Article originally posted on March 26th.
In the March 5 edition of Flyer News, I predicted three possible outcomes to UD’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. These were that there would be a showdown between students and administration, that the celebrations would be relatively uneventful or that students would celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on a different date.
Ultimately, UD students celebrated St. Patrick’s Day both on the holiday – March 17 – and on the following Saturday March 23. Neither day drink resembled last year’s student celebration of the Irish Catholic feast day when police in riot gear had to break up the large crowd that gathered on Lowes Street.
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations began in full force on March 17 after 3 p.m. when students were permitted to return to their residences from spring break and lasted until around 7 p.m.
“It wasn’t so out of control but it still had the St. Patrick’s Day feel,” said Daniel Miller, a junior chemical engineering major who lives on Lowes Street and whose house was featured in the March 5 edition’s Porch Profile. “It was just enjoyable to be there.”
Miller’s roommate, junior political science major Jack Fisher, agreed and added that he thought Public Safety did a better job of keeping partygoers off the streets compared to last year. Also, Miller said students respected police authority more this year.
“I didn’t see people being belligerent toward police officers. Everyone was respectful of each other,” Miller said.
According to the university, two arrests were made on St. Patrick’s Day – one non-student for underage consumption and a UD student for disorderly conduct. Nine people were charged with minor misdemeanors, which included four noise citations. Two UD students and two non-students were taken by ambulance for excessive alcohol consumption.
Executive director of public safety and police chief Rodney Chatman “was pleased that an event like this occurred with relatively few instances where police intervention was necessary.”
A new security feature this year, at least from the perspective of multiple students, was the number of police officers on bicycles on Lowes Street.
Miller and Fisher and their roommates said the additional police presence contributed to the more positive outcome this year compared to last year.
Police also used the university’s Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) on St. Patrick’s Day, which is essentially a powerful megaphone. However, many students reported that they could not hear it.
On March 13, students received an email that the university was testing its LRAD in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day. LRADs have the potential to cause permanent hearing loss; however, Chatman iterated in a follow-up email on March 14 that UD has owned and used the LRAD for multiple years without any reported harm to students.
Other notable moments from March 17 included a “caravan” of Domino’s pizza delivery persons who drove down Lowes Street and the appearance of UD’s student bagpiper.
Students also celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 23.
Miller and Fisher’s roommate Marc Binkley, a junior criminal justice major, said he believes Barstool Flyers, a UD affiliate of Barstool Sports with more than 15,000 followers on Instagram, is the reason why students celebrated on both St. Patrick’s Day and the following Saturday.
Barstool Flyers took the lead in organizing student St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this year.
Saturday’s celebration featured UD St. Patrick’s Day traditions including “40s at 4,” when students drink a 40 oz. beer at 4 a.m., and the “ginger run,” when UD’s redheads run down Lowes Street.
But not every student participated in the celebrations. About a dozen students volunteered the same day for the Dakota Center, a community engagement center in the city of Dayton.
This may be the last year in a while for UD students to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on campus on the actual holiday. Next year, St. Patrick’s Day falls in the middle of the university’s week-long spring break. However, it’s clear UD students will always find a way to celebrate our traditional party day, even if it’s not actually on St. Patrick’s Day.
Photos taken by Christian Cubacub.