Corned Beef, Leprechauns, and Shamrocks. The tell-tale signs of Saint Patricks Day.
Or at least, State Patty’s Day, which was last Saturday, February 26, 2011 at Penn State University.
The tradition started back in 2007, when Saint Patrick’s Day ended up falling on Spring Break. Thus, the students created the pseudo-holiday to celebrate while still in school.
A recap of the day
Bars opened early in the day and ruckus ensued; State Patty’s snowballed into a giant monstrosity of chaos by midday.
Last year, 365 calls to the police were made, and there were 160 resulting arrests. However, it appears that the majority who end up getting arrested or sent to the hospital were not Penn Staters, but visitors who come flocking from all over for the event.
Students from Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Maryland, and Delaware all funnel into the area and crowds are forming by 8:30 AM.
Attempts to control the party
The manpower needed to regulate this holiday is incredible. Days like Halloween have been handled for years, but this event is entirely new. Penn State has tried very hard to crack down on this holiday and has come to drastic measures.
Policemen were patrolling apartment complexes and were undercover in the streets, dressed in the same green State Patty’s attire as everybody else in order to remain covert.
Many bars, instead of opening early, opted to not open at all due to criticism and fines brought about from last year’s celebration.
The Intrafraternity Council discouraged fraternities from holding events, offering core points towards Chapter of Excellence status for abstaining. Liquor stores closed down early. While there was still mayhem downtown and in the apartments, the measures seemed to produce some results.
There were some extreme events taking place, such as a 42-year-old man running down Allen Street stealing parking tickets from cars. His BAC was .364. Graffiti was found on walls, windows were broken and people were crawling out of bus windows.
While this event was intended to be fun, and had no bad intentions, it is really up to the students and community to enjoy themselves responsibly, and more importantly, make sure their visitors do the same.