School spirit needs to be civil

October 28, 2008

By Graham Spanier

University and State College Borough Police anticipated that a victory over Ohio State Saturday night could lead to public celebrations. Unfortunately, many individuals among those celebrating destroyed property, jeopardized the safety of bystanders and police, and refused to disperse after police orders to do so.

We expect students to do better. Is it asking too much to expect civility and social responsibility? 

I have asked Penn State police to assist State College Borough Police with their investigation. I also have asked Penn State officials to engage in increased educational and preventive efforts so that such disturbances can be avoided.

It goes without saying that those who commit criminal acts will be held responsible.  Moreover, students will be held accountable for their actions by the University's Office of Judicial Affairs.

With more games and victories ahead we have an opportunity to demonstrate the pride and class for which Penn State is known. Collectively, we must ensure that such destructive behavior does not recur.

University and borough officials, as well as student leaders, will meet to discuss the situation and will identify more responsible ways to celebrate and support our team. Surely we can find ways to make all Penn Staters proud of our success and traditions.

(Graham Spanier is the President of Penn State.  An essay he wrote Sunday on this topic can be found at: )

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Last Updated March 19, 2009