Photos and Story by Elizabeth Timberlake-Newell November 11, 2011
University Park Undergraduate Association President TJ Bard spoke to an assembled crowd of students and media, calling for a commitment to the Penn State community and peace, while still acknowledging the scandal that has rocked the university.
“We are eager for answers, and we will not stop until we get them,” Bard said.
But he also acknowledged that the student riot of approximately 2000 people that broke out the night before in State College.
“Last night, we watched as mayhem created a false sense of community,” Bard said.
Reacting to the Board of Trustees’ decision to dismiss retiring Coach Joe Paterno, students took to the streets, overturning a news van and shouting “We want Joe!” 100 police officers were called in to disperse the crowds.
Bard obliquely asked students to support the Trustees.
“We must stand behind those who have the best interests of this university in mind.”
All of this is happening before the last home game for the Nittany Lions football team, a Big Ten game versus Nebraska. Before the game, the seniors will be introduced. Students and fans have been encouraged to wear blue instead of the traditional white out held for Big Ten games.
“On Saturday, wear blue to support the victims,” said Bard. But he also wanted his fellow students to remember their student athletes and the university’s long history. “Sing our alma mater out of respect for our founders and the principles that this university was founded on.”