When St. Patrick’s Day fell on Spring Break in 2007, Penn State students created State Patrick’s Day, a holiday that has become synonymous with heavy drinking and property destruction. To mitigate these problems, the borough, university, and community have come up with a solution. As of February 19, over 30 nearby bars, restaurants, and liquor stores will refuse to serve alcohol on the infamous State Patty’s Day, receiving instead a $5,000 subsidy to make up for lost sales. This includes the hotels on Penn State’s campus, along with most major establishments in the surrounding area.
Jennifer Zangrilli, president of the Tavern Owners Association, showed her support by expressing that her association’s “collective desire is to see our community and downtown not only grow, but thrive.”
According to Penn State’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Damon Sims, money from parking fees in the city will be used to pay the subsidies. He stated that support from student leaders has been critical in addressing the problem. Additional efforts by students include the banning of all fraternity and sorority parties during the holiday, and the promotion of volunteer work as an alternate opportunity for students.
Penn State’s student body president, Courtney Lennertz added in a joint statement that students need to “consider the bigger picture of our actions”. This community effort represents a bold step in that direction.
Explaination of State Patty’s Day: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=state%20patty's%20day
Penn State’s Official Website: http://www.psu.edu/