Not all Penn State students will be partying this Saturday for State Patty’s Day. For the fourth year in a row, many students will be countering the drinking event with the State Day of Service, which will include community service projects on campus and throughout State College.
Penn State service leaders on the Council of LionHearts, in partnership with the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council, have coordinated the day of volunteering to provide students with a free alternative to drinking and to make a positive contribution within the surrounding community.
Rebecca Davies, member of the Council of LionHearts, says the purpose of State Day of Service is to show residents that Penn State students care about the community.
“We really want to be able to give back to the community that has given us so much over our college careers,” Davies says. “We really regret all of the damage that’s been caused by our classmates and visitors who come in for this weekend for absolute destruction. We want to give back and show the community this isn’t the way we want to treat our home.”
Four years ago, the Lionhearts Council started State Day of Service as an alternative to that mayhem. The Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council have since joined the initiative. The Interfraternity Council has also banned Greek parties for the State Patty’s Day weekend.
“It’s going to become a thing of the past, it truly is … year by year. Students just have to be reminded that it might seem like it was the thing that people did to be cool, because it got built up so much,” Davies says. “But the more student leaders … work together to show the student population this isn’t a good thing, this isn’t fun for anybody, and really it gives us a bad name, (the less popular it will become).”
State Day of Service will include more than 25 different service opportunities. Some projects will get underway Friday, but the majority of students will meet Saturday morning at 9 a.m. in Heritage Hall or Freeman Auditorium to begin work on those projects.
The Penn State Interfraternity Council has been one of the biggest supporters of State Day of Service this — providing the most volunteers and significant funding for the event. All in all, 463 Greek men will volunteer tomorrow according to IFC President Dan Combs, and the IFC had even more guys sign up than it could handle.
Students can participate in projects ranging from working outside at the Arboretum and cleaning the streets downtown to volunteering at a shelter for retired racing greyhounds. The event is free and open to all students. Students can sign up HERE.