UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State and the State College Borough are working together to mitigate the dangerous drinking and other impacts associated with the Feb. 23 drinking event known as State Patty’s Day.
Borough and University police are joining forces with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to maintain a robust law enforcement presence throughout the weekend. The patrols, which will include uniformed and plain-clothes officers, will be focused on enforcement in rental properties and neighborhoods close to campus.
In a Feb. 20 memo to members of the State College Tavern Owners Association, State College Borough Manager Tom Fountaine and Penn State Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims call on establishment owners to help “impede the negative excesses that State Patty’s Day encourages.”
“Although we typically celebrate the arrival of out of town visitors in our community, we want to discourage those who visit us specifically for the recklessness of State Patty’s Day and do harm to our community and themselves in the process,” write Fountaine and Sims. “Only by working together, with all of us contributing in the ways we can, will we overcome the deeply troubling outcomes State Patty’s Day can produce.”
State College Police Chief John Gardner, Penn State Police Chief Keith Morris, and Penn State Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Danny Shaha sent a letter to State College residents on Feb. 18 asking for their cooperation during State Patty’s Day weekend and outlining some of the steps being taken to dampen the impact of the weekend. The letter asks State College tenants to refrain from serving large quantities of alcohol at their residences and reminds them that they can be arrested if individuals under age 21 are consuming alcohol at their apartments or houses.
In addition to the increased law enforcement patrols, the following safety measures have been put in place to curtail dangerous activities on Feb. 23:
— Greek organizations will not be hosting social events with alcohol at their facilities on Feb. 22 or 23.
— The University’s residence halls are limiting guests to one per room through the weekend.
— Many property managers will have extra staff on hand to patrol their properties and quickly report illegal activities to the police.
Any Penn State student charged with violations during the weekend -- on and off campus -- will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct for appropriate disciplinary action.
However, students are reminded that local guidelines, including Penn State’s Responsible Action Protocol and Pennsylvania’s Medical Amnesty Law, protect students from prosecution for consumption or possession of alcohol when they seek help for a peer who is passed out, unconscious or unresponsive as the result of over-consumption.