The Madness of State Patty’s Day

State College police handled roughly 365 calls related to State Patty’s Day. University Police dealt with another 55 calls. This wasn’t your average Saturday.

Penn Live reports that the arrest count doubled from last year, jumping from 80 to 160 arrests. Between 6 pm Friday and 6 pm Sunday, Centre LifeLink EMS responded to 58 calls.

The “End the State Patty’s Day Tradition” Facebook group tried to avoid the madness. Dean Brady and Dean Wormley warned against the irresponsible behavior. Dr. Dennis Shea (GTWMA) protested adamantly, but State Patty’s still happened. And, indeed, it was hardly just Penn State students– friends visiting students and townies came in from all over, some going as far as to rent hotel rooms for the weekend, just to see and participate in the State Patty’s spectacle.

Friends of mine described the downtown scene as “disgusting,” “terrible,” and “just sad.” I saw shamrock-emblazoned drunkards lumbering through my building at noon. I heard stories of vomiting by 3 pm. And I’m sure there are innumerable photo albums on Facebook to document the day’s proceedings.

The Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement issued six citations to bars for selling alcohol to intoxicated customers and another three citations for selling to minors. The owner of the Lion’s Den speculated to the Collegian that we will see a number of temporary shut-downs over the coming weeks as companies get held to these infractions.

Twenty-one people received public drunkenness charges. Police issued 42 citations for disorderly conduct and other 42 citations for underage drinking. Considering the magnitude of the “celebration,” I postulate that police went easy on the students.

State Patty’s Day celebrates excess: excessive alcohol, an excessive timespan in which to drink, excessive amounts of tacky merchandise, and excessive energy due to a lack of football games or similar distractions.

Alongside excess, State Patty’s Day celebrates irresponsibility. However, I sincerely hope that, in the future, students can responsibly celebrate their irresponsibility.

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