I have Faith. We Are.

Today I am not sharing a recipe and it honestly won’t be my normal chipper post.

I have to say I have a heavy heart this week. My beloved Alma Mater is struggling right now.

All of the media and news that is denouncing Penn State, makes my heart sink and truly hurts.

I understand that some really unspeakable acts happened at Penn State. Things that I cannot believe. Things that are completely unforgivable. Things that will shake most people to their core. What happened, and the person who committed those acts, are terrible and will never be forgotten.

The problem I am having is that I have had so much hate directly pointed at me personally in the past week. I have had individuals call me a child molester supporter, a cult member, that I am turning my back on my social responsibility by still being proud to be a Penn Stater.

Listen, I am not supporting any decision that was made by anyone who was involved in the crimes that were committed at Penn State. Which to me still is unclear as to who all was really involved and who knew what and how much. Just because a report came out saying they “think” some people knew, does not make it fact. Last time I checked, in this country you are innocent until proven guilty.

I am not supporting the inaction of some of the people in power at the university. I am not supporting the person who caused so many innocent families harm and pain. I am not supporting any of that.

The fact that people I know, and some that I do not, come up to me and make statements like that towards me…is just not right.

I went to Penn State. I am proud to be a Penn Stater. I got an insanely prestigious degree from that university. Penn State is ranked among some of the best schools in the country not only for research but for academics in general. We have been named among the Top 15 universities in the country for public schools (the Ivy League of the public colleges). We are ranked among the top 1% for all higher education institutions worldwide. I would also like to point out that our football team is ranked #1 in academics for the BCS.

I think that shows that Penn State takes being a grand university seriously. So why should I not be proud that I went to a school with those kinds of traits?

Should I turn my back on my Alma Mater where I earned a degree that is almost second to none? Should I turn my back and not help rebuild what it is to be a Penn Stater? Wouldn’t it be hypocritical of me to not stand by my university when it needs my support the most?

Just this past weekend I met up with some of my girlfriends at Penn State for an event that happens every year called ArtsFest. It was an uneasy feeling on campus. People are torn and confused and utterly shocked at some of the information that is being put in the media.

Underneath all of that, there were so many Alumni that we came in contact with that just want to move on from this and start making things better. We know what Penn State stands for and it is nothing that the media wants to portray.

Do they show that we raised $10.6 million dollars for kids with cancer, or the fact that we raised $500,000 for RAINN, or any of the other foundations that we raise money for to give back. All of those things get forgotten when there is something more juicy to put in front of the masses.

Why do we not focus on the victims here? Why are we not focusing on the monster that created this entire problem? WHY are we blaming those that still have not been found to be guilty? And why is it even an option to punish the numerous innocent football players and students that had nothing to do with this?

There has been talks of shutting down our football program (the death penalty as the NCAA calls it) and tearing down the Joe Paterno statue that is outside of the stadium. He has already been stripped of many titles that he truly deserves to have because of his hard work.

What will those actions do? What will taking down the statue really do? What will changing the names of groups accomplish? What will making it impossible for the students to play achieve? Will it solve the problem? Will it make the victims feel better?

These are all questions that I think about on a daily basis since all of this noise has started in the media. You are entitled to your opinion about the situation. Please do not think that I am saying you should think like I do, I am not.

I am simply saying that is not fair to crucify the entire university and everything and everyone associated with it when 99% of the people tied to that university had no idea anything was even happening and want to help fix the problems and rebuild the university to what we know we are, instead of what outsiders think.

Put yourself in the shoes of a Penn Stater right now. I am sure you would be outraged just as I am, but would you walk away?

I can’t answer any of those questions right now.

All I can say is that I love Penn State. I will be forever proud that I went there and achieved my degrees. I will be forever grateful for the people I met and still love and keep in touch with today. I will be forever molded by the teachings of the university and what they TRULY stand for, not what the media thinks we stand for. I will bleed Blue & White until the day I die.

No one is going to change that. Not the media, not some monster of a man, not people who speak of hate and not anyone who thinks I should.

I am deeply shaken by the events at Penn State but I know that we will come out stronger than ever. I have faith. We are.

For the Glory of Old State
For her founders strong and great.
For the future that we wait,
Raise the song, raise the song.

Sing our love and loyalty,
Sing our hopes that bright and free
Rest, O Mother, dear with thee
All with thee, all with thee.

When we stood at childhood’s gate,
Shapeless in the hands of fate,
Thou didst mold us dear old State
Dear Old State, dear old State.

May no act of ours bring shame
To one heart that loves thy name,
May our lives but swell thy fame,
Dear old State, dear old State.

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Comments

  1. Patrick says:

    I love you sweetpea <3

  2. I am sorry that you and many like you are having to deal with this. Though I am aware of the news, I do not know all of the facts. This I do know…..we are all human, we all make mistakes, we are all responsible for our own actions. Those who do wrong should be punished, those who did wrong with them should be punished. Those who just happen to be associated with them should not be punished for something they had no control over. Why should all of the people who work at or attend or have attended the same place as this villain be punished for what he did? Does this also mean his family should be punished? I hate it when the wrong doings of one or a few cause all of those around them to be punished. Should Penn State be hated because some person or persons who worked there did wrong deeds? That is like saying all Americans should be punished when a politician commits a crime.

    I stand by you and applaud you for feeling pride in your school and your time spent there. You received an excellent education and made wonderful memories that no one should take away from you. What your school, our country, and this world needs is people working to make things better, more positive, safer, and happier. Learn from the bad and continue to strive for the good.

    Good luck sweets….don’t let them get you down! 🙂

    • Becky, thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. Your words are very touching and I am so glad to hear that people can see things the way I do. Guilt by association is never the answer working to make things better is truly the answer. Thank you again.

  3. Hang in there Raven. There are just so many ignorant people out there who just want to blame anyone for things in the world. I can only imagine how you must feel and I hope everyone can heal. It has to be so incredibly difficult for all of the victims, their families and anyone involved with the college. It just sucks that people are attacking you like that. Uncool for sure. How would they feel if they were in your position? Small minded people are in abundance unfortunately. So again, hang tough. You are a credit to your alma mater for sure!

    • Thank you so much. I am trying to stay as strong as I can. I agree that there are many ignorant people out there and if they stopped and actually spoke to someone from the university. They might see we aren’t as brainwashed as the media makes us out to be. Thank you again, your comment is truly appreciated.

  4. You should be proud of your school!! I don’t understand why people can’t see the difference between a few individual’s (horrible) actions and the school itself. It’s not like you all signed a code of silence when you went to school there… you knew nothing about all this sickening goings-on. How can people say you support child-molestation… they are totally grasping at straws and sick in their own heads. I’m sorry this is happening to Penn State… I know how proud you are to be a alumni of the school. Don’t let this horrible situation taint it for you my dear!!

    • Thank you so much Ramona. I don’t understand it either and I am so glad that there are people like you that can see the difference. It makes me feel better to know that there are people like you that understand where I am coming from. Thank you again for your support, means a lot. You’re awesome! 🙂

  5. Raven, I could tell you my opinion as to whether or not the statue should come down but what does my opinion really matter? And who would I be to tell you how you should feel. Clearly there’s been one criminal conviction for unspeakable acts and I do believe that anyone who knew but didn’t try to stop it is also guilty and should be punished. But I don’t know who those people are yet. In the end, it should have nothing to do with your pride in your school and your happy experiences there. Right now, their reputation has suffered but in the long run (not so long) it will recover and people will move on. My advice as your blogger friend is not to try and fight the good fight now but to let some time pass and healing occur. All the best…Anita

    • I agree that in time I think we will all heal. It just seems as though there is a lot of knee jerk reactions to a lot of things happening right now including people speaking out to me personally about how I shouldn’t associate myself with the school. Thank you for the comment.

  6. As you know, I’m not a Penn Stater but have felt a connection to the school ever since my cousin went to school there and also with his athletic achievements. When I went to see his last game, I had never felt such a huge sense of community and pride that people had in a school. My own school never had that type of community so it was very new to me, but also very exciting. The motto “We are Penn State” goes beyond introductions but really describes the Penn State community… Penn State really ingrains itself into you and it becomes part of who you are. I’ve come to learn that “We are” means so much more than just a chant. So when this news came out, I couldn’t (and still can’t) imagine the sense of loss and confusion that every Penn Stater had. I think the entire Penn State community is struggling with this. You are Penn State and you remember all the positive things that Penn State has done for you, but being proud of that doesn’t mean your excusing or endorsing what events happened or the people that let them happen. Like I can’t help but be proud of #22 and that probably won’t ever change because that’s something that means a lot to me and is something personal to me. Your feelings and your pride is your own and you have every right to it. Hang in there! Hugs.

    • Renee, so nicely put. Thank you for your words and for being one of those people that knows that Penn State is more than this. Hugs right back!

  7. I totally agree with you. I am always sad when one person casts such a negative shadow over an institution or program. 🙁