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State College Braces for State Patty's Day

by on February 22, 2013 10:58 AM

This year’s State Patty’s Day celebration, a Penn State student-created annual holiday, will see some new restrictions.

Although downtown stores like The Family Clothesline and McLanahan’s have had T-shirts and other State Patty’s Day merchandise out for weeks, students might have a hard time finding places to wear them. Local law enforcement is also implementing more restrictions on underage drinking.

The State College Police Department issued a statement earlier this week that anyone caught drinking who is underage will be arrested. Those who cannot pay their fines will be spending the night in jail, according to UPUA President Courtney Lennartz. There will be no option to do volunteer service and have the charge removed from permanent records.

The Mount Nittany Medical Center also issued a statement on its website Feb. 15 that urges revelers to use caution.

“We are grateful that the community is helping to mitigate the effects of alcohol related events associated with State Patty’s Day by closing some bars, and scheduling alternative events,” said Nancy Mutch, administrative director for the medical center’s emergency department.

In preparation for State Patty’s weekend, the hospital will staff extra nurses and will have extra physicians on-call, typical protocol for home Penn State football weekends according to the hospital’s website.

Penn State’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) voted earlier this month to ban social functions on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23, mirroring last year’s restrictions.

The Tavern Association of State College also announced in a press release Tuesday morning that most downtown bars and restaurants will not be serving alcohol to patrons on Feb. 23. This decision comes after several meetings between the Tavern Association and Penn State and State College Borough officials.

The Partnership: Campus & Community United Against Dangerous Drinking, which is comprised of university and local leaders, will be paying bars and restaurants a $5,000 subsidy to make up for lost business.

"This new agreement should further diminish the destructive excess encouraged by State Patty's Day,” said Damon Sims, co-chairman of The Partnership and Penn State's vice president for Student Affairs, “and we could not be more grateful to these business leaders for their responsible action."

Student service organizations and clubs will facilitate “State Day of Service,” coordinated by the Council of LionHearts. This includes various volunteer projects that Penn State students can participate in instead of the usual State Patty’s weekend activities.

“Multiple volunteer events have been offered in years past,” said Jordan Rolon, vice president for communications for the Penn State IFC, “but this is the first year that the Penn State IFC is promoting a specific event that we want our members to be a part of.”

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Brittany is the staff writer for The Centre County Gazette.
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