Its been seven weeks since Penn State cheerleader Paige Raque was severely injured by a fall from a fifth-floor window in Calder Commons.
Despite an ongoing State College police investigation and several CDT articles, CDT readers still dont know whether the 19-year-old woman or other cheerleaders or Penn State football players who were present at the time were intoxicated; whether anybody will be prosecuted for underage drinking (a summary offense under state law); who provided the party-goers with alcoholic beverages; whether anybody will be prosecuted for providing alcohol to minors (more serious, a misdemeanor under state law); and what sanctions, if any, will be imposed by Penn State administrators on students whose unlawful conduct draws unwanted attention to the university while it reels from the Sandusky scandal.
Penn State administrators have coddled alcohol-abusing students for many years, so administrators absence from news coverage of the Raque tragedy is not surprising.
Actions of the State College police department and CDT are surprising.
Police have been unreasonably tight-lipped about this case and CDT personnel have been unreasonably passive about gathering and publishing relevant facts. Thats an unfortunate combination because it fosters the impression that shielding the university from additional notoriety is for police and journalists a higher priority than law enforcement and unbiased comprehensive reporting.
Despite the Sandusky scandal, the circle-the-wagons-for-PSU mentality endures and its not confined to Penn State personnel; its shared by at least some local police and news media personnel, or so it seems.