Wildcats get their jig on



Molly Borgese

Green beer and green shots attracted university students as early as 7 a.m. this past Tuesday, March 17 at Maloney’s Pub in Bryn Mawr.  Those of legal drinking age commemorated the life of Saint Patrick, honoring the Irish roots many Wildcats possess, hailing from many Irish Catholic families of New York and New Jersey.  Up and down Lancaster Avenue, the Irish-named bars, Erin’s Pub, Kelly’s Taproom, and Maloney’s Pub served up a celebration.  Some students went early.  Some students went late.  Some even went to class with a little bit of a “happy” demeanor.   

Attracting numerous university students, ages 21 and up, the Main Line bars drew crowds throughout the morning, noon, and night this past March 17.  One in particular, Maloney’s Pub located on 1009 W. Lancaster Ave has been opening its doors and its beer taps at 7 a.m. since the year 2004.

Continuing an eleven year tradition, Maloney’s Pub has provided early birds with free Pub t-shirts and a friendly place to celebrate.  The day was filled with green-colored beer and shots, an Irish flag inspired beer-pong table and festive Irish music for students of legal drinking age to get their Irish “jig” on.

Seniors and juniors flocked to Maloney’s Pub as early as 6:45  a.m. awaiting the opening of the pub doors.  However, as our university holds a high academically minded reputation, students for the majority still attended their full class schedules for the day, thus maintaining our important campus-wide “work hard, play hard” attitude.  Numerous professors reported normal attendance rates this morning in classes. 

Stopping for a beer before or after class, Wildcats celebrated both our recent men’s basketball Big East Championship title as well as our selection as the No. 1 seed in the east region of the NCAA National tournament.

Senior Connor Kistler explains that he proudly supported the Wildcats in last Thursday, March 12th’s 35-point victory against Marquette.  For that reason, his attendance on Tuesday, March 17 was necessary to keep up his attendance commitment policy for his Tuesday/Thursday class.

University students shared their thoughts on the celebration.  Senior Zoe Godown shared her favorite Irish adage, “Never iron a four leaf clover; you don’t want to press your luck.”  Senior Lauren Allingham proudly wears her Irish heritage stating that “as someone with Irish descent, anything green tastes better, even beer.” 

However, not all students participated in the early morning celebrations.  Junior Robert Bunting explains “there are few things I’d get up at 7 o’clock for and Maloney’s isn’t one of them.”

Eoin McEvoy, Fulbright Irish teaching assistant from University College Dublin, continues this semester to teach Introductory Irish II and Intermediate Irish to Villanova students.  McEvoy shared his thoughts on the celebrations. 

“From what I saw on Saturday afternoon, it seemed to me that the day is used as an excuse for irresponsible drinking in Philadelphia, much like it is by many at home. This is a sad thing for Ireland, because it perpetuates the harmful stereotype that all Irish people are heavy drinkers.  It is true that Ireland does have drinking problems, but moves are being made to address this: just one example is the huge and largely successful push in the last decade to change habits around drunk-driving for the better. On the other hand, it is a very positive thing for Ireland and Irish culture that both universities with Irish Studies programs and Irish cultural organizations around Philadelphia really embrace St. Patrick’s Day and use it to promote the Irish arts, culture and language.  Last week in Villanova, for example, we saw the Villanova Irish Dancers perform for staff and students, and this week we will be having an Irish film screening in the library, a reading by the Irish novelist Claire Kilroy and a lecture on the history of the Irish language. These events show a different side to Ireland and I would encourage anybody who is interested in St. Patrick’s Day and in Ireland to avail of these events to deepen their understanding of the country.”

 It’s important to remember, however, that many university students celebrate responsibly and remember the spirit of the holiday.  “I had a great time in the city this past weekend. Not only was it an opportunity to reconnect with friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while. It was a lot of fun to spend time off campus with other students my age from all over the city,” said senior Will Horyn.