Penn State is dipping into its war chest to pay 34 local bars and restaurants $5,000 a piece not to serve alcohol this weekend ($174,000 total). The reason? To combat the debauchery that is “State Patty’s Day,” created in 2007 by Penn State students frustrated that the real thing took place over their spring breaks. The investment might be worth it, for PSU and State College.
Police made 222 criminal arrests on State Patty’s Day weekend in 2012, including 52 for underage drinking, 21 for public urination and 14 for drunken driving, according to the department.
Local business owners, like the owner of the All-American Rathskeller, seem more than happy to take the money and go dry.
Students, many of them from other schools, were drunk by 10 a.m. and the streets were full of police arresting staggering people, he said. The town had become so overrun with out-of-towners looking to take advantage of the contrived holiday that his regular customers stayed away.
The Daily Collegian, meanwhile, is up in arms. They’re arguing that the policy should have been announced weeks, “if not months ago.”
Students from other universities in Pennsylvania probably already have their bus tickets purchased for State College, and many Penn State students have agreed to offer up their couches for the weekend despite the efforts of leaders in the community.
At the same time, they argue that revelers will not be deterred from drinking in apartments and dorms. So kids from other schools will be disappointed that they can’t get drunk on campus, AND they’ll just get drunk on campus anyways? Hmmm…