Thursday, January 24, 2008

State Patty's Day

State Patty's Day is an unofficial, student run, holiday where students celebrate St. Patrick's Day early (so they won't be on spring break and can squeeze in an awesome holiday at PSU). It was always a grass roots movement in support of Irish festivities and binge drinking early in the day (all things I am completely behind, BTW).

Apparently, there is an organization trying trying to move State Patty's day into a more official capacity; Safegaurd Old State (SOS) is that organization. The Collegian has an article on it here. I had never heard of SOS until I read that article apparently they are all about:

Safeguard Old State is a grassroots student-alumni advocacy coalition dedicated
to safeguarding the traditions and rights of all Penn Staters. We are concerned
about advocating students’ rights and serving as an administrative
We seek to educate the PSU community about, and lobby for the
continuation and revitalization of those traditions which further, primarily,
the goals of shared governance, exercise of student autonomy (particularly in
relation to student led activities and the student activity fee) as well as
fostering a culture of respect among University administrators toward such a
student-centered environment.
We are committing to helping return this
University to glory, both with large and small steps toward a brighter future.
We seek to foster a renaissance in student and alumni life, both within Happy
Valley and among the global Penn State community.

In relation to State Patty's Day, however, they are looking to making the holiday a University sanctioned event. What is peculiar about this is that both the students and the administration are not pleased with this idea. The administration points out all the problems associated with State Patty's Day and some students bristle at the idea of the celebration coming under University control.

Graphic by Jill Martek
SOS has set up there own website here (as a tool to help control your thoughts, man!)

Here's my take, have the celebration: Why does State Patty's Day need to be University sanctioned? I am also curious why an organization devoted to "...safeguarding the traditions and rights of all Penn Staters." wants the University to be involved in an unofficial, dangerous, and ridiculously awesome tradition at Penn State?

Go out, have fun, do what you want, but please don't be an idiot!



Gavin Keirans said...

My name is Gavin Keirans, head of Safeguard Old State. We are not at all looking for the university to sanction the holiday. At the same time we want the university to offer alternative programs on the day of State Patty's Day such as Irish bands and other Irish themed events. This way those who do not want to partake in the drinking culture can have another outlet.

I want students to have fun. Thus we decided to sponsor the holiday in order to coordinate with the university, police, downtown establishments and students. Thus this is more organized than just a facebook group.

I will have an editorial in tomorrows paper regarding this. Feel free to check that out.


JB said...

Right. But if the university "coordinates" with you regarding State Patty's day isn't that, at the very least, a tacit endorsement?

I think we might be arguing for the same thing: to keep a fun tradition going. However, I just don't know why there needs to be a coordination with the university.

I look forward to your editorial.

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Joe said...

joe veltre

Just for the record, I'm the guy that came up with this last year. Check the facebook group, I'm the creator. I had a good deal of help from people to market the idea and get the word out, but in all fairness this was my brainchild. I too am involved in SOS, however, and I came to the directors in order to get more organization out of the "holiday".

We aren't so much coordinating with the university so much as trying to make them understand we want there to be more to State Patty's than just drinking. There's no reason students who don't drink can't enjoy it as well. Everyone seems to believe that we are out to destroy the day by handing it to the university. SOS would never do that, not in a million years.

It's a shame that people think that we are diminishing the day.