Sunday, February 27, 2011

State Patty's Day Fail (mini rant, part two)

I don't know if it was frustration or disappointment, or something else, but I nearly broke into tears driving into work this morning. Why? Because the streets of downtown State College were trashed. The sidewalks and gutters are full of red plastic cups, paper plates, beer cans, and other assorted paper and plastic goods.

And, as I'm sure more stories will emerge over the next few days, State Patty's day was the crap-fest of drunkenness and self-loathing wrapped up in weather-inappropriate daisy dukes, knee-high socks and unoriginally idiotic catch-phrase slathered green t-shirts I expected it to be.

Maybe the saddest story (cited in the link above) so far is this one:
A 16-year-old boy was found intoxicated, lying down and throwing up on the sidewalk on the 500 block of South Pugh Street at 12:52 a.m.
Nice. Now, in addition to attracting the brightest and best from the surrounding colleges, State Patty's day celebrations are also welcoming (and accommodating) high school students. And this poor kid is seriously ill, alone, literally lying in a pool of his own vomit. His parents are (hopefully) terrified for his well-being after this event. 

An equally scary story is of an attempted intrusion:

A drunken 19-year-old was found trying to enter a house on the 400 block of Martin Terrace at around 11:30 p.m. on Friday.
Although I'm sure the kid was so drunk he didn't know where he was (what great friends he has to let him wander home along, and what self-control that he couldn't find a responsible way home), it terrifies me that some family had to experience this. Can you imagine being at home, minding your own business when some intoxicated college kid tries to break into your home because he's so face-down drunk he doesn't know he's at the wrong house?

Was it worth it, State College students? To fall so far? Last weekend you were praised for organizing the largest student-run fundraiser, and raising the most money ever for THON

This weekend, it's the walk of shame.  


H. W. said...

I read your post here and came acrossed it when searching for the incident with the 19 year old. It was my home, and that this young man invaded. We were truly terrified and upset by this event. While I do not condone or condem State Patty's day, it is my sincere wish that in future events those attending make better decisions for themselves than this young man did. I was once 19 and made poor decisions too. Despite our fear and upset, I feel sorry for each and everyone of these young people who will continue to suffer the repricussions of their actions.

There is so much good at Penn State and potential in its bright and capable students. Lets not let one event make a permenant scar on the face of our great University.


mathbionerd said...

Thanks for your input H.W.. I'm very sorry you had to experience that. I've listened to town hall meetings where even worse things have happened to locals living downtown as a result of intoxicated people entering their homes or destroying property.

I don't think State Patty's day should be a permanent scar. Most certainly it won't be. No other drinking-related incident has affected the behavior on campus for more than a week (here I'm thinking of the unfortunate death of J. Dado on campus, but there are likely many other stories).

I have actually had a wonderful experience as a Penn State graduate student. However, I feel it is necessary, as a Penn State student, to speak up about how I think such events portray the University.

I'm not sure if you read my post from the day before:

State College, it isn't time to "grow up". You have the rest of your lives to do that. But it is time to develop a little self-respect, and learn how to be courteous to the people you share this town with. I wouldn't even necessarily advocate for canceling State Patty's Day, if you could learn to celebrate responsibly, without damaging yourself, your friends, and anyone you come in contact with.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to comment here. :)