Over the past 12 months, a lot has happened in State College, making it a year to remember. From the start of the “Hackenberg Era,” to eLion crashing for senior scheduling, to a past professors getting in a heated argument with the Willard Preacher, there has been good news, bad news, and just straight-up funny news spreading around the University. Here is just a small sample of everything we have been through in 2013, the good, the bad, and the funny.
This September was a very good month in State College. The month started with the return of Aaron Carter. The singer and younger brother to Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter performed in the spring last year but clearly had to come back for more, and this time at Levels. The club felt like 2001 again as Aaron performed such throwback songs as “I Want Candy” and “Aaron’s Party.”
Speaking of good songs, one of the best songs to ever grace Beaver Stadium made a special return in the middle of September at the home game against Kent State. As the student section freaked out with screams and shouts of “It’s back!!!” Sweet Caroline was played for the first time since the 2011 season. This felt like one of the first time that things were getting back to the way they used to be at dear old State.
September wrapped up with Homecoming weekend being taken over by the happiest 5k on the planet. The Color Run was held in State College this year with the race running itself right through the middle of campus. What’s more fun than watching kids covered in red, blue, pink and orange colored powder run around outside your window? Well, for one thing, being a part of the event was probably a lot more fun, at least that is what 10,000 participants probably thought!
Just after September ended, the Eisenhower Auditorium was graced with the presence of my favorite gymnast (and biggest celebrity crush too), Shawn Johnson. The 2008 Olympic Gold medalist and more recently the 2012 Dancing with the Stars winner spoke to a packed audience of students and community members. Just another reason why I love the concerts and speakers that this University sponsors!
THON 2013 was a great success with the final reveal showing that we surpassed last year’s total by more than $1.5 million and brought the overall total for the Four Diamonds Fund to more than $100 million for the kids. But the fact that students were developing symptoms of hypothermia while waiting in line to get in the BJC did not make for a good end to THON. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt and plans are already in place for THON 2014 to make sure nothing like that happens again.
2013 was not a good year for Ticketmaster, especially in a very clutch moment and for a very special game. Ticketmaster first crashed just as the freshman football season ticket sales were beginning, causing mass chaos to ensue. Then later on in the year, Penn State Athletics reported that the Ticketmaster glitch over the summer caused them to oversell student tickets for the Michigan game. Thankfully, 1,100 compensation packages were offered to the students, which were grabbed up in a little over a day.
For the last few weeks of the fall semester, the HUB Late Night movies have not been offered to the students. Apparently, part of the projector has not been working properly for a while now, and ARHS decided to officially end the weekend movies until the holiday break. Luckily for us, plans to fix the projectors were made over break, and the once popular weekly event should be back in business next semester!
There have been many different responses to the Penn State Lives Here advertising campaign both good and bad, but mostly bad. I am not going to share my beliefs; I am merely here to say the campaign cost a lot of money (more than $800,000) and needed a tour to explain its goal. Recently, the signs that hung from many of the major buildings in State College were taken down and put into storage, so it looks like the end it near for this campaign.
With the end of the Penn State Lives Here advertising campaign in sight, the signs on Pattee Library, the Sackett Building, and Rec Hall were all taken down recently…or so we thought. Turns out, the sign on the Sackett Building was stolen. When OPP went around collecting the signs, it was reported that the $1,700 Sackett sign was already gone. There are no police leads so far and the Facebook community has already rejoiced in the news.
Over the summer, State College received “one of the largest non-tropical storms in 20 years,” according to AccuWeather meteorologist Mike Piggot. The streets downtown were flooded with rain water from the past few days, so much that locals were seen swimming and boating through the small rivers. Good thing the flooding happened during the summer, I can’t imagine the absurdities that would have happened during the semester.
Some fans of opposing teams can be annoying, but one Michigan fan at the Penn State vs Michigan game this year crossed the line and paid the price. From an eyewitness report, one Michigan fan that was standing with his buddy in the stands became confrontational with the students who surrounded him. At one point after Michigan scored, he began taunting everyone. That’s when security came in and attempted to escort him away before he grabbed on to the railing, refused to leave, took some swings at the state police, and got pepper sprayed in the face before being dragged out. It’s true what they say: A picture can say a thousand words.
After a video of Jeremy Fry, a Celtics Fan who exploded into song and dance to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” at a Celtic game went viral four years ago, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to do the same. That’s exactly what Devon Fields did in the new Pegula Arena. It doesn’t quite stand up to Fry’s version, but it’s still plenty entertaining.