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Penn State Mailer Outlines ‘How To Party’

We know, we know: Penn State is a party school.

Old Main knows this too (the administrators inside, not the building…although that beauty probably knows too), and in an attempt to preemptively combat the issue, the university sent out a guide on how to party. Well, to be fair, it was actually called a “Party Smart Guide.”

Last week, Penn State sent this mailer out to seemingly everyone it had an address for. I got one, my roommate got one (so there were two in our mailbox), my parents got one. This better be some pretty important information if I personally have access to three of them. I honestly wasn’t sure what it was at first, however, because when I pulled the two pamphlets out of the box, the cover was a picture of Mike the Mailman serving a squirrel what I assume were meant to be a plate of West Cookies.

Penn state party mailer
This is actually the cover of the mailer that was sent to thousands of Penn Staters.

First of all, those are not West Cookies, Penn State. Those are just a plate of cookies you found on the internet. Second, why did you just pick what you assume are the three most well-known, student-loved Penn State icons and throw them all into one picture together? Why are you sending me (two of) this picture anyway? And what does this have to do with safe party techniques?

Penn State outlines that the purpose of the information in the guide is to keep students safe and to help them have a helpful semester. The first sub-category is “Helpful tips if an RA knocks on your door.”

Penn State, assuming you’re trashed during a crazy dorm-drinking session, offers tip No. 1 as “open the door without delaying. A delay suggest you might be hiding something.” Penn State, I could be calling my parents, eating cereal, or reading a Bible, and I would still hesitate to open the door if someone knocked. What makes you think I’d be able to get my inebriated ass to the door fast enough for my RA to decide that I wasn’t “delaying?” To be honest, I can’t remember the last time somebody knocked and I didn’t just scream “come in!” If an RA wanted to get into my room, I certainly wouldn’t be stopping them, but I also definitely wouldn’t be jumping up and rolling out the red carpet.

Right next to the Knocking RA section is the “Stay Smart In The Residence Halls” section, including tips such as limiting the number of visitors, keeping the volume down, and “don’t keep alcohol bottles or paraphernalia in your room.” So you’re telling me if I’m going to throw a party in my room I have to put all of my alcohol in water bottles and get rid of my shot glasses, red solo cups, beer bong, flasks, shot ski, three-foot solid-ice shot luge, flabongo, and keg tap? If I ask housing, will they put my extensive drinking paraphernalia collection in dorm storage for me?

This section of the party guide is also highlighted by a picture of a human-size squirrel in the student section holding a pom-pom during a white out game.

This guide is eight pages long.

Page two goes into what consequences you might face if you may have to deal with the police. This page’s squirrel is a squirrel wearing a police hat and a speech bubble with the obviously unknown reminder that it’s illegal to drink if you’re under 21. To avoid police trouble, Penn State advises that you aren’t visibly drunk (oh, really??), don’t urinate outside, and asking the police if you are free to leave. Because, at Penn State, we KNOW our rights, and no police officer is going to hold you against those rights if the university has anything to say about it!

The guide also lists the State College ordinances. So if you’re going out on the town, Penn State wants you to know how to be obliterated but still avoid legal trouble!

Penn State is apparently convinced these damn squirrels are the ideal way to show students how to handle standard weekend situations. Here’s a squirrel hailing a taxi:

squirrel taxi party mailer

…and calling 911:

party squirrel 911

Squirrel, if you have an iPhone and can do things like eat cookies with Mike the Mailman and go to football games, why don’t you learn how to use Uber?

So, thanks Penn State for explaining how to safely throw bangers from the comfort of my dorm room. Now somebody just please explain to me all the squirrel photoshops.

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.


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