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In Regard to State Patty’s Day Overreactions

After reading so much about the terrible reputation that State Patty’s Day gives Penn State students, I decided to chip in my two cents. I think that sometimes Penn State students tend to believe that the world revolves around State College, that people are out around the Northeast talking about what bad people we are. This is completely untrue. So much effort and debate is surrounding how it will affect our reputation, but the fact is, this is no different than any other school. Bloomsburg has Block Party and Temple and Penn have Spring Fling. There are tons of other schools that have their own invented days of the year. Do people talk about the failing reputations of those schools because of that? No, because it’s college and anyone that has gone to college will tell you to enjoy your experience because you’re going to be working the rest of your life. So no, I do not believe this is hurting our reputation at all. But there ARE things that do hurt our reputation. This involves being put on the news for rioting over literally anything. THAT is the kind of thing that people should be worried about.

Instead of discouraging State Patty’s, it’d be a whole lot more productive to encourage starting fundraisers and organizations that can help a variety of causes. Having State Patty’s does not prevent anyone from doing anything good in support of others, so why do they keep getting put together? I know for a fact that some of the university’s most pro-active leaders in regards to community service and philanthropy have loved going out on State Patty’s Day. This doesn’t change the fact that they work daily to help others.

Now, the problem with State Patty’s is not this idea that there are people out there that are judging us based on if we drink one day or not. The reason that State Patty’s Day is such a concern is because of the LOCAL issues it causes. I’m in support of all this conversation to limiting how many friends come up per person, but the fact is, it comes down to personal responsibility. I realize that’s probably upsetting for a lot of anti-State Patty’s Day people, but unfortunately the decision is not up to anyone but themselves to go out and not destroy property or commit criminal offenses on State Patty’s. There are ways to mitigate the risks however, and I think that shutting down fraternities and limiting dorm room housing will just make it worse.

I find it interesting that IFC would ban people from having anything at the fraternity houses and it just reaffirms my opinion that IFC has always been about PR and never about actually solving problems. The fact is, students and visitors will be getting drunk on State Patty’s regardless of where. So why does anyone think that shutting down a large house that is monitored by social checkers and could keep people away from being downtown seem like a good idea? Now people are all going to be heading downtown and the problem might just be worse. The IFC’s public relations response to everything is to shut down all the fraternities because “everyone in fraternities believes we should ban the holiday”. But in reality, this is not solving any problems and it just sounds good. Fraternity brothers are still going to be drinking like everyone else, now they’ll just have to go downtown to do it. Leaders in the IFC, as well as the UPUA, need to come up with innovative solutions to mitigate the risks that come with State Patty’s Day. The same old, lets ban this, lets ban that, hasn’t worked. You would think that by now university leaders would suggest other solutions. I believe that the successful implementation of an innovative idea that everyone can agree on, not only succeeds in helping the student body have their holiday, but also could be used by other schools to help mitigate their risks as well.

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