Students distancing themselves from scandal as case heads to trial

mmorgan@centredaily.comJuly 31, 2013 

— The case against ex-Penn State administrators Graham Spanier, Tim Curley and Gary Schultz will officially head to trial, but some students are just ready for it all to be over.

Freshman Jennifer Prestipino was researching colleges at the time the news of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal was coming out. She said she just wanted to go to a school known for its science program, but while Googling Penn State, all she saw were links to stories about Sandusky.

She ended up making the choice to attend the university when her aunt, an alumna, gave it a strong endorsement, but she is frustrated that the school is known for the potential missteps of a few men.

Now she doesn’t even want to pay attention to the trial news.

“I’m done with it,” she said. “I’m sick of it.”

Mackenzie Stuncard, another student, said he expected the charges to be held for trial, saying it was pretty obvious that the case would go past the preliminary hearing.

Stuncard echoed the sentiment that the school should be distanced from the actions of the former administrators and former assistant football coach. He said there shouldn’t be a black mark on Penn State because the people involved are no longer directly connected to the university.

“It’s still a great university despite what some administrators might have done,” he said.

He said he will definitely continue to follow the news as it moves along and expects some buzz around campus when more students come back and more news continues to come out.

Another freshman, Mark Bachman, said more students should be able to distance themselves from the scandal as newer students are cycled in. He said because he wasn’t there for the scandal or fallout to this point, people his age are less connected to it.

As the news starts to reach a more firm conclusion, he hopes Penn State as a whole will rebuild its reputation and the university won’t be as connected to the scandal.

Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.

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