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 Hockey Releases 2018-19 Roster

Brett Murray is no longer on the team after an uneventful tenure in Happy Valley that saw him score just one goal in 33 games.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Sophomores Start Season Strong

Penn State Women’s Soccer Beats Duquesne 6-0

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Student Life

Your Fall 2018 Sylly Week Playlist

Whether this is your first semester or last, welcome to Sylly Week.

While You Were Gone…

Involvement Fair Returns To HUB Lawn Syllabus Week

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.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

While You Were Gone…

Here’s a roundup of what went on around Penn State during summer break.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

What Changed In State College While You Were Away

With another summer in the books, here are all the changes to State College that happened while you were gone.

Send this to a friend