Governor Corbett: Students are “Lost Story”

At the opening of last Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting, Governor Tom Corbett addressed his fellow board members and the public on hand. Corbett commended the Penn State student body for its positivity since early November.

“I think the efforts of the students have gotten lost in the media,” he said.

Friday morning, before the scheduled Trustees meeting, student leaders had breakfast with Gov. Tom Corbett as well as other trustees. UPUA president T.J. Bard, THON Overall Elaine Tanella, and other student leaders were able to talk to numerous trustees about the student body’s efforts and emotions over the past few months.

T.J. Bard explained how Gov. Corbett was shocked that the students weren’t receiving any press: “He was floored that the media wasn’t picking up on it. He said, ‘you guys need to have attention.’ He was frustrated that the media was focused on the rioters and not on the positive things the students were doing.”

This yearly breakfast marked the first meeting between student leaders and Board members since Jerry Sandusky’s arrest on November 5th.   “We got a chance to talk about the student atmosphere on campus,” said Bard. He added that the entire conversation revolved around the students and their feelings toward the ongoing situation.

When it comes to the administration, transparency has been a widely talked about issue. Bard said, “They’re very open to admitting that they weren’t exactly able to be open and communicating with the students, that students weren’t always addressed.” However, Bard added that Governor Corbett is “very in tune to try to figure out what the emotions are on Penn State.”

Student Trustee, Pete Khoury was also in attendance at Friday’s Nittany Lion Inn breakfast. He commented on the ongoing rapport between the student body and the administration: “It is imperative that we have this communication aspect of things.”

Both Bard and Khoury agreed that the Board is much more in touch with the student body than it was in November. “I think there is an openness and an eagerness to engage the students, faculty, and staff to include them in the dialogue,” Khoury said.

Now that students have finally made their voices heard to the Board, will they be positively represented in the media? With THON less than a month away, will satellite trucks line up outside the BJC or will the students continue to be a “lost story?”

“When the governor says something like [Corbett’s opening statement], hopefully the press listens,” said Bard.

The ongoing struggle between Penn State students and the media has been just as visible as their frail relationship with the Board of Trustees. In both cases, students just want to be heard.

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Ryan Beckler

Ryan is a senior in the Smeal College of Business majoring in Marketing. He is a Lion Ambassador who loves giving tours to prospective students. His favorite activities include distributing news and consuming Chipotle.

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