Sunday, March 9

Alumnus Evan Smith in Public Comment to the Penn State Board of Trustees

March 7, 2014 - Hershey, PA 

A few months ago, I traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to watch our men's basketball team play Duquesne. Our fans were greeted with some of the following chants: 

“Jer-ry, Jer-ry!”, and one of my favorites, “Hit-The-Show-ers.” 

This is the public perception of Penn State. 

Think it's just college students in a competitive setting? We've all been called "Ped State" and "Rape Enablers" in public,  online and by friends. Why...because we love our once-proud Alma Mater? 

This is what Penn State students and alumni go through on a daily basis.

As elected or, more accurately for most of you.. appointed... Board of Trustees, I ask what are you personally doing with your position of power to help serve the Penn State family? How are you helping us with our daily battle against this public perception? 

Public relations experts stress the importance of addressing the public within sixty minutes of news breaking. How did you apply this concept to preserve our once-sterling public perception? Did you defend those who work for this university? Or did you instead give in to the intense media pressure that haunts us to this day by silencing both Coach Paterno and President Spanier? 

Did you look past the media pressure and find the truth, or did you pay 8.6 million dollars to a man who was perfectly able to pin the blame away from YOU but couldn't find out that the main witness had gambling and sexual addictions.

Come on. 

Did you recognize Attorney General Frank Fina, with full subpoena power said Coach Paterno was not a part of any cover up?  What a great untapped opportunity you had to change the public perception of Penn State! 

By doing nothing, you let one of our school's greatest educators continue to be slandered while wasting an opportunity to change public perception yourself. 

Not learning from the Board's mistakes, Governor Corbett, with plunging approval ratings, recently appointed Mr. Cliff Benson as one of the 22 board members Alumni are not allowed to vote on. Mr. Benson served on Sandusky's Second Mile Board of Directors. Is appointing someone with Second Mile ties really a good idea, given the current public perception of our school? 

One of the principles that makes Penn State great is our sense of community. We are one massive family located in State College, here today in Hershey, and around the world. I yearn for a day when I consider the Board of Trustees part of that family, a trusted and valuable entity, as you used to be. But right now, most alumni don't include you in our Penn State family. 

Don’t believe me? 

Ask the incumbents who run for re-election. Groups have formed for the sole purpose of removing old board members and legislation is currently on the State Floor to change the makeup of your Board. 

So I ask again, especially you Mr. Myers and Mr. Arnelle, running for re-election, what have you done to change the public perception of Penn State? 

When you can start to answer that question then we can begin repairing the fractured relationship between Alumni and Trustees. We want you to be part of the Penn State family again. 

The roadmap is clear: request Freeh’s presence at a meeting as promised, apologize to the Paterno family, and take a stand against the NCAA’s tyranny. 

Stop fighting Mr. Bagwell's attempts at finding public information. Changing the public perception of Penn State requires the Board of Trustees to follow through with the transparency they preach. THIS is how you can change the Board of Trustees and the public perception of Penn State. 

Thank you very much for your time. 

YouTube link:  Evan Smith

1 comment:

  1. Bravo, Evan smith, for saying so eloquently what our dysfunctional, failed BoT needs to hear so abundantly. They have failed to uphold the best interests of Penn State and no longer have the support or credibility of our alumni community. And since that community comprises the vast majority of the Penn State community, it is therefore incumbent upon the 11/9/11 BoT to resign immediately and allow more competent, responsible people to be elected and appointed to the BoT in their place.