Penn State Students Question Alma Mater
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA—
A line in the Penn State alma mater is making students wonder whether they should sing it loud and proud -- or sit down and be silent when the Nittany Lions play the Nebraska Cornhuskers in State College, Pa., this weekend.
That line reads: “May no act of ours bring shame, to one heart that loves thy name.”
This student debate is just one small result of the case against Former Penn State Defensive Coach Jerry Sandusky. He is accused of sexually assaulting eight boys over a 15-year period.
Facebook groups such as “Penn State Alma Mater—SING IT LOUD! SING IT PROUD!” or “Sit in Silence during the Alma Mater” have popped up and are asking students to pick a side on this issue.
Jason Poblete, the student who created the “Sit in Silence during the Alma Mater” Facebook group, says he created the event for a reason.
“The point of all of this was to get students talking and to get them to do something, anything,” said Poblete. “I didn't care whether they agreed with the event and joined or if they hated it, I just wanted them to think and then act.”
However, he has since changed his mind and is planning on singing the alma mater this weekend.
Like Poblete, many Penn State students will continue to sing the alma mater. David Juang, a senior, said he will continue the tradition.
“I definitely plan on being at the game this Saturday and I do plan on singing the alma mater,” says Juang. “I think the last thing we need is to cause even more division. In the end, I think singing the alma mater with 110,000 other people, I think it’s important that at this time we remain unified as a student body.”
Amanda Goldstein, a junior, says singing the alma mater isn’t even a question for her. “Absolutely. Penn State pride,” said Goldstein. “Bleeding blue and white doesn’t mean just football. It’s Penn State pride.”
Danielle Van Gheem, a junior, said this is not the time for students to turn their backs on the Penn State brand and pride. “I believe we need to just stand tall and realize there is so much more at Penn State than to be labeled by one act of shame,” she said.
Ricky Rex-Groves, a junior, said it isn’t the football players’ problem. “I’ll definitely be singing the alma mater. I’ll be at the game because these players … they work hard and they deserve our support,” Rex-Groves said. “They didn’t do anything. They had no idea about any of this.”
Since the beginning of the scandal, Facebook has been a place where students have voiced their feelings. A status on Facebook by a Penn State student explains the anger and disappointment students are feeling towards the university.
“Penn State was the lead story on NBC Nightly News tonight, but for all the wrong reasons,” wrote student Eric Feinstein. “Shame on those involved for not reporting what they knew to the right people.”
Game time on Saturday will tell whether students will or will not sing the Penn State Alma Mater.