By Eunice Lee

Of all the holidays celebrated in American culture, one particular occasion seems to stir up the entire U of I campus. “Unofficial” is the official St. Patrick’s Day

celebration for the students of the University of Illinois. This weekend, the campus experienced yet another weekend of chaos. The color green seemed inevitable to the eye as students dressed themselves in St. Patty’s apparel. The ocean of green that fills the campus is simply the outcome of students’ creativity and support for Unofficial that was prepared for long before this epic weekend.

Weeks or even months before this holiday, students prepare to make their Unofficial experience a lasting impression of their college years. One way they do this is by creating apparel to represent their St. Patty’s spirit. From the beginning of the week till the end of Unofficial, students wear green to promote this St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Unofficial gives students the opportunity to produce their own designs and to make profit by selling them to other students. Those who purchase and wear the apparel then become an endorser for Unofficial to the rest of the campus and the Champaign-Urbana community. It is remarkably amusing to see the vast array of t-shirt designs that students themselves create. Google Docs or Excel spread sheets are utilized for online orders, and even social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to advertise designs.

Since the beginning of its time, Unofficial has made it a norm to dress up andcelebrate in all kinds of ways. Unofficial has created more than just a celebratory weekend, it ultimately created a pathway for students to explore and train their creativity and marketing skills to the rest of the student body. It comprises far more than just a “Happy St. Patty’s Day;” it involves advertising, selling, and participation to ensure an enjoyable weekend.

SOURCES:

http://www.tremendousupsidepotential.com/2011/02/carlos_boozer_signs_endorsemen.php

http://nativeappropriations.blogspot.com/2010/03/u-of-i-unofficial-st-patricks-day-shirt.html

http://pretzelday.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/unofficiat-at-u-of-i-from-the-inside/

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