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State College Police Release Annual State Patty’s Warning

On Tuesday, the State College Police Department released its annual warning surrounding State Patty’s Day.

The annual student-created holiday, set this year for Saturday, February 26, has traditionally been a point of contention in the State College borough since alcohol overdoses and crime peaked in 2011. Still, police say they’re working with Penn State to “mitigate the dangerous drinking and other impacts” associated with State Patty’s.

In a statement, State College police said they’ll work with Penn State law enforcement to maintain “a robust law enforcement presence” all weekend long. The department said it’ll issue patrols, both uniformed and plain-clothed, to enforce liquor laws both on campus and downtown.

Additionally, Greek organizations are expected not to host socials over the weekend, “consistent with the expectations for these groups enforced throughout the pandemic,” the police statement reads. Penn State students can’t keep guests overnight in the dorms, either.

Borough Manager Tom Fountaine and Penn State Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims issued a memo to members of the State College Tavern Owners Association on Tuesday, urging them to “impede the negative excesses” of State Patty’s Day.

“For many years, this annual occurrence has produced more problematic behavior in our community than any other event, despite the many good efforts of student, University, and Borough leaders to mitigate against the resulting harm,” Sims said. “I remain optimistic that better sense will prevail and that we will continue to see the excesses State Patty’s Day engenders fade away.” 

As usual, local police sent downtown residents and tenants a memo asking them to refrain from inviting guests over throughout State Patty’s weekend. Officials also offered reminders about COVID-19-related precautions, including the borough’s masking ordinance.

“Actions like dangerous drinking and social gatherings during a pandemic only puts our community at risk,” Fountaine said. “Everyone in this community has a role to play in keeping our community safe and stopping the spread of the pandemic. We ask that you respect and care for your neighbors and do not participate in this dangerous event. One weekend is not worth putting yourself or others in danger.” 

Last year’s State Patty’s festivities resulted in the lowest crime totals on record in nearly every category, according to police data. Since 2011’s eventful peak, State Patty’s crime has generally trended downward despite a brief rise in 2016.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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