The Third Annual Penn State Social Drinking Tradition
State College, PA – Safeguard Old State, a student-alumni advocacy group at Penn State, is excited to announce the third annual “State Patty’s Day” to be held on Saturday, February 28 in State College.
State Patty’s Day was originally started in 2007 to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day due to the scheduling of Penn State’s Spring Break over that holiday. In 2008, the student-led holiday returned as an attempt to provide a means for students, alumni and townspeople to celebrate a new, uniquely “Penn State” holiday tradition.
State Patty’s Day, in the words of its founder Joe Veltre (Class of 2009), was borne out of a desire by students to “prove that despite a reputation for excess, we might just be able to teach ourselves moderation if given the chance.”
Safeguard Old State founder Thomas A. Shakely elaborated on the idea behind State Patty’s Day: “The holiday offers the opportunity for students to come together outside of the normal, artificially-programmed settings of initiatives like ‘Late Night Penn State’ and academic roundtables and see if they can learn how to celebrate and drink responsibility in the real world.”
Shakely, elaborating, said: “Look, administrators have been pouring millions into anti-drinking programs for decades that simply haven’t worked. Undercover programs, education initiatives, source investigation projects – they all fail, because they miss the point that you can’t teach responsible drinking without, first, letting the drinking actually occur and, second, letting folks drink in an environment where other students, their peers, can keep them safe.”
“We’re working to partner with local bars, bands and music venues to provide events that don’t necessarily involve alcohol,” said Joe Veltre. “We’re having State Patty’s Day on a Saturday so Penn Staters can avoid missing classes by celebrating on the actual ‘St. Patrick’s Day’ in March.
State Patty’s Day 2008 resulted in a slight increase in police calls – 121 – over the average 80 calls to police on a typical weekend at Penn State. Blue-White 2008 weekend, by comparison, resulted in 327 calls to the police.
“State Patty’s Day, when you look at the numbers, is a much safer weekend than Blue-White weekend, when calls to police are nearly triple what they were on State Patty’s Day,” said Veltre in defending State Patty’s Day at beginning to be effective at proving students can engage in both celebration and drinking without a negative impact, as with the riots in late 2008.
A number of local bars have already signed on to host State Patty’s celebrations. Additionally, Got Used Bookstore on College Avenue has partnered with Veltre as the exclusive merchandiser for State Patty’s Day 2009 merchandise, including the official State Patty’s t-shirt.
State Patty’s Day’s official website is www.statepatty.com, which includes merchandize for sale, a history of the holiday, and resources for healthy consumption and information on Saint Patrick’s Day.