Friday, November 18, 2011

PennState Crisis: Lessons?

When I first heard about the crisis, it was when the issue was just started to rise and Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier (President of Pennstate) was still a part of Pennstate alumni. At the beginning, I only heard about Pennstate facing a crisis. Later on I soon heard that it was something about a sex scandal. Truthfully, I was not very concern about the issue as we always hear about sex scandals and affairs in the news. It is true what Sam has said in class; victims are often silenced and will never speak out. But we do know that sexual abuse and assaults are common. Little did I know that it was such a huge deal for PENNSTATE when two most respective idols of Pennstate were involved.

*Joe Paterno (JoePa), the head coach of Pennstate's football team for 46 years.*

When I started to hear that JoePa's job was on the line, the first question that popped in my mind was 'Was he the one who did it?' Soon to find out that JoePa wasn't, really left me feeling that the whole news coverage on JoePa much more instead of the real offender, is really absurd and ridiculous. Finding out later that the university board of trustees had fired JoePa and the president of Pennstate really set an uproar across pennstate students.
*Graham Spanier, President of Pennstate before the crisis.*

The riot then quickly followed. The Candle Vigil was for Pennstate to redeem itself in a way and to show support of the victims of sexual abuse. We also managed to witness a very mature Pennstate when Pennstate lost it's last football game to Nebraska, but nobody was going nuts downtown like they would use to.

Being from thinking that this is just another sexual abuse case into thinking that Pennstate's reputation might be tarnished forever and into this is how it feels to be labeled and stereotyped as how muslims and middle eastern students faced day to day, is quite an amazing journey within a short amount of time.

The first thing that I've learn from this is how ridiculously everything is just about politics, well in my opinion that is. I do not see the reason why we need to bring in the higher authorities that actually did try to do something about the matter when they knew about it, while leaving the real culprit being the 'sub-topic' of the matter. Why do I see more people condemning PENNSTATE as a whole, condemning JoePa and the president compared to the culprit if he is indeed guilty of the charges? Very interesting display of politics, I must say.

I was only aware that this scandal could indeed harm Pennstate's reputation and the students when we discussed the issue in class. And also when the media started to ‘attack’ Pennstate. To add to that, class last week also made me aware of another thing: 'American' Pennstate students are actually experiencing what muslims and middle easterns had been experiencing over the years since 9/11. Despite being a muslim myself, I have only been in this country for 3 years for studies, hence I have yet to really experience discrimination if I were to plan to migrate and live in the U.S. for good. Plus, I am indeed studying in State College; thankfully, the community here does not discriminate as much as incidences that I have heard of in different states of the country.

Come to Pennstate, and you will know how friendly and peaceful this community is. Even cars will stop for pedestrians who might not be crossing the road at the right time or right place! Try crossing the road in New York or back at home in Malaysia. You are certainly putting your life on the line if you were to do just that.

Going back to what Sam said in the 2nd class to discuss about the crisis, I could not agree more with what he concluded in class. We should not just ‘Deal with it’, or face the problems that we are facing in life, but GROW from it.

Remember the sweet memories, but don’t forget the bad memories either; learn from them so that we may move on to look for new sweet memories :)
Hang in there Pennstate.
We are.... PennState!

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