At the wonderful learning institution that is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, there are many students who like to drink. A lot. Unfortunately for them, the ultimate drinking holiday (St. Patrick’s Day) often falls during spring break, thus depriving them of the pleasure of getting trashed for the holiday. But, in a remarkable show of cleverness and business-savvy, the local bar owners created a holiday of their own. It’s called “Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day” and it is today.

Some rube’s photo album.

Some other rube’s photo album.

(pictures courtesy of the Daily Illini)

Well, those pictures were both taken, most likely, sometime in the early afternoon, and that’s what “unofficial” is all about. It’s a day for freshmen to stumble drunkedly across campus in the middle of the day, instead of in the middle of the night as usual. It’s also a day for the cops to make an annual “show of force” and ticket a few dozen people for underaged drinking. Their reasoning is probably that if they actually work on the problem for one day out of the year, they can feel better about not doing anything the other 364 days.

This year, the office of the Provost even got into the act. They sent out a massmail, warning people that today was the day, and that “student behavior … may disrupt classes.” CK has posted a full copy of the letter, which seems to actually make “unofficial” a little bit more “official.” The bar owners should be sending the provost fruit baskets in return for the free advertising. For more general, and hilarious, information about the UI drinking lifestyle, check out The Booze News. It’s one of the few aspects of living in Champaign-Urbana that I actually might miss.

  1. #1 by Mark Deming on March 5, 2006 - 1:54 pm

    I am in one of the above pictures. It was taken three or four years ago. The articles you linked to were both over a year old. What’s the point of your little rant here? And do you really think sources from *years* ago are good support? Should I write a blog about how unfair it is for women in the work place, and cite data from the early 1950s?
    I am in no way defending the ‘Unofficial Celebration’. There is plenty wrong with it, but the city and the University have taken a number of steps in the past few years to make the day safer and saner. Steps that are completely ignored when you reference articles that were published so long ago. You could have referenced the several articles published in the past few months in the Daily Illini, the News Gazette, and the Booze News. Instead, you have obviously cheery picked articles. Your post, as is, is utterly pathetic.

  2. #2 by benoc on March 5, 2006 - 2:28 pm

    Umm, bro, I’m pretty sure that was far from a “rant” about unofficial. Quoting myself: “It’s one of the few aspects of living in Champaign-Urbana that I actually might miss.” The only ranting I did in there was perhaps about the police and their gestapo crackdown, and the provost being a dumbass. Trust me, I was, and would be out there drinking with the rest of ’em on unofficial.

  3. #3 by jcbarret on March 5, 2006 - 4:18 pm

    Whoa, I see you’ve encountered your first “complete stranger lunatic commenter”. For whatever reason, people seem to love to air their grievances or just generally wank all over random people’s bl0gs. I think we should commission Amrys to do a social sciences report on same.

  4. #4 by Booboo on March 6, 2006 - 12:23 pm

    Yah obviously this guy didn’t actually “read” your blog. Plus I remember last unofficial you might have been drinking….I know I was….and will be for years to come.

  5. #5 by 1/2 2GD on March 7, 2006 - 11:38 am

    This is hilarious. I love when people get all worked up about something they clearly do not understand. (Did he not read or simply not comprehend your entry?)
    “Should I write a blog about how unfair it is for women in the work place, and cite data from the early 1950s?”
    Yes, Mark, you should. I would certainly add that to my blogroll.
    “Instead, you have obviously cheery picked articles.”
    Your cheery picking of articles offends my sense of pervasive melancholy, Ben.
    “Your post, as is, is utterly pathetic.”
    Your comment, Mark Deming, is utterly pathetic. You must have been a lot cooler three or four years ago. When did you turn into a gigantic tool?

  6. #6 by Don on April 6, 2006 - 7:16 pm

    This is exactly why USP should be abolished. U of I and C-U need to end this ridiculousness before MORE people die. Insanity.

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