Date Set for Event… (State Patty’s Day 2013)
Mark your calendars and dust off your green beads. As has become the now annual tradition, The School Philly has created the official Facebook Event for State Patty’s Day 2013, setting the date for February 23. According to the event, drinking will commence at approximately 8 a.m. and go all the way until 5 a.m. the following day.
This will mark the sixth year of State Patty’s Day festivities, however the same mischievous activities appear to be on the agenda: excessive drinking, a flock of out-of-towners, and a day’s worth of debauchery. Through its history in Happy Valley, this student-created drinking holiday has gone from a grassroots movement to one of the most celebrated Penn State traditions. But the aftermath of urinated-in bushes, destroyed public property, and trash from Canyon Pizza that rolls like tumbleweed through Beaver Canyon, has fostered resentment in the State College community and Penn State administration.
It goes without saying, there are many mixed views on the student-made holiday. But one thing that that can’t be denied is the camaraderie among Penn State students that State Patty’s Day brings about. The number of students dressed down in green and celebrating for absolutely no reason is a crazy sight to see.
However, the offenses committed in conjunction with State Patty’s Day are often, though not exclusively, a result of visiting out-of-towners. During State Patty’s Day 2010, 103 patients were treated at Mount Nittany Medical Center for alcohol-related emergencies. Of those patients, 67% were not Penn State students. Those extra 69 bodies tying up emergency room facilities caused an obvious strain on the local community.
Past measures such as bars reducing hours (or completely closing), the IFC banning parties, and general public scorn have dampened some of the problematic community side effects of State Patty’s Day. Last year saw modest improvement, as there were minor reductions in the number of calls to police and overall fewer incidents that took place. But this year, unlike in 2012, bars will remain open and there has been no word yet from student leadership on what stance they will take in regard to February’s event.
I know it is still over a month a way, but for all you freshmen who are already sending out a group text to your BFF’s from home, here is a bit of advice: think twice about who you are going to invite to Happy Valley and remind them to show some class. While we as Penn Stater’s have a tremendous deal of respect for the State College community, it is likely that out of town friends may not share the same regard for the safety and image of Happy Valley.
Fun Fact: February 23 is also Play Tennis Day and International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.