State Patty’s Day: Keep Your Guests in Check
Dorm floors and apartment couches are getting booked faster than local hotels on a home football weekend. Yep, that must mean State Patty’s Day is right around the corner. Brace yourselves for an influx of visiting students from all over.
Let’s face it. We love Penn State, and we want everyone else to love it too. It is truly mind-blowing how many students from other schools make the trip to Happy Valley to experience State Patty’s Day, and it’s fun to be able to show off our school and town for the weekend. However, playing host to so many guests during Penn State’s most infamous holiday has led to some unfortunate consequences.
According to State College Police Captain Dana Leonard, over half of the 160 arrested during last year’s State Patty’s Day festivities were not Penn State students. Yet, as our friends return back to their campuses with nothing but a hangover and tales of debauchery, we are left to clean up the mess and face consequences and criticism.
The concept of out-of-towners contributing to State College mischief is nothing new. Four of the fourteen arrested during the riot following Penn State’s victory over Ohio State in October 2008 were not Penn State students, nor were nine of the twenty arrested during the 1998 Arts Fest riot. When you factor in last year’s State Patty’s statistics, at least 93 of 194, or 48%, of those arrested were not Penn State students.
While I’m not advocating playing babysitter to your guest(s), keep in mind that they are representing the Penn State and State College community when they’re here. Thousands of students (Penn State or otherwise) celebrate State Patty’s Day safely and responsibly, or at least with enough common sense not to get arrested. And that’s all it takes, a little common sense. Make sure your visitors know where your dorm room or apartment is located, and be aware that you will be held responsible for what your visiting friends do.
State Patty’s Day, for better or worse, has become as much a part of the Penn State experience as football games and the Creamery. It is a great demonstration of Penn State spirit, or at least a demonstration of how Penn State students can show more excitement over a made-up holiday than most schools can muster up about anything. We should take pride in the fact that so many of our friends want to be a part of it. Just don’t let them ruin it.