This weekend at Penn State University some students will be celebrating an early St. Patrick's Day, or as they termed it, State Patty's Day. About six years ago, a group of students felt like they were missing out by having St. Patrick's Day happen during their Spring Break. To fix this, that group started a Facebook group to start a new tradition. They were able to get over 5,000 students on board and a number of the local bars and so began the State Patty's Day tradition.
Unfortunately, this tradition went from a fun event with people dressing in green, hanging out with their friends, and enjoying a few drinks to a more dangerous and destructive event. Reports found a combination of visitors and students misbehaving, drinking to excess, and a high number of injuries and safety concerns.
To curb the negative traditions, Penn State officials put together a committee to find a solution. They came up with an unusual approach... pay the bars not to serve alcohol. Using money garnered from past State Patty's days parking violations, the committee has been able to work with a number of bars to pay for the lost revenue and keep them from serving alcohol. The Greek community was also required to keep it a dry weekend with no parties allowed.
Why is the committee taking such an atypical approach? The numbers.
If you were on the committee, would you have agreed with the decision or what would you have suggested they do to reduce the dangerous behaviors?