Penn State will no longer allow its name or logos to be displayed on shot glasses in an attempt to address high-risk drinking — a move downtown officials support and some students are skeptical about.
“We felt that this was an appropriate step because of the message licensing such a product could send,” Penn State spokesman Geoff Rushton said.
University logos include: the university seal, the Nittany Lion shrine, the mascot, the university identity mark, the Intercollegiate Athletics logo and Pride of the Lions designs, according to the Penn State licensing program’s website.
While this one move will not halt the problem of dangerous drinking, it is an important step, Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon said.
But he said others need to do their part to make this move successful.
“It would be great if downtown businesses also acted more responsibly,” Mahon said. “In a town where hundreds of young people are rushed to the ER every year with serious alcohol overdoses, there should be no local businesses selling beer funnels and Party ‘Til You Puke game boards.”
The university will direct its licensing agent — the Collegiate Licensing Committee — to deny the licensing of the university name and logos, Rushton said.
The Penn State logo policy states that no references to alcohol, drugs or tobacco-related products may be used in conjunction with university symbols.
Shot glasses with Penn State logos will be phased out and as production stops, the glasses will disappear from stores, Rushton said.
But some students say the elimination of Penn State shot glasses won’t change students’ drinking behavior.
Pete Sands said that while he understands the university is under pressure to act, removing a name on a shot glass will not solve anything.
Instead, it may just cause a rush of people running out to purchase a shot glass before they are all sold out, he said.
Sands (sophomore-business) said he plans on purchasing a Penn State shot glass before they are gone.
Hunter Smith said the decision will not have much of an impact.
“It’s not going to work,” Smith (sophomore-kinesology) said. “Students don’t care if they say Penn State or Ohio State, they’re still going to use it.”
But other local leaders applaud the effort.
State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham said the small steps will add up to make a big difference. When Penn State speaks, people listen, Goreham said — and now the university is sending the right message.
University Park Undergraduate Association President Christian Ragland said erasing Penn State ties on shot glasses is a good start — but the university should start looking at more impactful initiatives.
“It would be very hypocritical for the university to say we’re doing x, y and z to stop the dangerous drinking culture, but we still sell and produce items that promote a dangerous drinking culture,” Ragland (senior-political science) said.
And for some, it’s a mixed reaction.
John Lindo, manager of the Student Book Store, 330 E. College Ave., said he understands why the university is making the change — but that doesn’t change the fact that local stores will still lose business.