Second Annual LION Bash Hopes To Bring Students And State College Community Together

Though Penn State students live in State College and interact with the community through patronizing restaurants and bars and walking the streets day-in and day-out, 18-22 year-olds in Happy Valley don’t often engage with the citizens who call the 16801 home.

The Borough of State College recognizes that the students who spend four years here are as much a part of the community as those who have lived here their whole lives, but the two don’t really intentionally acknowledge each other too often. In an effort to introduce one another and further the symbiotic relationship, the Borough is putting on LION Bash, a free street fair that aims to bring Penn State and State College together.

The event will take over Allen Street tomorrow (Tuesday, August 30) from 6-8:30 p.m. outside of the State College Borough building. There will be a number of booths, activities, and performances for attendees to enjoy as well as free food and even an iPad giveaway. Performers will also line the street, including Jackie Brown and Gill Street Band, RAM Squad, and a magician.

“We wanted to focus on getting more involvement from different types of people rather than just the largest orgs at Penn State or the largest orgs downtown,” said Jesse Weber, a Penn State student and intern with the Borough’s Community Engagement and Development department.

“The main point of LION Bash is to establish relationships and dialogues between all aspects of the community: students, family members, children, everyone.”

In its second year, the event’s organizers have heard a lot of feedback about last year and hope to continue to improve upon the progress made. One particularly cool example is last year, members of a fraternity got to meet the family who lives next to them even though the two have been neighbors for years. Now, their relationship is much more understanding and when the kids are trying to go to bed and the frat house is being a little loud, the family can just shoot over a text and the fraternity will turn things down a notch.

“It’s small things like that that really add up and make it easier on the police and the Borough officials,” Weber said.

All students have to do to get to know the State College community via LION Bash is show up. There will be representation from various downtown organizations so students can learn a little more about the place they call home and vice versa, as a number of Penn State orgs will also be represented so State College residents can see a little bit of what students do. Student groups including the Interfraternity Council and UPUA will join downtown organizations and companies like Schlow Library and the Highlands Civic Association.

Part of the event will be to inform students about some of the State College ordinances. Many Penn Staters who spend 75 percent of their year living and interacting with the Borough know little about the specifics of the laws and ordinances that they are required to abide by, and often kids getting in trouble has more to do with misinformation than disrespect.

The relationship between the State College Borough and the students of Penn State hasn’t always been the best, but there’s no reason that can’t or shouldn’t change. If you have a chance tomorrow night, take a walk down Allen Street — You never know which neighbor you might meet, what violation you might avoid by learning more about the State College ordinances, or anything else you might find out about the town we call home.

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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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