Below is Noah Karn’s full resignation letter, read by Christian Ragland at the UPUA meeting tonight.
Good Evening Penn State Students,
First and foremost it is with great sadness that, as of 5:00 this evening, I must announce that I will be resigning as Chairman of the UPUA Student Life and Diversity Committee. The past week has been a period of great introspection, and I am embarrassed by my conduct and the controversy it has caused both inside and outside our Assembly.
It is difficult to articulate the truly indelible life lessons I have learned throughout the past few days, and I have been humbled like never before. I have also felt hated and judged and defenseless like never before. These sentiments are not without warrant, however. The words I made public (regardless of context or my intention) are words rooted in hatred and ignorance. My egregious and careless use of them has reflected poorly on myself, my friends and family, the constituencies which I represent, our student government, and the Penn State community. For that I offer my most sincere and heartfelt apology.
As I have stated numerous times, who I am, deep down, is not a person who fundamentally believes the words I published. Who I am, is a person who was raised by loving and accepting people and who imparted those very traits on me. I am not a racist. I am not a sexist. I am not a homophobe. Anyone who knows me personally can attest to that.
The outpouring of support and understanding I have received from many of you throughout this difficult time has been overwhelming and much appreciated. To those of who have publicly or privately accused my supporters of “defending a bigot”, know that these people defend my character, not my actions. I stated in my letter of apology to UPUA that I would be in attendance tonight to respond to any questions that the Assembly or the audience might have for me. For the benefit of UPUA, and for that reason alone, I have respectfully made the decision to not come tonight. Our student government assembles every Wednesday to work for the betterment of our great University, not to host the public prosecution of one single, humbled, and apologetic individual.
Tonight’s assembly was never about me- consider my absence the symbolic manifestation of that.
To my fellow representatives, again I offer my deepest apologies. It has been my great pleasure to work with all of you, but an even greater honor to have become friends with many of you. I hope to move past this unfortunate ordeal and continue working for Penn State students of all races, genders, and beliefs.
To the rest of you, I acknowledge how sorely let down you must be. Contrary to public accusations, I never ran for this position to enhance my resume, accrue political power, clout, or popularity. I wanted this position to fight for the rights of all students, encourage dialogue about putting aside our differences, and to advocate for your rights. My deepest regret is that I will not have the opportunity to do those things.
Until next time,
Noah K. Karn