Posts tagged ‘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
All you need to know about State Patty’s Day can be found at Peoples Nation, the pricy T-shirt shop on College Avenue. The front third of the store features items custom made for the student-organized holiday: Green necklaces with shot glass pendants, green and white feather boas, green sequined oversized leprechaun hats, and shirts with slogans such as “Sorry I’m Not Sorry: State Patty’s Day 2012.”
On Tuesday morning when I stopped by, two female students were waiting as the cashier rang up 20 green pinnies. The total? $290.40.
“They’re for my friends from out of town,” the girl said to her friend as she reached for her credit card. “I’m so excited they’re going to come up. This is going to be the best State Patty’s ever.”
With the context of everything that has occurred at Penn State since November, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is this really time for the best State Patty’s Day ever? Beginning Friday, thousands of Penn State students—and thousands of visitors—will descend upon the streets, bars, and apartments of State College to, well, party. “It’s just a giant drinking holiday, not much more,” junior Brittany Smith said. “It’s just an excuse to drink all day long.”
The holiday has grown immensely since its inception in 2007. Last year, State College Police made a record 234 criminal arrests—up from 160 in 2010—and fielded a record 480 calls. Close to 11,000 people have joined a Facebook group titled “Official Facebook Page: State Patty’s Day 2012.” With that kind of momentum, State Patty’s Day 2012 is slated to be bigger than ever—right?
The image of Penn State students has been scrutinized (more…)
State Patty’s Day was celebrated in State College on Saturday, and the effects are still being felt. The fourth annual “holiday” attracted national media attention, with the likes of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Post, and U.S. News & World Report covering the event. The news leading up to this year’s party seemed to imply a toned-down affair—downtown bars agreed not to open early for the revelers, the undergrad who helped start State Patty’s Day announced he was disowning it, and at least two local bars, the Lion’s Den and the Shandygaff, didn’t open at all — but the post-party numbers told a different story. Local police announced 430 reports over the weekend and made 160 arrests — more than half of them of non-students and “visitors” who apparently came to town last weekend solely to party.
I’m sure that plenty of students — probably a large majority — enjoyed the day and didn’t get out of hand. Like a lot of locals, I avoided downtown on Saturday, so I can’t account for how crazy it actually was. Reading accounts of a hit-and-run DUI and the State College cop who was punched in the face, however, I think I made the right choice.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
A week from tomorrow, thousands of Penn State students (and more than a few alumni) will celebrate what has become the University’s newest — and most controversial — tradition: State Patty’s Day. Started by students a few years ago as a sort of replacement holiday after St. Patrick’s Day fell during Penn State’s spring break, “State” Patty’s Day has quickly evolved into a raucous and popular holiday of its own. But its popularity is hardly universal.
As a Penn State alum, I can understand the sense of pride in an event that’s exclusive to your school — in that, State Patty’s Day is similar to THON or the Beaver Stadium student section, something students at other colleges can envy. Where State Patty’s Day differs, of course, is the impact it has on the community, and as a taxpayer and father of young children, I’m not a fan of the costs — in terms of property crimes and extra police and emergency workers — or the spike in arrests and ER trips associated with what is, for many, nothing more than an excuse for a green-clad, day-long drinking binge.
Lately, the controversy has generated a lot of discussion — and maybe even some action. The University Park Undergraduate Association has joined other student groups in promoting a “Safe and Responsible Actions” pledge to encourage safer, smarter partying on State Patty’s Day. Some are going further: Dennis Shea, the head of the health policy and administration department in the College of Health & Human Development, is calling on fellow faculty to work toward stopping the event altogether. He told the Daily Collegian about one local resident whose church postponed a fundraising event scheduled for State Patty’s Day because its members were afraid to go downtown.
Inevitably, the conversation is active online — there are competing Facebook groups for and against State Patty’s Day. If nothing else, I hope the discussion helps temper the worst aspects of what is, for better or worse, a very visible part of Penn State student life.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
In 2007, St. Patrick’s Day fell during spring break, thereby depriving students of the chance to, um, celebrate at the local bars. Some enterprising students invented their own holiday: “State Patty’s Day.”
The event was successful enough that it celebrated its third anniversary last Saturday, with bars opening early — patrons were seen leaving the Phyrst at 10 a.m. — and shops selling green commemorative T-shirts. Student leaders trumpeted State Patty’s Day as an example of student initiative, while Penn State and State College officials worried about a holiday that they considered just an excuse to get drunk.
Now the statistics are in, and the anti-State Patty’s Day crowd is getting more vocal. There were 311 calls for police service over the weekend, more than either Homecoming weekend or the Illinois night football game weekend.
The debate is hot and heavy in the comments following Tuesday’s CDT story, headlined, “Police lash out at organizers.”
What do you think? Is State Patty’s Day a danger to the university and its community? Or is it simply students having a good time?
Lori Shontz, senior editor