Fake Patty’s Day dangerous, should be regulated for safety

Fake Patty’s Day — the event on the tips of many people’s tongues. It’s the time of year when all the bars seem to open at 9 a.m., serving green beer for an entire weekend of consumerism and binge drinking. Many people love this day on the basis that it was created to see how much students, community members and people in general can drink, and that’s how it’s celebrated each year.

I have many issues with Fake Patty’s Day and what it stands for. I believe, due to what has become, a continuation of increased police surveillance and protection is needed for this weekend. Fake Patty’s Day needs to be regulated.

As the years go by, I hear stories about what makes Fake Patty’s Day so “memorable” — stories about being blacked-out drunk or the stupid things people did while intoxicated. When people are passed out in or near Aggieville and vomit is covering the pavement, you have a wake-up call that says this event needs to be regulated.

Open container laws need to continue being enforced within the boundaries of Aggieville. Minors should not be allowed in the bars at all. Since this is not a regulated festival, minors are prevented from going into the Aggieville business district during this weekend.

Even though there are many financial benefits of Fake Patty’s Day, there are more negative effects. The college experience in Manhattan seems to be focused on how much and how fast people can drink this coming weekend. People from both in-state and oftentimes out of state come to this, for lack of a better word, “celebration.” I don’t understand why this weekend is the pinnacle of some people’s college experiences.

Often, people under the age of 21 and non-partiers are considered to be the minority — people who don’t participate in and don’t enjoy Fake Patty’s Day. However, the Fake Patty’s Day crowd is a small portion of the Manhattan population. For non-drinkers, traveling around Manhattan or trying to get into a non-bar in Aggieville on Fake Patty’s Day weekend is a huge nuisance.

The argument about having more regulation and police presence in Aggieville usually leads to the assertion that the parties will just move to houses and apartments. I agree with this, but I think that police need to regulate and continually check these parties as well. Many of these parties are how minors receive alcohol and are the perfect opportunity for people to binge-drink.

By increasing their regulation, police will be able to issue more citations and tickets, consequently increasing the amount of money they will be receiving. More police officers could potentially reduce the amount of drunk-and-disorderly conduct or public drunkenness. With increased security, Aggieville will become a safer space for both people who are choosing to drink and those who aren’t. More police personnel will also allow people who live near campus or Aggieville to feel safer about having Fake Patty’s Day occur.

No one is at fault in the instance of Fake Patty’s Day. Call me a “Debby Downer,” but I don’t see the joy in my cool factor being based on how much and how fast I can drink. As someone who doesn’t participate in it in any way, shape or form, I continue to advocate the increased security and police personnel in all aspects of Fake Patty’s Day.

We need increased personnel in communities looking for house parties and shutting them down if they are serving to minors or if there are noise complaints. City ordinances must be enforced when related to drunk-and-disorderly conduct and public intoxication. We need professionals patrolling the city looking for people who were unable to make it home and are passed out on the sidewalk.

At the end of the day, this argument is about safety — the safety of the people who are participating in the event, as well as the safety of the people who aren’t.

Jakki Thompson is a sophomore in journalism and mass communications and American ethnic studies. Please send comments to [email protected]

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