Last year, “IUPatty’s” festivities included thousands of intoxicated college students and two shootings, one of which resulted in a fatality.

What may just be Indiana’s most anticipated – or unanticipated, depending on who you are – event of the year is now upon us. 

It’s officially – but not IUP-offically – “IUPatty’s” weekend. The popular collegiate outing began in 2013 when a Facebook event was created after inspiration from Penn State’s unofficial St. Patrick’s Day celebration, “State Patty’s Day.”

Now in its sixth year, tensions may be at an all-time high. After multiple racial Snapchat incidents and conflicts involving IUP’s Greek life, IUP managed to reach national headlines yet again this month after a student who was removed from a religious studies class took his story to the press. 

IUP administrators are sure to be paying close attention to the weekend’s shenanigans in hopes of staying out of major headlines this week.

While last year’s incidents included two shootings – of which both shooters were not IUP students – many Indiana locals still remember the riots on Seventh Street in 2014 and the mass of people that formed in the Grandview neighborhood in 2016.

This year, with the weather being worse than usual for the celebration, it’s inevitable that the classic rivalry between landlord and tenant could return with the threat of property damage. With temperatures forecasted for the low 20s Friday night, student-rented houses breaking the capacity limit is bound to be a common issue.

If this IUPatty’s follows the same trend as previous years, the police and students will be playing a game of cat and mouse.

Even though outsiders to the IUP community seem to be a big cause of the reckless behavior over the weekend, it’s still important to remember that the disorder brought to the community can often bring an economic surge as well with the tickets given, cars towed and bars and restaurants patronized.

The weekend has the potential to bring as much good as it does harm to the community, so maybe it’s time for the university officials, local residents and students to come to some sort of terms with one another regarding the weekend. A simple sign of respect from either party can go a long way on a weekend like this.

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