Campus unofficially Irish…for today

By Courtney Pischke

The last time you may have heard the words green eggs and ham, you might have been reading Dr. Seuss. This won’t be the case today for the University’s biggest all-day celebration – Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day.

If you’ve ever been to Madison’s Mifflin celebration in May or Indiana’s Little 500 weekend in March, you’re already prepared for the green party – whether you have relatives from Ireland or you’re just Irish for a day.

Popular activities on the unofficial holiday include consumption of jade-colored beer, matching personalized shirts and lots of Irish cheer.

Witty sayings and Irish references find their way onto students’ backs in the form of personally designed shirts. Kristin Mercil, Te Shurt employee, said the demand for green shirts started a week-and-a-half ago and has been steadily increasing ever since.

“Our printing room has piles of green shirts ready to be printed, and we had to special order them because we usually don’t carry a mass amount of that color,” said Mercil, junior in communications. “Anyone can wear a green shirt out on a normal day, but you wouldn’t wear a specifically designed Unofficial shirt any day.”

Mercil said she noticed the majority of customers in search of the perfect Unofficial shirt are female students, especially those in sororities.

“Upper classmen tend to use sayings that are inside jokes from the year before, sororities try to secretly add their letters without anyone knowing, but we all find out, and some sayings just make people laugh,” Mercil said.

Due to the demanding nature of this personalized memorabilia, Te Shurt often needs a week to a week and a half to make the shirts for large groups. Mercil said only a few days are needed to whip up shirt orders in groups of 2 or 3.

As the festivities continue and supplies of green glitter and shamrock stickers disappear from the shelves at Walgreen’s and Osco, the bars around Campustown are putting their planning into action.

Bars open earlier than usual today, allowing those die-hard Irish folk to start the festivities early – even if it means showing up at class a little “greener” than usual.

“We’re opening at 9 … but I know other bars are opening at 7,” said Dan Moeller, Station 211 employee and junior in ACES.

Station 211 is not the only bar with extended morning hours.

“We’re open to the public at 11, but there’s a private employee party from 8 to 11,” said Kyle Jackson, Kam’s employee and senior in LAS. “Bacardi just came out with a new apple liquor so I think we’re going to try to make green shots with it and we’ll probably have drink specials all day.”

Moeller said his personal plan of attack for the holiday includes two quizzes in between his drinking festivities. Although Moeller said he would be attending class today, he thought many students will probably choose to skip a few.

Jackson, who has been to Dillo Day at Northwestern University and Little 500 at Indiana University, considers “Unofficial” the greatest college holiday of them all.

“Last year I went to a girl’s apartment for morning mimosas and really was good to go by 4 o’clock,” Jackson said. “Unofficial is the best day of the year.”