Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Reed, resident voice concerns

by on March 26, 2017 12:59 AM
Indiana, PA

Many people on social media over the weekend were calling for more to be done about combating the negative effects of IUPatty’s.

House Majority Leader Dave Reed posted on Facebook that “This event must end completely. It will take all in our community to make it happen, not just the university, the borough, and the township. Zero tolerance.”

He said by phone Saturday evening that first responders are “Doing a tremendous job with the situation they’re dealing with.”

While admitting that the nice weather was contributing to the number of people out celebrating, he said the weekend has “obviously gone beyond folks having a good time, having a few drinks and being a little loud.”

Reed said moving forward the situation should be completely reevaluated.

“It’s just a sad situation for the entire community,” he said. “I know folks like to place the blame on IUP, but the fact is there’s a lot of people here not connected here in any way, shape or form.”

An online petition at Change.org began gaining traction throughout the day Saturday, entitled “Concerned citizens against IUPatty’s events.”

As of 9 p.m., 721 people signed a petition for “additional actions are taken to diminish the negative impact that the annual IUPatty’s events have on our community,” that petition organizer Jennifer Rairigh, of Indiana, said would be taken to the Indiana Area Collaborative Team.

“I think I have felt like I was more unhappy how IUPatty’s has gone the last couple of years, more than people around me,” she said by phone Saturday.

“I just keep hearing that it’s getting better every year. I don’t think it is. I just felt like if I started this petition I would get an idea of how many other people felt like I did.”

She said she herself is an IUP alumna, and is not anti-IUP. Her concern rests with the crowds that are too large to manage and the rioting, she said.

Rairigh said she would be doing research into what other schools have done to combat events like IUPatty’s.

“I’m not suggesting IACT hasn’t reached out to other schools. We just haven’t found the answer.”

One common thing Rairigh said she hears is that it can’t be managed, that it’s just the age of the participants or social media and can’t be maintained. But she said not every school has this problem.

She said more residents should be brought into IACT and have representation. “I’m more than willing to help be a part of a solution,” she said.

She agreed with Reed’s comments. “Good for him, truly, I applaud that message. I don’t hear that message enough from positions of power.”

 



Sean Yoder is a staff writer at The Indiana Gazette. He covers Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Clymer Borough, and the Penns Manor and Purchase Line area school districts. He graduated from IUP with a degree in journalism and from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a degree in video production.
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