10 Rules for PA Society
1) PA Society is a marathon not a sprint. Eat full meals, wear comfortable shoes, sleep when you get back to PA.
2) You are at PA Society to be seen. People you know are on the train, on the streets, in your hotel lobby and everywhere. Assume someone you know is always watching you and act accordingly.
3) Just because the alcohol is free doesn’t mean you have to drink it. Soda, juice and water are free too.
4) You can crash parties but your name-tag will be hand-written. Don’t bother saying it was a mistake you’re not on the list. People know you crashed. They don’t care. It helps them feel superior.
5) Drinks and food are not free in hotel bars. Unless you can figure out someone’s tab or room to put them on. Make sure you leave before they get their final bill.
6) If an elected official asks you if you want a drink, it means they want a drink. They expect you to buy it. They may offer to pay. They don’t mean it. If you lobby them, disclose it.
7) It’s cool to say how boring the Dinner is and how you never go. Unless you say it to someone who always goes. Don’t insult the Dinner. It is eternal.
8) Elevator doors always open after they close. People have eyes to see. Don’t kiss someone who is not your spouse on an elevator. Ditto for closets, stairwells and alleys.
9) Every year there is a story about someone who does something very foolish during the weekend (see 3,4 and 8). Everyone hears about it. See the story, tell the story, don’t be the story.
10) When in doubt and if you can’t remember anything else on the list, always remember number ten. “Don’t be the story”.
Ken Lawrence is Senior Vice President of Government, Community and Public Affairs at Temple University and a veteran PA Society participant. He does not always go to the Dinner. The Rules were originally written in 2004 on a bar napkin but are even more relevant today in the age of social media and camera phones.