Penn State, it’s time to give it up. State Patty’s Day is “canceled.”
For those of you who have your green shirts ready, maybe you haven’t heard the news.
On February 23, the date set for the student-created holiday: Bars will be closed, Fraternities will not hold parties, police will crack down on punishing the visibly intoxicated.
If you’re drunk, you may be arrested by police.
Then, you may appear before a magisterial district judge and be required to post bail.
If you can’t post collateral or bail, (translation: if you’re not wearing a Michael Kors watch or don’t have a wallet full of cash), you’ll have to sit tight in the Centre County Correctional Facility.
I wish I didn’t have to issue a PSA. But there’s no denying the fact that State Patty’s Day has been wreaking havoc on the town since it’s inception in 2007, contrary to what’s printed on the green T-shirts in downtown shops.
Last year, residents of the Meridian said the influx of parties was comparable to a hurricane sweeping through their tiny apartments. Shattered glass, broken beer bottles and a dilapidated ceiling plaster littered the apartment complex. Destruction was so severe that apartment owners banned parties for the rest of the semester and issued penalties for those who violated the banning.
Though the number of arrests decreased in 2012, State Patty’s Day is still viewed as a problem for Penn State and State College.
This weekend, I’m dreading the influx of out-of-towners from every college within a five-hour radius to make the trek to State College.
Part of me wants to bat down my apartment and find an isolated room in the library to take cover. Another part wishes I could invite my 21-year-old friends from out of town and share an enjoyable, responsible weekend together.
But, it doesn’t look like I’ll need to drop $20 for a green T-shirt, because student leaders and Penn State and State College officials have done nearly everything in their power to keep the the beer-chugging, shot-taking, green-wearing party enthusiasts out of town.
Every bar that refrains from serving alcohol Saturday will be given a $5,000 subsidy. Thirty-four bars and restaurants have accepted its offer, according to a Penn State News release Tuesday.
Is that what the university and borough really have to do to keep the town safe one day out of the year? Bribing the bars to ban the booze?
Even though the subsidy is said to be coming from parking fines, I don’t think money should have to be spent to forbid those of a legal drinking age, because some out-of-towers think State College is their playground for the weekend.
As Penn State students, it’s time to step up to the plate and stop inviting friends to come wreak havoc on the town where we pay thousands of dollars to live in tiny apartments. If we tell our friends they don’t have a dorm room floor to crash or a couch in a downtown apartment, they won’t come.
There are plenty of other weekends for friends to visit.
It’s time to man up and accept the restrictions that our university and the town where we reside in for 10 months have put in place for our safety. If we don’t, the penalties in the upcoming years will continue to increase.
More money will be wasted on cleaning up vomit on the sidewalks, sweeping up broken beer bottles and repairing damage to apartment complexes.
This past weekend showed how much good Penn State students can achieve — raising $12.37 million for pediatric cancer research and care, organizing a weekend-long event and putting smiles on the faces of children, while giving them memories that will last a lifetime.
Let’s not ruin our good streak. Tell your friends to pick another weekend to visit. And if they already purchased their nonrefundable Megabus tickets or have their bags packed, be smart. Don’t drunkenly gallivant throughout town. Don’t backlash at police officers if they question you. Don’t think your green T-shirt possesses magic superpower that will allow you to funnel green beer all morning, afternoon and night without getting sick. It’s not magic — just overpriced.
Christina Gallagher is a junior majoring in journalism and is The Daily Collegian’s Wednesday columnist. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.