St. Patrick’s not cultural celebration

by | Mar 13, 2015 | Life

Nadia Monaco
Life Reporter

Jake Mandel might be too busy to attend any “pancake-keggers” this St. Patrick’s Day.

Mandel, a Humber College student in the Fire Fighter Training and Education program, like many other students, usually celebrates St. Patrick’s Day by attending a party or kegger, the pancake version of which at Laurier University features flapjacks with the alcohol.

But this year his homework may be getting in the way.

“I usually go to Waterloo for some ‘pancake-keggers’ because it gets crazy there, but this year I’m pretty busy with school so I don’t know if I’ll get a chance,” Mandel said.

A holiday ostensibly centred on Irish culture, St. Patrick’s Day has become a green beer drinking celebration among young people and students.

Sinead Brown, member of the executive committee for the St. Patrick’s Parade Society of Toronto, said most people might not know the history of St. Patrick’s Day.

The holiday commemorates the patron saint of Ireland, but for most, it’s a fun day to join in on the celebrations.

“It’s celebrated by the Irish community but everyone is welcome to celebrate and I think that’s what’s made it such a popular holiday…like the popular saying ‘everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s day,’” Brown said.

Like many North American celebrants, Mandel is unsure of the complete history of the holiday, but marks the day.

“In our culture today, it seems to me like it’s just an excuse to throw some ‘breakfast –keggers’ and party all day,” Mandel said.

Rob Kilfoyle, director of Public Safety at Humber College, believes it is important to remind students who use the day as an excuse to go out and party to drink responsibly.

Kilfoyle said at this holiday, like Halloween and Frosh Week, there tends to be more social pressure to drink excessively.

“We just want to remind folks that they need to be mindful of the amount they drink and pace themselves properly and watch out for their friends,” he said.

Kilfoyle describes how it’s a constant concern but when events for St. Patrick’s Day, or another special event are happening on campus, it’s an opportune time for Public Safety staff to remind students they don’t have to over-consume alcohol to have a good time.

“With excessive drinking comes other problems, so we’re just trying to help mitigate some of the issues that might present themselves,” Kilfoyle said.