Just 2 days ago we posted a lament about our university, Penn State. We've been beset by a scandal of large proportions, in which brand-protection by safe administrators allowed unsafe juveniles to be branded for life by experiences inflicted on them by a very prominent member of our football coaching staff, apparently over many years.
The famous, even revered head coach Joe Paterno, and our President (along with some others) were summarily fired by our Board of Trustees, when they learned of this. Then, protecting the brand, and the iconic JoePa, some of our dregs (every university has dregs) rowdied in the streets, adding a new ugliness.
But Penn Staters have long been known for high levels of social activism, and the top-enders here recognized the need to go beyond football and coaches when it comes to something much more important, in this case, pedophilia.
Our best are already experienced and organized for doing good things, and in almost no time plans were made for ways to honor the victims, and remember this is not about football. They organized a candle-light vigil in respect for and for protection of abused children. Thousands of blue t-shirts were made, using the color already designated for such anti-abuse activities, and thousands--many thousands--of our students assembled on the lawn in front of the President's office.
However, hundreds of thousands of the Penn State family don't live here. Do they care? Take a look at this immediate response on the web and even more poignantly, look at this on YouTube.
And then a pep rally for the game was cancelled and the candle-light vigil drew an estimated 10,000 (of our best) students:
So, while the media do their job and find the many more shoes that are clearly likely to drop, to reveal how much deeper the cover-up by the University and Second Mile were, a Phoenix of good may come of this. We've lost our legendary coach and our public-face President, which seemed like a heavy blow, but by the time the stories are all out, perhaps nobody will be left to regret that. Now Penn State needs to reform, regroup, reinvigorate ourselves as a serious university that happens to have a football team. What a good example and pace we could set, if the moment is taken at its current flood!
Maybe we could start by not admitting any more goons, and reduce our class size so we could give the deserved attention to the students who actually want to be here to learn something.