Signs of Change on State Patty’s Day
Since its inception in 2007, State Patty’s Day has become synonymous with excessive drinking, alcohol-related hospital visits, and public displays of bad behavior.
But there are plenty of Penn State alumni and students hoping to change that.
The Alumni Association’s Committee on Excessive Drinking Issues, formed in 2010 and made up of students, alumni, and Alumni Association staff, has been working to learn more about the issue of dangerous drinking. Along with several year-round initiatives, the group has teamed with the State College Police Department to discourage local bar and restaurant owners from advertising the “holiday” with drink specials and merchandise.
More students are taking the anti-State Patty’s stance, too — and encouraging their peers to do the same. Senior Tyler Changaris is asking students to sign a pledge, posted online here, promising to abstain from all State Patty’s Day festivities. And more than 100 students are planning to spend the day participating in an alternative holiday, “State Day of Service,” by doing volunteer work throughout campus and Centre County.
In a Feb. 10 column in The Daily Collegian, popular sociology professors Sam Richards and Laurie Mulvey ’94g ask students to boycott State Patty’s Day in light of the Sandusky scandal — “in honor of lives and communities that are forever changed by what has happened.”
Though we’ll have to wait until this weekend to determine the full impact of these efforts, there’s already been one very encouraging development: More than 20 downtown bars and restaurants — twice as many as in 2011 — are modifying their hours or alcohol service, some closing entirely, on what would be one of the most profitable days of the year. StateCollege.com offers a list of the establishments and their plans for Saturday here.
Mary Murphy, associate editor