THON initiates canning workshops emphasizing students' personal safety

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – As of Monday (Jan. 16), Penn State's Dance Marathon (THON) is conducting mandatory "canning workshops" for all Penn State student volunteers who wish to participate in canister solicitation, also known as "canning." These workshops will continue in future years to educate students about personal and travel safety, THON guidelines and policies, general courtesy and safe, legal canning practices while they are off campus raising funds to fight pediatric cancer.

THON, one of more than 800 independent student organizations at Penn State, is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. It holds four officially scheduled canning weekends annually from October through February to solicit funds for the philanthropy. Beginning with this year's third canning weekend, Jan. 20-22, students who wish to participate must first attend one of more than two dozen 30-minute workshops at the University Park campus through Jan. 18. Workshops are being held during a range of times and locations throughout the three-day period to accommodate varying student schedules. Similar workshops, using video instruction, will be held for students at all other Penn State campuses who wish to participate in THON canning.

The workshops are being held "in an effort to ensure complete understanding of the policies and guidelines for canning," and will review "safe canning practices, travel safety guidelines, general courtesy and THON information," according to a notice to THON volunteers, posted at http://thon.org/students/THONCanningWorkshops online.

In addition to the workshops, THON leaders have emphasized that no volunteer is required to participate in any single form of fundraising, including canister solicitation. Any student organization participating in THON that is found to be mandating fundraising for their members, particularly canning, will face penalties, according to the organization.

Last Updated January 17, 2012