Although THON’s rulebook clearly states that no alternative fundraiser event or donation box can be based on the sale or consumption of alcohol, one group has found a loophole.
The Penn State Alumni Chapter of the Capital Area hosted a beer, wine and chocolate tasting at Hershey’s Chocolate World on Feb. 1, Emily Yeiser, membership chair, said. Ten dollars of every ticket was donated to THON, as well as all of the proceeds from a wine and beer basket raffle.
Though the Interfraternity Council/ Panhellenic Dance Marathon does not condone any event with alcohol, said Cat Powers, overall public relations chairwoman for THON, this rule is only applied to committees and organizations endorsed and sponsored by THON.
Student organizations are prohibited from using alcohol in any form of fundraising, as stated in the rulebook.
According to the 2013 THON Rulebook, “the primary focus of any Donation Box location cannot be the sale, distribution, or consumption of alcohol, nor can any funds received from alcohol be donated to THON.”
Another rulebook entry stipulates no alternative fundraisers can focus on alcohol. According to the rulebook, “the primary focus of an alternative fundraiser event cannot be the sale, distribution or consumption of alcohol, nor can any funds received from alcohol be donated to THON.”
“This fundraiser is not endorsed by THON as per our rulebook, which prohibits alcohol usage as a fundraiser,” Powers (senior-public relations) said.
The proceeds and donations for the event were raised to support the Alpha Zeta Fraternity, who has two dancers participating in THON weekend, Yeiser said.
She added that the Penn State Alumni Chapter of the Capital Area fundraiser did not have to abide by the rule because the event wasn’t sponsored by THON. She also said the donation to Alpha Zeta was a “general donation” from the fundraiser.
The event had a turnout of 85 people for the second year in a row, Yeiser said. She also said there were three Four Diamonds Families who attended and spoke, along with the director of the Four Diamonds Fund at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
Because the Alumni Association is a separate entity from THON, Megan Renaut, THON media relations captain, said it is not subject to THON policies.
“We have these policies in place because THON is a university-related activity and we just want to remain safe and professional,” Renaut (sophomore-psychology) said.
In addition to the rule regarding holding fundraisers related to alcohol, there are also guidelines associated with alcohol use and THON apparel. As a general guideline, students should not wear THON-related apparel when attending parties and other festivities that include alcohol, Renaut said. Although this is not listed in the THON Rulebook, it is advised for students not to wear THON apparel during these times, she said.
Renaut said this guideline can be considered as an extension of the alcohol rules in the Rulebook, though it is not required.