State Patty’s Day 2011 cost the State College Police Department $18,700 and the borough’s Public Works Department $15,441, according to a report from the borough released Thursday.
The Borough of State College compiled the State Patty’s Day After Action Report 2011, an assessment of data and information from businesses and residents that were affected by the event. Police, downtown businesses, Centre Area Transportation Authority, Mount Nittany Medical Center and other borough-related sources provided data for the report.
Former University Park Undergraduate Association President Christian Ragland said students should look into how much State Patty’s day costs to get a glimpse of what it’s really worth.
“The events and the consequences of State Patty’s are not worth it,” said Ragland, Class of 2011. “I think students should look at everything from a financial point.”
The total criminal arrest numbers for State Patty’s Day 2011 totaled 234, up from 160 in 2010. Police calls, costs to the police and costs to the borough also increased in 2011, according to the report.
Despite the losses, the weekend resulted in a net gain of $15,144 for the borough when parking garage and parking enforcement were factored into the equation.
Regardless of the increased revenue, State College Borough Council member Jim Rosenberger said he would like to see the faux-holiday ended.
“Even if we made money because of fines, it’s not an event we want to promote in any way,” he said.
A total of $20,200 in additional damages was reported by private apartment buildings, and the Nittany Medical Center saw over 200 patients — 103 of which were for alcohol-related medical issues, according to the report. Of those treated for alcohol-related issues, 69 were not Penn State students.
Current UPUA President TJ Bard said he noticed something different this year. As he walked around as a “sober monitor” overhearing conversations, he realized Penn State students were upset with the visitors.
“I’ve definitely seen a change in student culture,” he said. “This year, in my opinion, students were getting frustrated with students from out of town.”
Bard said working to combat State Patty’s day is one of his goals for next year. He said last year’s community and borough initiatives could be great building blocks for next year.
“I want to have collaboration. I don’t want UPUA to go in and take over initiatives that other organizations started, but fill in the cracks,” he said. “We want to try to take the lead as much possible in combating the negative aspects of State Patty’s Day.”
Even though State Patty’s Day continues to increase in size, Rosenberger said he believes conditions will improve next year.
“I’m an optimist, generally, and I think it will get better,” he said. “The town response was heard by responsible student leadership and I think those forces will prevail.”