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Day: February 22, 2010

February 27 is Just Another Saturday

In an effort to treat next Saturday "like any other Saturday", State College's tavern association has decided to maintain normal hours this Saturday and not hold any special promotions for State Patty's Day.

This is a big change from last year, when I can remember seeing students lined up outside the Phyrst by noon. McLanahan's has also removed State Patty's Day merchandise from the shelves after they were asked to by borough leaders. Scott Lucchesi, owner of the Phyrst, seemed to think think this was the wrong approach to the problem.

We Are…The Dancers (The Conclusion)

The THON dancers, since 1973, have helped raise approximately $61 million (plus this year's total) to benefit the Four Diamonds Fund at the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.

But, prior to Friday afternoon, I'll admit I did not know too much about THON. I knew that there were dancers that participated in THON and I knew that they had to remain awake for the whole weekend. But with the help of THON dancer Matt Swingle and the rest of the THON volunteers, I learned everything I needed to know.

When the dancers first step on to the floor of the Bryce Jordan Center, they are essentially partaking in an embodiment of the struggle that the Four Diamond Families go through each and every day. The dancers battle exhaustion every minute just to make it to the next hour, just as each cancer patient fights each day to see the next. For both, at times, to quit would appear to be the most appealing road to take. But they won't quit. It's all or nothing.

Read the full post for more.

Happy Birthday Penn State!

Today Penn State celebrates its 155th birthday (making it almost as old as its football coach. Just kidding)! 155 years ago to the day (February 22, 1855 for anyone not too good at math), Governor James Pollock signed the charter for a state-sponsored school whose goal was to further scientific agricultural research.

While we still have an excellent agricultural program, Penn State has become one of the largest and most diverse public schools over the last 155 years, with majors ranging from Forest Science to Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management. Did Governor Pollock envision a school boasting dozens of campuses, tens of thousands of students, and the largest student-run philanthropic organization in the country? Did he envision football championships, legendary coaches, a three-peat volleyball team, or raising over $7.8 million for cancer research?

Probably not. But since 1855, because of students like me and you, Penn State has become more than its founders could ever have imagined and something that we can all take pride in.

(Check out a cool gallery of photos from Penn State's history here).

Facebook Helps THON?

The money THON raises has increased almost three fold in the past decade from around $3 million in 2000 to close to $8 million this year, and some people wonder what has caused such a dramatic increase in donations. Most wouldn’t say students are working harder (because they’ve always worked hard). Maybe more students have gotten involved in the past ten years. But how can one explain why, despite the recession, during which one study says 94% of non-profits reported negative effects on fundraising, THON has managed to raise its donations?

Daniel Victor, a Harrisburg area newspaperman, thinks that the use of Facebook might be at least a contributing factor, as evidenced by a February 21st tweet in which he wrote, “Theory: Could #Thon's economy-bucking success since 2005 be correlated to rise of Facebook? Maybe it created more consistent peer pressure?”

Read on after the jump for some more details.

JoePa’s Specs Sell For $9,000

You read right, Joe Paterno's iconic eyewear was auctioned off, garnering a high bid of nine THOUSAND dollars Saturday.

The thick-rimmed glasses, which JoePa can now spare, were claimed by Penn State graduates Michelle and Kevin Coppola during WPSU's 18th Annual Connoisseur's Dinner and Auction at the Nittany Lion Inn. I congratulate them on having to say "be careful with those!" to house guests for the rest of their lives.

The Problem with Hazing

In 2007, the National Study of Student Hazing found that 68 percent of women in Greek life experience hazing before joining their sororities. Penn State is not immune from this barbaric behavior. Serious reports of hazing have recently been reported at Penn State Altoona.

ABC News reports that "Joanne" pledged a Penn State Altoona sorority and suffered from severe hazing. Her potential sisters made her clean the kitchen floor with her fingernails. They screamed about her worthlessness, threw her against brick walls, and forced her to drink black, dirty water. When Joanne finally quit, the girls keyed her car and left scathing messages on her Facebook profile.

Along with most colleges, Penn State Altoona strictly prohibits hazing, yet it happens nonetheless. Hazing frequently includes labeling areas of fat on girls' bodies with marker and "boob ranking," in which girls are rendered topless and ordered by their breast sizes.

Obviously, this is awful behavior, and the fact that it occurs causes me to question the decency of my fellow college students. Hazing has probably occurred for a long time, but why have young women recently become so violent and hateful? I look to overzealous feminism and the bawdiness of reality TV for answers.

Sororities should bond through unity and accomplishment, not mental trauma. To any hazers out there, remember the moral pillars that support your establishments.

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