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The Sentinel

An Eye on the Penn State Administration

PSU Traditions & Facebook

The Daily Collegian wrote on Monday that “New Traditions Won’t Start on Facebook”. We at Safeguard Old State beg to differ. The article defends its assertion by using this past weekend’s fail attempt at an “e-tradition” (to coin a new phrase in the PSU lexicon) of using blue glow sticks to augment our white-out in Beaver Stadium. Sure, not all spontaneous traditions — online or not — will end up working out or catching on.

That being said, for this article’s author to completely ignore the revolutionary tool that is online social networking is beyond shortsighted.

TDC — The failure of the glow sticks — a scheme destined to fail — should remind us that traditions do not begin on social networking Web sites like Facebook.com.

They grow over time.

It took the White Out almost three years to reach its peak, like it did with a full-stadium White Out against Notre Dame earlier this year.

Students waiting for prime seats camped out for years in tents before Paternoville was founded in 2005.

Do I really need to point out that St. Patty’s Day — perhaps the most riveting event of the Spring 2007 semester other than THON — was initiated and managed entirely on Facebook? (That movement’s founder, Joseph Veltre, is now an author and director here at Safeguard Old State.) Joe personally coordinated the efforts of nearly all the downtown bars to serve green beers and celebrate “State Patty’s Day”, a new and proud tradition at Penn State.

What’s more, the fact that the event went off without a hitch was a complete slap in the face to a PSU administration that, in all likelihood, probably intentionally scheduled last spring’s break to fall over the famous drinking holiday, hoping that most students wouldn’t be in town to celebrate.

But hey, no traditions will start on Facebook, right?

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