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Let Our Class Gift Not Shine Darkly

“Congratulations on your official status as seniors!”

The opening salvos of my senior year have been delivered. Yesterday, the Senior Class Gift Committee emailed the Class of 2013 to tell them that gift proposals were due on September 14th.

Now is the time for my fellow seniors to determine how they want to be remembered. The Lion Shrine, The Allen Street Gate, the Fish Tank in the HUB — they’re all gifts from previous graduating classes. Past students have even decided they wanted to be remembered by endowing scholarships to their descendants of the Penn State family. All are noble projects that have been created For the Glory.

The Glory of Old State. I know what some of my peers are considering. They want to establish tributes to how we persevered through the tragedy that unfolded in our community in the past year. The Sandusky Scandal is undoubtedly the darkest time for Penn State in recent memory. This is why our memorial cannot be devoted to this period, because we cannot commemorate the evil that has happened, nor the triumph that we seek. I can predict some of the ideas that my classmates will submit, and I can explain why they would be inappropriate for the time.

Paterno Statue II: There is no chance that this proposal would survive the committee. The executives are aware of the reasons why the monument was relocated. Even if the Senior Class Gift Committee were composed of members of PS4RS, the administration would never allow the project to move forward.

Abuse Victims’ Memorial: I cannot dispute the good intentions of this memorial. It could honor those who have suffered from a most grievous sin, and the spirit the community found to unite. I know that there will be multiple Facebook groups that call on donations for this shrine.

However, there are several reasons why this isn’t a good idea. Most importantly, it would serve as a reminder to sexual assault victims of what they had experienced. Penn State has already has memorial for victims of sexual abuse. The Center for the Protection of Children stands as a testament of the Nittany Lion community to end child abuse. Like the Kennedy Memorial in the nation’s capital, the CPC is also a practical memorial because it serves the community.

A Brazen Display Against the NCAA or Big Ten: I realize and share the agony that students feel against these confederations for what we consider unjustified punishments against the University. However, the class gift should be used to demonstrate the pride we have as Penn Staters and the zeal to present the glory to others. We should not belittle a tradition that dates back to the Lincoln presidency with an attack against outsiders.

Furthermore, I ask my peers to hold off upon submitting gag ideas to the Senior Class Gift Committee. They will put in numerous hours to serve their fellow learners, and these shams will only hinder their progress. Whatever proposal you decide to submit, remember that it is for the glory and for the future.

Seniors, what ideas do you have for our class gift? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Doug Dooling, Jr.

I am a staff writer for Onward State. I graduated as a Nittany Lion with Honors in 2013. Now, I am back in Happy Valley to earn a degree at the Penn State Law. Outside of politics and government, my interests include college football, soccer, Irish history, and astronomy.


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