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Posted on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

University of Michigan warns students against irresponsible drinking on St. Patrick's Day

By Kellie Woodhouse

A trifecta of celebratory events taking place this weekend has University of Michigan officials taking steps to discourage over-drinking among students.

In an email sent to all students, U-M officials encouraged students "to show our maize-and-blue pride" by acting respectfully and drinking responsibly as the Big Ten Basketball Tournament, St. Patrick's Day and the school's honors convocation converge this weekend.

The email directed students to eat before and after drinking, pace their alcohol consumption, avoid taking shots and alternate alcoholic beverages with non-alcoholic beverages.


A group toasts at the Brown Jug in Ann Arbor during St. Patrick's Day on March 16, 2012.

Chris Asadian |

"I wouldn’t say we’re worried about it, but we take opportunities to remind students about being good neighbors," said U-M spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald. "It's no secret that St. Patrick's Day is often focused around drinking alcohol."

Fitzgerald said U-M has sent similar reminder emails during Labor Day weekend, when students return to campus converges with the holiday and, usually, the first home football game.

Last year during St. Patrick's Day bars along South University closed early due to large, and in some cases unruly, crowds.

The email, sent Wednesday afternoon, was signed by Laura Blake Jones, U-M dean of students, Joe Piersante, U-M police chief, and John Seto, Ann Arbor police chief.

The campus-wide note also offered students pointers on how to act, and what to avoid, when partying.

What to do:
  • Be considerate of neighbors.
  • Monitor how much people are drinking.
  • Control the noise level.
  • Be respectful of the police.
  • Leave your drinks behind when you leave a party.
  • Use bathrooms, not bushes.
  • Use trash containers, not the ground.
  • Make sure those under 21 are not drinking.
  • Stay away from open windows and off rooftops and ledges.

Things not to do:

  • Do not walk in the streets with open alcohol.
  • Do not allow intoxicated people to drive.
  • Do not play music, etc. loudly between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

To encourage students to eat breakfast on the Irish holiday, U-M is hosting a carb-loaded bagel breakfast from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. in three locations: South University Ave. near Ulrich’s, outside of the Union on State Street, and at the intersection of Tappan, Oakland, and East University streets. Dining halls don't open until 10 a.m. Sunday.

U-M's Central Student Government also is hosting a party on the Diag as an alternative to, or in some cases a break from, drinking. It will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Sunday and include free food.

The school also has scheduled several Big 10 Men's Basketball Tournament watch parties thoughout campus.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 6:09 p.m.

Last year at this time there were football players trying to tackle luxury automobiles, so the misbehavior bar remains pretty low. Just saying.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

Rolling on the floor laughing so hard I'm crying.....sure they're going to listen to this.......


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 7:53 a.m.

and we know the drinking for st pats day will begin saturday night.. i find it funny kids comlain aiut 8 am or 9 am classes but can line up at 7 am for beer


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

Actually, the weekend starts on Thursday


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

are you kidding? the "celebration" will start when classes end on Friday!


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 7:54 a.m.

oops typos should be "complain about"

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 3:37 a.m.

I'm gonna drink like a feral Wolverine and snarl at anyone who gets in me way.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.

How about all the kiddies leave campus..go home to mommy and daddy and act like fools in their home towns...ah wishful thinking.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

University of Michigan warns students against irresponsible drinking on St. Patrick's that the only day students drink......REALLY!!

Jack Gladney

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 11:29 p.m.

Why would the university issue drinking guidelines for an "Irish" religious feast day? Does it issue similar guidelines for Reverend MLK Day? Curious.

Kellie Woodhouse

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

Jack, I don't think it's so much about the holiday, but about the culture of drinking that surrounds St. Patty's Day, especially on college campuses (and doesn't necessarily occur on MLK Day) and the confluence of that event and the basketball tournament.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 10:57 p.m.

Hear that? It's the sound of a warning falling on deaf ears.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

How absurd. Everry student knows that one keg of Maize beer and one keg of Blue beer mixed together makes one keg of St. Pattiy's Day beer. Burppp.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

lol, I'm sure that e-mail will do a lot of good and get a bunch of people to follow it.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

I'll be at church Sunday.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

smokeblwr, so will I.

Josh Skodack

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 1:40 a.m.

I won't either


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

I won't.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

This year maybe U of M could have a crew dump the garbage cans on the diag say around 10:00 pm. Last year the kids tried to do the right thing but once the cans filled up the trash ended up on the ground. Same goes for all the trash cans along Williams. Get the city out there dumping them during the evening.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

Last year the diag was trashed by 10:00 and the cans were over flowing. I agree the city shouldn't do any clean up on the campus but the cans along East Williams belong to the city. Last year they were all full too.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

Why should the city pay to clean up U of M campus... does U of M ever pay to clean up the city?


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 8:23 p.m.

Why pay city workers to do it when revelers do it for free?


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

Ha, ha! "In an email sent to all students, U-M officials encouraged students 'to show our maize-and-blue pride' by acting respectfully and drinking responsibly as the Big Ten Basketball Tournament, St. Patrick's Day and the school's honors convocation converge this weekend." Don't they know that maize and blue mixed together makes green?!

An Arborigine

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

"University of Michigan warns students against irresponsible drinking on St. Patrick's Day" But on other days not so much?


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

Yay! Not only do I get to read the original email, but since somehow this is considered "news" I get to hear about it again! (Yes, sarcasm.)


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

@treetowncartel: Exactly... So you're not a student, which is the only group Sidney claimed as having received this email. The content is aimed at specifically at students, which is why it doesn't matter if people like you see it, and why it doesn't constitute city news to post a summary of it.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

M-Wolverine The impersonal emails that get sent out will not affect my lifestyle choices.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 5:25 p.m.

@mathgeek Yes, I understand the point of her article. I was simply responding to Eli's comment and explaining how as students this can be frustrating. When I read articles, typically I enjoy some sort of analysis when hearing about controversial topics. The exorbitant about of alcohol consumed at this university is shocking considering that most people don't assume alcohol abuse with schools as prestigious as Michigan. I think that Kellie could have made this article more interesting by elaborating more on the trends of how various administrations from top-tier colleges are handling alcohol abuse. Are college students abusing alcohol more? If underage drinking isn't taboo what about smoking weed? What drives students with education about the dangers of alcohol to continue to drink? Simply reiterating this article is not a very difficult task. The reason why the Ann Arbor News is know just an online "newspaper" is due to articles that lack any profound or thought-provoking analysis. It simply leaves the community wanting more.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 3:17 p.m.

@ Eli, not enrolled, but have a diploma in my office signed by Lee Bollinger. Have a good time this weekend, enjoy college, sleeping in and Go Blue!


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

@Sidney Since you've assured us that hearing about it now three times was unnecessary I'm sure you're willing to guarantee the message has been gotten by all students and there will be no alcohol related issues on Sunday because the message was received.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 10:29 a.m.

Sidney, The fact that Kellie is trying to get across is, not everyone that reads this story is a UofM student. Sure, it's not news to you, but to everyone else, it is. Get over yourself.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 3:33 a.m.

@treetowncartel Double-check your enrollment status, champ.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 1:46 a.m.

I didn't get the email


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.

Kellie, What Eli is trying to get at is the fact that being students, we have received an email in which all of the above information was stated. Your argument about the incident on South U is interesting-maybe including more of that stated incident would be helpful in classifying your piece as news. Furthermore, it could provide context for the citizens not involved with the University of Michigan. In addition, the 43,000 students had an AlcoholEdu test that was required before attending this University. Given that Eli is a student, the email sent out about this weekend's festivities was redundant in the first place. Regurgitating it yet again in a "news" piece comes off to the "43,000 students" as highly unnecessary. Please let me know if I can help you in the future!

Kellie Woodhouse

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

Eli, Last year police responded to a potentially violent and alcohol-charged incident on South University on St. Patrick's Day. We find it significant that the university is sending an email on drinking to its 43,000-member student body and taking measures to avoid incidents.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

And yet no one warns them against their irresponsible fashion choices.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

Time to get my Sunday drink on!

Edward Green

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 5:29 p.m.

I think they mixed up their not to do and to do list...the drunkest kids will be <21 year old.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 5:11 p.m.

Funny, it appears if they don't want people staying away from open windows and rooftops and ledges. Time to put some Drifters on the i-pod playlist and head on up to the roof students. The ability to hang out on the porch roof and to have a postage stamp yeard that accomodates beer pong court are detractions from the student high rise living that favor locating oneself in the ghetto's surrrounding campus.

Cole Bertsos

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

treetowncartel - Thanks for pointing that out, we've clarified that.

Jaime Magiera

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 4:24 p.m.

Kudos to the university for at least trying to encourage responsible drinking. Yes, it's an uphill battle. However, something is better than nothing.

Tom Joad

Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

The suggestions are hilarious...sure they'll be diligently followed


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 4:19 p.m.

Like the people who are going to be irresponsible are going to pay attention to what the administrators want.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 3:56 p.m.

I love how getting wasted in public is socially acceptable, yet when someone mentions smoking cannabis from the privacy of their own home, it must be stopped.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 7:39 p.m.

Not only that, but getting wasted in public can often involve vomiting in parking structure stairwells, walking in front of moving vehicles, driving while intoxicated, getting into cabs you probably shouldn't be getting into, fights, loud and lewd behavior, waking up with really bad hangovers, dehydration, etc., etc.


Thu, Mar 14, 2013 : 3:53 p.m.

Lets see....St Patrick's falls on Sunday, Bars open at 7a.m........yep a lot of irresponsible drinking on St. Patrick's Day.