With the release of the Louis Freeh report Thursday, some Penn State student leaders think the healing process can begin.
University Park Undergraduate Association President Courtney Lennartz said though the report may have caused shock waves throughout the university, it will ultimately help.
“It is going to be opening some new wounds but with the Sandusky trial over hopefully some of the victims found closure and justice,” she said.
The culture of Penn State has been “secretive” in the past, but Lennartz said she is hoping that it will change now that the report has been released and there is some transparency. She urged students to speak up as much as possible and try to make a difference in decision-making.
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UPUA Chief of Staff John Zang agreed that students should be vocal, but they need to educate themselves first. He encouraged all students to read the report and learn as much as they can about it.
He said students need to keep doing everything they can to increase child abuse awareness and work to make sure nothing like this happens again.
Though Penn State’s reputation may be tarnished in the short term, the report will ultimately help with the healing process, Zang said.
“We need to divert attention from a few bad apples that undermined the institution,” he said.
Zang said Penn State has not and will not be about the actions of one man or a couple of men, but it is about the community as a whole.
UPUA does not have any concrete plans yet on how to react to the Freeh report, but Zang said the assembly will be as involved as possible.
Attempts to reach Council of Commonwealth Student Governments President Benjamin Clark and Graduate Student Association President Wanika Fisher were unsuccessful.
Lennartz said it is important for students and alumni to remember that things will get better.
“Keep your head up. We will move on from this and recover,” she said. “This is the low for us. Things will go up from here.”
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan