Don’t Celebrate (But Buy Our T-Shirts)
Unless you live under a rock, you know what this Saturday is. If you don’t, you can probably figure it out by looking at the merchandise being sold at several downtown businesses. There is no shortage of green shirts with “witty” slogans, shot-glasses and other drinking paraphernalia.
There has been a lot of talk about how the students are the problem when it comes to State Patty’s Day. We are the ones getting drunk in public, causing damage and urinating everywhere. Despite widespread condemnation from the State College community, there are those outside of the Penn State student body who support this event.
Students aren’t making these shirts themselves. People’s Nation, McLanahan’s and even The Family Clothesline are selling State Patty’s t-shirts this year. Some might say that these businesses are just capitalizing on an opportunity presented by the event. While this may be true, they are also culpable of perpetuating the “tradition”. Without these shirts to identify themselves as participating in the event, revelers would have less of a herd mentality.
One of the most noticeable examples of this is the People’s Nation storefront. For about a month, the window has featured almost nothing but State Patty’s shirts. This sends a message to the student body that State Patty’s Day is a big deal, whether that is People’s Nation’s intent or not. Penn State has a lot of followers who will flock to whatever they perceive everyone else is doing.
On another note, the fact that these businesses support the event makes it harder to believe that the community as a whole condemns it. To students, the opposition is just some stuck-up, vocal minority who wants to ruin our fun. If these stores agreed not to cater to the holiday, as bars began doing last year, it would send a stronger message to the student body that the community is not behind the celebration.
State Patty’s Day wouldn’t exist without students participating, but they will continue to celebrate it as long as someone is telling them it’s ok to do so.