My latest column, State Patty's Day--keep the name, change the meaning, is at StateCollege.com. Here's a preview.
State Patty's Day began innocently enough as a small group of friends celebrating St. Patrick's Day together before leaving town on spring break. They never planned, nor could they have imagined, that it would become the drinking festival that it is today.
Last year alone, the now infamous weekend was the scene of 234 arrests and 14 DUIs, according to data released by police. Just more than 100 partygoers who couldn’t hold their liquor ended up at Mount Nittany Medical Center. There was property damage, public urination and assaults. Though the majority of those arrested were from other universities, the negative publicity still fell on the Penn State community.
But this year is different. This has been a year like none other in Penn State's history. A small group of students and residents have already generated a decade’s worth of negative publicity.
Last weekend at THON, the Penn State community came a long way in restoring the pride and tradition of its name. The students were able to raise more than $10 million for the Four Diamonds Fund to help in the fight against pediatric cancer. The dancers and other participants were selfless, noble, and, well, amazing.