Here is Jay’s article from 2010. Jay is a bro, for those of you who don’t know.
[StateCollege] But to believe that this event somehow signals a new depravity on the part of our students is to deny the history of Penn State and State College.
I hate to break it to you, but Penn State and State College have seen wilder days. Not that it excuses some of the things that are happening now, but some perspective is needed.
A wise man once told me that the hardest thing to do when you reach 60 is to remember what you were like when you were 20. Upon further reflection, it turns out that previous generations were also pretty bad in their youth.
State Patty’s Day is filling a void that was once filled by The Sy Barash Regatta, Gentle Thursday, The Briarwood Bash, The Sailor’s Ball (which included eating live goldfish) and another event that involved eating live salamanders (what would P.E.T.A. think of that?). All of these events occurred in the Spring and involved—you guessed it–all-day drinking.
The main Spring event was The Phi Psi 500—a day long race where runners ran a road course through downtown State College and into and out of six or seven bars. The course was around one mile in length, and in each bar the runners would chug a beer.
I do not condone the behavior that occurred on past State Patty’s Days, or all the things that happened years ago. I simply raise them as evidence that Penn State and State College have had a long complicated relationship with alcohol. This is in no way a new phenomenon, nor is it likely to ever completely go away.
The truth of the matter is that as a person gets older it is human nature for the memory to get hazy at the edges—particularly the less-flattering edges of youthful indiscretion. They tend to look at the successive generations as being ever less virtuous in their behavior than their generation.
No generation ever held a monopoly on virtue—nor has any generation cornered the market on debauchery.
Having walked into the Bryce Jordan Center this past weekend as thousands upon thousands of students raised $7.8 million for pediatric cancer, I find it hard to condemn an entire group for what may or may not happen this Saturday on State Patty’s Day.
Amen, Jay. Amen.
cc: Ryan Beckler, Courtney Lennartz.