With last Sunday marking the end of the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, Saturday marks another State Patty’s Day in downtown State College.
The student-created “holiday,” started by Penn State students in 2007, will likely see the return of green T-shirts and loaded downtown bars. But as of right now, police aren’t sure exactly how the holiday will play out.
“It’s yet to be seen what happens this State Patty’s Day with the fraternity restrictions,” State College community relations officer Adam Salyards said Wednesday. “It could lead to more house parties and more people at downtown bars.”
Fraternities are still under a moratorium on all social events involving alcohol, Penn State news and media relations said. The university suspended all fraternity and sorority social activities earlier this month following the death of Beta Theta Pi pledge Timothy Piazza.
Police will be prepared for a busy weekend with extra patrols, Salyards said. He said it’s also common for Mount Nittany Medical Center and EMS personnel to add to their numbers in preparation, too.
Residence halls have put limits on the number of out-of-town guests who may stay overnight, Penn State reported. Borough Manager Tom Fountaine and Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims have communicated with the Tavern Owners Association to encourage continued support through voluntary practices and limitations.
“We expect the usual substantial police and liquor control presence in town,” according to university news and media, “with vigorous enforcement of applicable laws and regulations. And there are alternative events scheduled on campus.”
State College police also reached out to borough residents asking for assistance and cooperation, according to a letter from the police, asking tenants to help reduce the likelihood of incidents during the weekend.
“Though much better in the past five years, the weekend between Thon and spring break has resulted in more crime, more criminal arrests and more alcohol overdoses than a typical winter weekend,” the letter said. “In 2011, crime and alcohol overdoses were at the worst, but fortunately since 2012 conditions have improved significantly.”
Tenants are asked not to invite guests to their apartments or houses this weekend in order to prevent noise, throwing objects from balconies and underage alcohol consumption at their residences. They were also reminded that the minimum fine for a noise violation is $750 plus court cost.
Many of the larger apartment buildings are hiring extra security to stop out-of-control house parties as well, Salyards said.