The green t-shirts, sweatshirts, necklaces, body tattoos and other party favors have been nearly impossible to ignore. Students at Penn State all know the significance of Saturday, February 27th. This year’s festivities, however, will be different.
Downtown bars have chosen not to recognize this year’s State Patty’s Day celebrations. However, their decision, many students believe, will have little effect on the amount of alcohol consumed this weekend.
Senior actuarial science major Gina Rusnak believes that the bars decision to operate normally on State Patty’s Day may have been a little rash.
“I guess I understand that it's to protect the safety of everyone, but I think the liquor control board is taking some things a little too far,” said Rusnak. “State Patty's Day is a huge bar day and I think a lot of the bars are going to miss out on a lot of revenue.”
Junior political science major Samantha Guthrie agrees.
“Well, I don't think it’s the best decision, but considering how much money they are going to lose it was probably a decision that a lot of thought went into,” said Guthrie. “I feel like they had to be under substantial pressure from the borough and the university to do something and this is what they came up with.”
Without bars to go to in the morning and early afternoon on State Patty’s Day, some students fear that the amount of parties in the downtown area will be greater than ever.
“I think that there will just be twice as many parties which will be out of control anyway,” said Rusnak.
“I think it’s not going to be much different than last year,” said Guthrie. “I don’t think that bars being closed will make a big change. There are plenty of other places to go.”
Junior golf management major Marcie Whiston believes that the bars decision to not recognize the student run holiday will not affect student’s behavior.
“I do not think it's a big deal that the bars are not acknowledging State Patty's Day, people are going to drink no matter what the bars do,” said Whiston.
With so much emphasis put on the issue of excessive alcohol consumption among students this year, it was expected that the university as well as the liquor control board and the borough would be so concerned about February 27th. Especially because of the effect it has had on the community in previous years.
“I can see with all of the drinking issues this year why they wouldn't promote a day that was focused entirely on students drinking, but it just seems like there should be a way to do it that makes everyone happy,” said senior education major Emily Cassidy.
With the bars downtown not recognizing State Patty’s Day, the community has clearly made their opinion on the student run holiday evident. We will have to wait and see if its aftermath was effective.
“I would hope that after everything that has happened this year that everyone would be a little safer, though,” said Guthrie.
Meghan Davis is a junior at Penn State University and an intern for This Is Lion Country.