Editorial: Priority: football or children?

By Laura Hancq
November 16, 2011

Timeline of the events in the alleged child molestation charges involving former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and the alleged cover-up by Penn State University officials.

Last week seemed like a whirlwind of emotions and news with the allegations against former Penn State defensive coach Jerry Sandusky. As college students, we feel a special connection to the Penn State community. We know how it feels to have pride in our school, maybe not as intensely as Penn Sate does because after all, it is Penn State, but we can imagine the betrayal and heartache felt by students, administration and alumni.

Unfortunately, it seems that this scandal is just beginning. Every day brings more horrid details. While the rioting by Penn State students wasn’t necessarily a positive reflection on the student body, imagine being in their shoes.

The school you love so much, the money you or your parents are pouring out for a degree that could now be looked down upon; everything is in jeopardy. You worked so hard to get where you are, to possibly get into your “dream school,” just to learn that your tuition dollars are helping to pay the salaries of corruption.

Adults must do everything in their power to protect children, the most vulnerable members of society, and arguably, the most important. Children are the future. They are our pride and joy and our hope for a better tomorrow. Anyone who allowed innocent children to be abused, so as not to damage the reputation of a football program, is at an extreme fault. The Loquitur editorial staff has to wonder, where are our priorities in life? When did it become more important to protect a football program than to protect the most vulnerable members of society? Do athletics trump our inherent obligation to protect innocent youth? Absolutely not.

We all know money makes the world go ‘round. It’s no exception when it comes to colleges and universities. In a school with the size and dominance of Penn State, athletics is the largest source of revenue. Athletic programs, mainly football, directly affect the amount of donations from alumni. While we know all this to be true and we understand that this is certainly a risky business, schools have to draw the line between being a “football school” and an academic institution committed to higher education. Education above all.

This is where we, as Cabrini students, have the utmost gratitude for the Cabrini experience. Cabrini believes in an education of the mind and the heart. We can see it in the administration, athletics, student body, faculty and visitors that come to campus. Cabrini defines the “Education of the Heart,” as being “dedicated to academic excellence, leadership development and commitment to social justice.”

It is without a doubt that athletics can make for an incredible college experience, for players and fans alike. However, nothing is more important than protecting human life and dignity, especially that of children.

The Loquitur editorial staff applauds the members of the Penn State community who have chosen to commit themselves to pray for the victims, fundraising for organizations dedicated to ending child abuse and the rebuilding of their community. Penn State will be strong once again. The strong, moral and educated will put the university on their shoulders in order to rise from the corruption and continue on the path to academic excellence and community.

We are…with you.

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Laura Hancq

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