by Scott Katherine

Written by Allison Brady, Kayla Lebby, and Allison McCarty

Every committee within THON™ has a special role that helps ensure THON Weekend runs as smoothly as possible. One committee that plays a large role in this is the OPPerations Committee (OPP). OPP is responsible for the set-up, tear down, and maintenance of the Bryce Jordan Center (BJC) during THON Weekend, but they are part of many different activities throughout the year to help them prepare for this large-scale task. 

Starting out in the Fall, OPP Captains hosts an organization-wide mat cleaning event where their Committee Members learn how to clean and properly roll mats in preparation for THON Weekend, as this is a large part of the tear down process. Then throughout the year during meetings, captains give task education presentations to help their committee members (CMs) better understand specifically what they will be doing THON Weekend. To reinforce this information, OPP CMs are involved in activities such as BJC workdays where they work alongside BJC staff members to get hands-on experience with some tear down and THON Weekend tasks. Then finally, right before THON Weekend, the OPP Blue Shirt Relation Captains have a “Blue Shirt Workshop” where CMs practice on a small scale, many of the tasks that they will be completing THON Weekend such as dancer table set up/tear down, trash sorting, mat rolling, and antifatigue laying.  

Not only are OPP CMs working tirelessly to make sure that they are prepared for THON Weekend but so are their captains. According to OPP Sustainability Events Captain, Sophie Benedict, some of this preparation includes monitoring waste stations, setting up events, and tearing down events at the THON 5K powered by PNC and Family Carnival. In addition to this, having mat cleanings, inventory days, and load in/load outs are part of the preparation for looking after many Penske’s, mats, and supplies THON Weekend. Just like their CMs they also work with the BJC to train with their staff during tear downs after events. 

Even certain captains hold specialized roles that need specific preparation for THON Weekend, like Benedict being the Sustainability Events Captain. When describing her role she said, “I handle tracking weights from all waste (trash) for THON Weekend and all pre-THON events to calculate how much we as an event can divert from the landfill. I also help our Sustainability Ambassadors to guide their committees’ sustainable practices as well as work with other sustainability-based positions within THON to further our efforts towards a greener organization.” According to Benedict, a part of the education process includes teaching their committees throughout the year how to dispose of waste effectively and prepare for how to collect waste during THON Weekend.  

OPP prides themselves on being the first people in the BJC before THON even starts to set up for the event and the last people out due to tearing down immediately after THON Weekend officially ends. So, if you see a member of OPP during THON Weekend be sure to remember to appreciate all their hard work and preparation because we wouldn’t be able to have such a clean and safe environment for the event without them. 

Featured Image: Dan Hadar | THON™ Photography