Penn State, borough seek help from students to dampen State Patty’s Day

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State and State College Borough officials are seeking the cooperation of students living in approximately 10,000 off-campus residences in the fight against State Patty’s Day, urging them to “be instrumental in helping keep this weekend safe and peaceful.”

Created six years ago, the social media-generated drinking holiday is set for Feb. 23 and local leaders have launched several initiatives to weaken its impact. State Patty’s Day annually strains local law enforcement and emergency medical staff; increases vandalism, litter and noise; and is detrimental to the appeal of the campus and downtown State College.

In a letter distributed Feb. 19, State College Police Chief Tom King and Penn State’s Senior Director of the Office of Student Conduct Danny Shaha advise students to:

-- Not invite guests for the weekend
-- Prevent guests from yelling or throwing items off balconies or from houses
-- Not permit anyone younger than 21 to consume alcohol
-- Not serve large quantities of alcohol
-- To keep music and other noise at reasonable levels
-- To keep property free of litter or trash such as cups, cans and food containers.

State College police, along with multiple law enforcement agencies, will be heavily visible throughout the area, including inside apartment complexes, “checking for underage drinking, furnishing to minors, disorders and other crimes,” according to the letter. Some officers also will be working in plain clothes.

“In addition, the State College Police Department will be working closely with your rental property manager and their staff,” the letter states. “Many rental property owners or managers will have extra staff patrolling the apartment hallways.”

Police plan to request that maximum fines be levied against offenders. The fine for a first offense for both underage drinking and public drunkenness is $500 per offense -- up from $300 -- and $1,000 for any subsequent offense. Certain violators (where allowed by law) may be taken directly and immediately before the court for processing.

The letter also warns that any Penn State student charged with violations during the weekend will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct (OSC): “Because Penn State’s Code of Conduct applies off campus as well as on campus, OSC will pursue appropriate disciplinary action with students who are arrested or cited during this weekend.”

Last Updated March 06, 2013