Last week was a particularly heavy time for the Penn State community. The actions of one man and inactions of a few others have tainted the proud tradition of a great school. This controversy has spurred a variety of feelings and reactions — varying from concern and disgust to disbelief and anger. What happened to those boys is immoral and illegal, and I pray that punishment will be just and their healing complete.
The members of the Penn State community are struggling to make sense of things and to show the world that their school should not be judged by the actions of one individual.
But it was not long ago that our campus struggled through a horrific event and strived to show its true colors. The shootings on April 16, 2007, shook our community to its core. There was an outpouring of support from the whole world, and it was with their support that we began to move toward healing.
My brother is a Penn State alumnus, which makes the university my “in-law,” so to speak. Maybe this is why I so vividly remember the support they showed during our time of need.
Just a few weeks after the shootings, during the Penn State spring football game, Beaver Stadium blossomed not with the traditional blue and white, but with maroon and orange. The students wore it, the band played “Tech Triumph,” the players inscribed messages of support on the towels hung from their waist bands, and the coaching staff wore ribbons of orange and maroon pinned to their shirts — this is not a community that should be defined by the events brought to light in the last week.
In 2007, we did not want Blacksburg to be thought of a dangerous place, just as now they do not want State College to be synonymous with scandal.
Since 1973, Penn State has held a fundraising effort known as “THON” to raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer. This is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world, every year raising more money than the last.
In 2010, they raised over $7.8 million. This year a challenge has been issued to the PSU community to raise a whopping $50 million. They want to show the world that the Penn State community is a strong and loving one full of great people.
Let’s help our college brethren to meet this goal. Return the goodwill that they showed in 2007 to help with this worthy cause, visit Thon.org to make a donation. Also visit ProudToBeAPennStater.com, which is a grass roots effort to raise $500,000 for the victims of sexual abuse.
After all, our motto of Ut Prosim is not confined to the Tech campus, nor is it limited to our students and alumni. Let’s help our collegiate family to show the world how good we all can be.
mechanical engineering, class of '05, '07