Penn State aims to keep Paternoville a safe experience

University Park, Pa. -- With the Nittany Lion football team winning its first Big Ten home game Saturday to improve to 3-2 and some big home football games on the horizon, Penn State officials want to make sure that life in Paternoville remains fun and safe.

Paternoville, the name students used to describe the tents outside of Beaver Stadium last season prior to a big win over Ohio State, drew national attention as the Nittany Lions climbed back into the ranks of the college football elite and enthusiasm among Penn State fans intensified.

"We are very proud of our student fans and the support they have shown last season and again this season," said Tim Curley, director of athletics. "They certainly contribute to our team's success and make Beaver Stadium 'The Greatest Show in College Football.' We want to make sure they remain safe as they wait in line for front row seats to enjoy the game."

"There were some instances last season where some students could have suffered serious injuries" said Steve Shelow, director of University Police. "We hope that if students do choose to camp out the day before the game, they will heed a few common sense reminders about things such as electricity and safety. We want to make sure all our fans get into the game safely."

If students decide to camp outside of Beaver Stadium, they should wait until 6 a.m. or later on Thursday morning during the week of the game to do so, and their tents and related items should be removed by 8 a.m. on Saturday when the Beaver Stadium lots open.

"Tens of thousands of fans use Gate A on game day and we need the area cleared early so nobody is hurt when the crowds move through there," Shelow said.

During the duration of camping, the tents should be located only on the concrete apron outside of Gate A. For the safety of everyone, no pop-up camper trailers or other vehicles are permitted in the area. As a further safety measure, charcoal, propane and open flames also are not permitted. Alcohol is prohibited in Paternoville as it is in most other areas around campus.

Battery-operated devices such as radios and laptop computers are welcome, but other electrical devices and generators pose a safety hazard and should not be used. Campers also are reminded that severe weather, such as lightning or freezing temperatures, pose a serious danger. Students should be mindful of weather forecasts and if severe weather does strike they should vacate the area immediately.

"We appreciate our students' enthusiastic support that makes them one of the most vocal and visible student sections in all of college football," said Vicky Triponey, vice president for student affairs. "We thank all of our fans for working with us to ensure that no one's safety is jeopardized in the various activities in and around Beaver Stadium prior to, during and after the game."

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Last Updated March 19, 2009