It’s only just begun.
Because of the revelations in the Freeh report about Joe Paterno’s role in the failure to report sexual abuse crimes by Jerry Sandusky, the Paternoville (now Nittanyville) Coordination Committee released a statement on their website announcing the name change of the tent village that sets up before every game at Beaver Stadium.
The name change will certainly be a topic of dissent for Penn State students and fans, but if there’s one good thing to come out of this situation it’s this: some of the fundraising proceeds from Nittanyville next year will go to the new Center for the Protection of Children, based at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
Here’s their full statement:
The officially-recognized student group that manages the encampment of Penn State students outside Beaver Stadium for home football games has changed its name to “Nittanyville.”
As such, the group — one of more than 900 student organizations under the Office of Student Affairs — will be known as the “Nittanyville Coordination Committee.”
“This is a decision undertaken by and made solely by the Penn State student officers,” said president Troy Weller, a Penn State senior. “Our four major officers, plus our six organizational officers, met via conference call and after careful deliberation decided, by a vote, that moving forward the group will be named Nittanyville.”
“We have informed Penn State administrators in both Student Affairs and Athletics of our decision. They said we will continue to have their support, which has been the case since we became an official organization in 2006.”
According to the group’s bylaws, the group’s core mission is to “represent the body of students that camps out for football tickets at Gate A of Beaver Stadium. The organization works with University officials to keep the encampment a fun and safe place to be, doing so by helping the University formulate and uphold encampment regulations.”
Since Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1993, Penn State students have camped out at Beaver Stadium in order to guarantee themselves a rail-side seat – though students hardly ever sit – for a home football game. In 2005, a student termed the encampment “Paternoville,” and the name stuck through the 2011 season.
“Now, it’s a new era of Nittany Lion football,” Weller said. “And by changing the name to Nittanyville we want to return the focus to the overall team and the thousands of students who support it. We thank the Paterno family for their gracious assistance and support over the last several years.”
Throughout the 2012 football season, to raise awareness of child sexual abuse, students at the encampment will donate a portion of the proceeds from their fundraising efforts to the newly established Center for the Protection of Children, based at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
“It is important that we continue to do all we can to raise sexual abuse awareness,” said vice president Jeff Lowe, “not just because of our connections to this scandal as Penn Staters, but because of its importance in our efforts as people to help make the world we live in a better place.”