Penn State is no fly on the wall when it comes to being in the national spotlight. Lately, every time you turn the news on someone, somewhere has something to say. So why participate in a weekend to ensue more chaos and give them more to talk about?
Back in 2007, someone got the “bright idea” to create ‘State Patty’s Day’ a day for college students all over the country to descend upon State College to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day because, at the time, the holiday fell over spring break.
Fast forward 12 years, spring break is now the first week of March, and students celebrate both this fictitious holiday and the real one in State College.
The State College Police and Penn State University have recognized the creation of this “holiday” and have taken measures to ensure all students are safe throughout the weekend. The police department sent fliers to all apartment buildings surrounding campus to remind them of safe practices and to comply with local ordinances. The university has also limited overnight guests in residence halls for “the weekend between THON and spring break.”
Although there is not much more officials can do because people will do what they want anyways, I just wish students realized how this feeds into the toxic culture they are trying so hard to eliminate. Penn State’s IFC and Panhellenic councils have made a joint statement saying there will be no registered socials of any kind happening throughout the weekend. This is important because if anything happens this weekend, blame cannot be placed wholly on Greek life.
Greek life has taken tremendous strides in changing the culture associated with Penn State, but they can only do so much without the entire student body’s cooperation. Just because a student is drinking underage or partying does not mean they are an active member in Penn State’s Greek Life community. Because State Patty’s is advertised as “one of the best parties in the country”, some of the incidents that historically occur throughout the weekend are not even Penn State students’ fault.
Penn State students know we have a culture problem. Why do we pretend that we care but do not actually do anything to actively make a difference? I know it is a stretch to say that students need to stop participating in State Patty’s because let’s be honest, it’s not like this specific weekend is that much different than any other weekend at Penn State. All I am saying, friends, is be safe and keep in mind your actions always reflect back on Penn State.