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Local programs assisting sexual assault victims


Penn State has been rocked by a large number of sexual assault reports since the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke in November 2011. The college has taken initiatives to address this issue, offering services to those affected by sexual violence.
According to The Daily Collegian, President Eric Barron created the Task Force on Sexual Assault and Harassment in July 2014. The task force was asked to make recommendations to wipe out sexual violence. 
On January 29, 2015, the task force presented a list of 18 recommendations, including hiring a full-time Title IX coordinator and creating an office to handle Title IX violations. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. Eleven of the 18 recommendations are set to be handled by the office tasked with investigating these violations.
According to, Barron accepted the entire list of recommendations on February 17, 2015.
Penn State and the State College community offer an array of existing services to help survivors.
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Whistleblower intimidation at Penn State

Penn State Old Main Bell Tower. 

Photo by George Chriss//WIKIMEDIA COMMONS 



Corporate Penn State’s fortress of secrecy and whistleblower intimidation is starting to crack. It’s an excellent development. 

In a June 4 letter to the Centre Daily Times, Barry Fenchak wrote about an incident at the June 2 Penn State Town Hall meeting. An audience member “raised the issue of university employees’ fear of retaliation for reporting wrongdoing. In his response, Vice President of Finance and Business, David Gray, acknowledged what the recent university-wide employee survey confirmed: ‘that particular issue — sadly — was most deeply rooted within finance and business. ” 

Fenchak pointed out that Gray is responsible for several programs in addition to F&B, including the Office of Physical Plant (OPP), Human Resources, Diversity and Ethics. Gray is perfectly positioned to support and encourage whistleblowers. 

“Fear of retaliation for reporting concerns is also real and justified for

staff and faculty — non-tenure line and tenure line — across the university.” He concluded: “At Penn State, retaliation is not isolated; it is systemic. It is part of a suite of condign ‘management tools’ that are deeply embedded in this very hierarchical institution's DNA." - L.S. Finn 


But instead of acting decisively to set up and enforce whistleblower protections, he simply laments the sad situation for which he is primarily responsible. It brings to mind the maxim attributed to Albert Einstein: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don't rule out malice.” 

Further evidence for the malice theory of whistleblower intimidation is the February appointment of Margaret Gray, David Gray’s wife, as Penn State’s new Director of Local Government and Community Relations. Between the two roles, they personify Penn State’s corporate strategy: control institutional revenue streams from student tuition, public subsidies, donations, and endowment investments, and stifle or manipulate all attempts at public oversight by local governments and civilians. 

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Voices of Central Pennsylvania July-August 2015 Arts Festival Issue


IN THIS ISSUE: 10 Reasons to visit the Bellefonte Ar t Museum | A closer look at local Arts Fest artists | People are a work of art | Fast, sustainable pasta from Fasta & Ravioli Co. Read more »

Local Woman Honored With UNA-USA Lifetime Achievement Award

Charles Dumas's photo.

Norma Keller Recognized for Her Commitment to Strong U.S.-UN Relations

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FERGUSON A Historical Perspective

Ferguson, Day 4, Photo 26

By Charles Dumas


         We were invited to a class taught by Courtney Morris, Asst. Prof. Anne Marie Mingo, Prof. Paul Taylor head of the African-American Studies Department. It was a workshop on the events around Ferguson.  Several police chiefs and Penn State officials also attended. The students had examined various aspects of the events in Ferguson, MO, focusing on: the police, the media, state officials,demonstrators, etc.


            Much attention has been paid to white police officers, killing unarmed African-American men.  Relatively little attention has been focused on the community reactions to the incidents after they have occurred. Thousands of people in Ferguson and across the nation participated in demonstrations,die-ins, and other expressions of community action. Almost all have been peaceful, the people exercising their Constitutional rights to assemble to petition the government about their grievances.  I believe there is no activity that better exemplifies the American character and spirit. It is part of our DNA. But, how do the demonstrations in Ferguson and elsewhere measure against similar instances of collective community action? Read more »

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