Friday, November 11, 2011

Rebuilding who We Are.

I've written a post on Penn State 6 times this week. I've deleted them all as more information came out to the masses and my opinions wavered. This post is not to defend anyone involved in this terrible situation. I agree with the trustee's decision to clean house. Necessary. Cathartic. A gesture of how serious the board is taken these allegations. Hopefully, a step towards closure for the numerous victims and their families. That being said, PLEASE remember that the disgusting men involved in this situation, the ones that truly did wrong and immoral things, (not just a slip up in the procedural process...there's a difference.) are the extreme minority of the Penn State Community. Last night as idiotic enraged undergrads rioted in the streets of State College, many students held a candlelight vigil for child abuse victims and specifically the victims of this horrific decade of events. Please see that as your mental picture when you think of Penn State.

Now. My real post.

If you say the words "we are" and then pause for even a second around my 2 year old daughter, she immediately responds Penn State. Even if you are stumbling for the words "going to the store" or "out of bread" she will call out before you finish your thought, PENN STATE. She knows.

We are Penn State. We are the people who are sickened by this terrible chain of events, cover ups and deplorable behavior by people who were in positions to protect children. We are the fans, who for years have stood behind Joe Paterno and his methods. We are the fans who are broken hearted to see the grandfather of collegiate football be forced out but understand why it is necessary and good. We are the alumni, the families, the community that wants all who could have stopped this long ago to get what is due to them. We are Penn State. We are the majority who sat at home last night and cried tears of anguish and disappointment, watching the current students riot and destroy our beloved Happy Valley. Images of Old Main, the Lion Shrine, Beaver Stadium flashed through our minds as the news chose only to show the negative, awful images Penn State students are showing to the world right now. We are Penn State, the people who prayed for the victims the minute the news broke, immediately denounced Sandusky regardless of what he "contributed" to our football program. No contributions could ever out weight the immense harm he has caused. We are Penn State.

We have always been Penn State. We have a rich history, rife with pageantry and pomp. We have traditions and values that other universities envy. We have been the standard by which others have been measured for years. We hail the Nittany Lion, regal, true and swift. Our colors are bold, navy and white. Regal navy and pure white. We are intellectuals, financiers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, artists, musicians. We are known around the world for our contributions to society. When a job candidate presents a degree from Penn State, it means something. We are volleyball champions, elite gymnasts, golf professionals, soccer stars. We dominate the field in so many sports. We are so much more than football. Our buildings stand tall and proud, our campus sprawling and growing. We are aged, tried and true. We are beautiful. We are Penn State.

Now we are hurting. We are cut to our very core. We are Penn State, but we are vulnerable. But we will make an example of our selves. We will show the world that we will cut off the poison branches and grow strong, healthy branches in return. We are strong in our broken places. We are on our way to become a better, more pure version of Penn State. We are moving swiftly, making strides and attempting to right any wrongs we can. We know we did wrong. As a strong, upstanding community, we will do the honorable thing and fix this to the best of our ability. As Oprah says, when you know better, you do better. We know better now and we will come back.

We are Penn State. Like a phoenix, we will rise. We will redefine what it means to be Penn State. We will stand up for honesty, integrity and the good in this world. We will start anew and being a new era. A stronger era, a better era, an era of which we can be proud. We are standing on the precipice of history. We will chose what comes next and by God, we will chose the right path.

Stand up, Penn State. Stand up and let the world know that the real Penn State, the Nittany Lions from coast to coast and around the world, who believe in the good that remains in our dear old PSU. Stand up, Penn State and shout at the top of your lungs. WE ARE PENN STATE. We are sorry. We are forever sorry that these things occurred and we are going to right this wrong to the best of our abilities. Yell. Scream. Refute the nastiness that is circulating. Show the world that Penn State Pride is so much more than what it's being portrayed to be. Stand up, Penn State. Stand up and be counted.

This is our time, Penn State. This is our time to redefine what it means to be Penn State. What we are from now on is our own responsibility. We have a clean slate to write upon our own future. We must take this opportunity for all it is worth and become the absolute best version of ourselves. We must hold ourselves to a higher standard. We owe it to the poor children whose innocence was ripped away. We owe it to the families, we owe it to the world. We need to seize this moment and make it matter. We only have once chance to get this right. This is it. This is our time. This is our hour. Make it one to be proud of.

We are Penn State. The true Penn State. The real, the heart of Penn State. And we will always be.


Neely said...

I am so sorry y'all have to deal with this. I hate that a University is being looked down upon because of what a pervert and a few immoral douche's did. Stay strong friend!

LWLH said...

I have struggled with wanting to write about this or not, considering I'm from PA and a Penn State fan....but what you have said has completely engulfed all the feelings I've had about this.

I'm sad to see JoePa go and all of his years of hardwork and dedication to be diminished by the acts of one disgusting human being and mishandling by himself and others, though I do see why it is necessary and am praying for the all the victims of these heinous crimes.

We need to protect the children at all costs and need to rebuild the amazing community and university that Penn State actually is.

Anonymous said...

Your post made me tear up. If I was around you in real life I'd have clapped. THIS is what people should be seeing when it comes to Penn State. I share your views 100 percent. I hope they can stop focusing on the school and start focusing on the criminal soon.

Amber said...

Kate, seriously best post ever. I'm proud of you! Stand up for Penn State, someone needs to! xoxo