PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Collegian Wags the Dog (or God?)

Last Thursday, an article in the Collegian described the tension between the Penn State Atheist/Agnostic Association (PSAAA) and other religious groups over allocation of space in the Pasquerilla Spiritial Center to the former group.

Many religious student groups, such as the Christian Student Fellowship and the Newman Catholic Association, though supportive of PSAAA as an existing organization, are a bit uneasy about the PSAAA’s presence in Pasquerilla. Some think PSAAA’s office would be better suited in a non-faith-based building, such as the Paul Robeson Cultural Center’s Heritage Hall.

O rly? Sounds pretty dicey. But wait… what’s that? Now yall are saying there is no controversy? Check out this excerpt from a story published this morning:

A story printed in The Daily Collegian stated that many student groups have voiced complaints regarding the PSAAA’s presence in the spiritual center, but PSAAA President Daniel Farbowitz said only two individuals have complained and several have responded positively to the group’s presence.

Robert Smith, director of the Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs at Penn State, confirmed Farbowitz’ remarks and said more than a dozen people have given positive feedback regarding the group.

“Individuals have commented to us that they really like that we have the atheists and agnostics here because it would make for a better exchange of ideas, which it does,” he said. “They can’t believe that we have such a group here at the spiritual center and they think it’s pretty cool.”

Smith said he has received no formal complaints about the PSAAA’s presence in the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center.

What’s the deal? Did the Collegian just get faulty information or was it trying to make a story out of a nonstory? It seems the latter is what actually happened.

Here’s what PSAAA President Daniel Farbowitz had to say:

What the reporter did was take the views of two groups and parlay them into a story. It is a very manufactured controversy.

The Collegian itself reported that the reporter, <pig latin>atalie-Nay lumb-Pay</pig latin>*, has been suspended indefinitely and removed from her position as a religion and morality reporter. (Can’t believe that’s even a beat…)

* We don’t feel that it’s our place to negatively affect another student’s Google results in a pretty significant way, so we’ve obscured the name of the Collegian reporter.

Update 4/12/2009

We spoke to the Collegian reporter who wrote the original story. She argues that her folly was not fabricating the story– she says there are many students who consider PSAAA’s presence in Pasquerilla to be inappropriate– but that she did make a mistake by interviewing acquaintances.

And, in support of her claim, the Collegian did run a few letters to the editor that argued against PSAAA’s presence in Pasquerilla.

About the Author


Creator of @OnwardState. Big fan of sweaters.


More by Davis

Penn State and the Process of Life

To paraphrase Mark Twain: The reports of higher education’s death have been an exaggeration. American universities produce more research and relevant knowledge for the world at large than any other institutions I know of. Tuition may be too damn high, but over the long-run, undergraduate degrees are definitely worth the cost. But Penn State could be so much more. It used to be, I think.

Bonded in Blue, White, and Worry

43 Simmons


Penn State Women’s Volleyball Releases 2018 Schedule

Russ Rose’s Nittany Lions won’t play a single home match in September, electing to test themselves against teams like Stanford and Oregon early in the season.

Penn State Hoops Alumnus Joonas Suotamo’s Journey To Becoming Chewbacca Featured On ESPN’s ‘E:60’

Evaluating Tony Carr’s Performance At The 2018 NBA Draft Combine

Penn State Hockey Commit Evan Bell Wins Clark Cup With USHL’s Fargo Force

Center Ludvig Larsson Transfers To Penn State Hockey From Merrimack

Student Life

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Penn State Esports Wins Tespa Collegiate Hearthstone Championship

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Predicting Penn State’s 2018 Kickoff Times

As the Nittany Lions have ascended back into college football’s elite, they’ve taken the field at night more often in the past few years and avoided the dreaded early kickoff.

Career Services To Launch Integrated Career Management & Recruiting Platform

Penn State Career Services will launch Nittany Lion Careers on June 18.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

10 Questions With 2019 Class Gift Director Tom Beeby

Tom Beeby will serve as the 2019 Class Gift Executive Director.

Send this to a friend