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Yeah, Let’s Not Do State Patty’s During A Pandemic

Editor’s Note: Onward State does not endorse State Patty’s partying this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. This post simply reflects the yearly tradition and its festivities.

It’s been a tough year for everyone, Penn State students included.

We’ve needed to deal with COVID-19 regulations, online classes, and adjustments to the full “college experience” we once knew and loved. But that doesn’t mean we should throw all of our hard work away by celebrating State Patty’s this weekend.

State College police have already issued their annual warning to residents who may participate in the annual daylong festivities. It’s important to understand that this year is different than past ones, and there is more at stake than ever before.

In case you missed it, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. Just because vaccine numbers are looking better across the country doesn’t mean those of us in State College are out of the woods yet. State Patty’s partying has the potential to be a super-spreader event that could significantly impact the community across the board.

Community members have already complained and become worried about students’ actions in the fall. It’s certainly possible that some felt students returning to State College would do more harm to the community than good. Largely, Penn State students have proven that we are careful and considerate about our actions within the community. However, State Patty’s could change that.

There’s no reason for us to go out in large crowds, presumably maskless, and get drunk during a pandemic. Compared to other universities, Penn State’s done relatively well regarding its positive test rate and hospitalizations. If you want to celebrate State Patty’s, invite a couple of masked friends over and have a safe celebration.

I understand that we have been locked up in our apartments and dorms for so long. I also understand that we want our college experience to get back to normal as soon as possible. But there is a time and a place for celebrations like State Patty’s, and this weekend isn’t it.

Our actions now weigh more on the people surrounding us than ever before. One mistake could get you or your friends sick. Obviously, no one wants to fall ill, but if people act irresponsibly, that risk will only grow.

It’s disappointing we don’t get to celebrate all of the Penn State traditions that make Happy Valley so special this year. But we have a greater responsibility to the community we live in to not destroy it, and those traditions must come second to that. I love the State College community, and we should all respect the place that we reside in for four (or more!) years of our lives.

State Patty’s is a tradition that can wait a year when we can all celebrate safely and healthily.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a sophomore from Annapolis, Maryland, majoring in Secondary Education and minoring in Social Justice in Education. When he is not writing for the blog, he enjoys rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, watching way too much Netflix, and yes mom, actually doing schoolwork. If you would like to talk about sports or your favorite tv show, the best way to reach out is on Twitter @theowenabbey. All other compliments may be sent to

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