve been standing or how long they have left
  • They shouldn’t be aware of time of day
    • Refrain from saying morning, evening, afternoon, or night
    • Refrain from mentioning breakfast, lunch, or dinner
    • Do not mention if it is light, sunny, or dark outside
  • Avoid complaining
    • Don’t complain openly around dancers about being sore, tired, or bored
  • Refrain from asking dancers sensitive questions
    • Ex: “What is wrong?”
      • This reminds them of their pain, soreness, and fatigue
    • Ex: “Have your friends and family been able to visit you?”
      • Some pass holders wait a long time to get onto the floor to visit dancers
      • This can upset dancers if they have been waiting a while