Signs of Change on State Patty’s Day

February 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm 4 comments

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. offers a list of the establishments and their plans for Saturday here.

Mary Murphy, associate editor

Entry filed under: Alumni Association. Tags: , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kim  |  March 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I was there for the first State Patty’s Day and it was an amazing thing to see a community adopt something so randomly. I live in Hoboken NJ now and today is lepre-con.. basically a St. Patty’s Day before St. Patty’s Day and it reminds me a lot of State Patty’s Day. This town is like college for adults and we love it. I think this is something that happens in a town with a culture of having a good time – make the most of it and leave it alone, it happens everywhere.

  • 2. Sam deegan  |  March 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I grew up son of an Irish coal miner in Pottsville pa, Schuylkill county where we had ten different breweries including yuenglings . It is a shot and a beer coal mining county where people wait for the bars to open at 6 am or just stay all night with the lights turned down a little. The drinking age for me was 15, but the official age was when you were old enough to stand up to the bar, so I know how to drink. When I came to PSU in 1973, I was amassed at two things. First, how much the kids drank and second at how bad they were at holding their liqueur. I have no problem with drinking, but these kids that can’t hold their liqueur and act like babies should stick to orange juice or coke, and I don’t mean the white coke. Drink all you want, but know how to drink for Gods sake, some of you give us Irish a bad name.

  • 3. The Penn Stater — Dec. 13, 2013 | The Penn Stater Magazine  |  December 13, 2013 at 11:46 am

    […] party weekend. This comes two years after more than 20 downtown bars and restaurants opted to close or modify alcohol service on State Patty’s Day — a practice that expanded last year, with more State College […]

  • […] over: More news on the continuing State Patty’s Day crackdown: In yesterday’s meeting of the State Patty’s Day Task Force, owners of several downtown […]

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