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Administration Prematurely Urges ‘Respectful Celebration’ If Penn State Wins Saturday

Penn Staters love a good rally, and this year is no exception. Between the impromptu clown hunt and the downtown gathering after the Ohio State game that resulted in arrests and a hefty tab for the Borough, the administration is on edge that a similar celebration may happen again if, say, Penn State wins the Big Ten Championship on Saturday.

Vice President of Student Affairs Damon Sims and Assistant VP for University Police and Public Safety Charlie Noffsinger released a statement this evening — Thursday Dec. 1, two full days before the Big Ten Championship game — about “respectful celebration in support of Penn State football.” The letter urges fans — primarily students — to, essentially, not destroy campus and downtown State College celebrating a potential Nittany Lion win on Saturday.

“But if Penn State wins this important game, let’s not spoil the accomplishment by failing to respect our campus and the broader community,” the letter reads. “The victory over Ohio State earlier this year was needlessly tarnished by the mayhem that followed.”

The two administrators are asking that students and fans instead choose positive support of the team and instead participate in celebrations that are, well, different than those that followed the Ohio State game. The letter also says the university will not hesitate to punish anyone who gets destructive if Penn State wins the game that is still two days away.

“A cause for celebration never justifies harm to safety or public property, and the university will always take strong action against those who cause such harm. Let’s enjoy Saturday’s game, and let’s do our best to encourage a win through our positive support of the team. But let’s also be mindful of the commitment that all Penn Staters have to the well-being and success of one another, this beautiful campus and the special community that surrounds it.”

I’m not superstitious, but I am a little-stitious, and if Penn State isn’t able to take down Wisconsin on Saturday this letter won’t even be relevant. Regardless, enjoy the game, celebrate the outcome appropriately, and maybe let’s just not climb light posts this time. You can read the full text of the letter below:

This season, Penn State football fans have been treated to a wonderful run by our Nittany Lions to a Big Ten Eastern Division title and this weekend’s conference championship game in Indianapolis. Penn State fans are among the most enthusiastic and loyal in the country. And as our team takes the field on national television this Saturday, we encourage everyone to show their support and enthusiasm in a responsible way.

All of us have reason to be pleased by this team’s success. We have cause for celebration, and Saturday may provide us even more cause.

But if Penn State wins this important game, let’s not spoil the accomplishment by failing to respect our campus and the broader community. The victory over Ohio State earlier this year was needlessly tarnished by the mayhem that followed. Students and others who engaged in that destructive behavior have been charged through the criminal process, and those students are likely to suffer consequences through the campus judicial process, too.

A cause for celebration never justifies harm to safety or public property, and the University will always take strong action against those who cause such harm. Let’s enjoy Saturday’s game, and let’s do our best to encourage a win through our positive support of the team. But let’s also be mindful of the commitment that all Penn Staters have to the well being and success of one another, this beautiful campus and the special community that surrounds it.

Damon Sims, Vice President for Student Affairs

Charlie Noffsinger, Assistant Vice President for University Police and Public Safety

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.

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