Dear Editor:

Over the past several months, Penn State University has unfortunately been gaining much negative publicity throughout the nation. As a current Penn State student, I am saddened, hurt, and deeply troubled by the events that took place on my campus, and words cannot express how sympathetic I feel for the victims of Jerry Sandusky. However in the midst of such scandal, I find myself obliged to stay true to the school that I call home.

I fell in love with Penn State at a young age, and the more time I spend there, the more it becomes a part of who I am. The education, experiences, and memories Penn State has given me thus far can never be taken away, and I find myself extremely blessed to be a part of such a great community. Anyone who has ever visited Happy Valley knows that we are more than just a school, we are a family.

As a family, we cannot let the acts of one man bring us down. Due to the latest report, most of us are shaken and dismayed that such powerful leaders may have steered us wrong, but we must remember that we are all human and therefore we make mistakes. None of us will ever know exactly what was discussed by our university's leaders or their personal rationales for their decisions, but I am finding it in my heart to focus on all of the good that came from them, one in particular, who is no longer with us.

It breaks my heart to listen to the recent condemnation of Penn State students, alumni, and faculty, who have clearly not partaken in any acts of abuse, but are rather now adversely targeted by mere association. Despite the recent scandal, the reasons we chose to be a part of Penn State in the first place have not changed. With a current ranking of 64th among the top universities throughout the entire world, we are still maintaining our reputation as a well-renowned academic institution. Through the availability of over 800 student clubs and organizations around campus, Penn State is still giving its students the chance to use their education to better themselves, and the world around them. This upcoming year, Penn State will still participate in the largest student run philanthropy in the world known as THON, which has raised $88 million dollars to date benefitting pediatric cancer patients and their families involved in the Four Diamonds Fund.

With fall semester only a month away, I am looking forward to going back to my life as a Penn State student. I am anticipating all of the great things to come from my school in this next year whether it be academically, athletically, or community based. As a student body, WE ARE stronger than ever and ready to show the world what the true meaning of being a Penn Stater is. WE ARE going to continue to pride ourselves on the legacy of our institution. WE ARE going to overcome this. Because WE ARE, PENN STATE.

Kristen Halenar

keh5282@gmail.com