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President Barron Condemns ‘Violence & Lawlessness’ In Nation’s Capitol

Penn State President Eric Barron released a statement late Wednesday night condemning the acts of domestic terrorists who stormed the United States Capitol to disrupt Congress’s debate of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Wednesday’s events left at least four people dead, including one woman shot in the chest by Capitol Police. In his statement, Barron denounced the attacks and reiterated that violence is “never the answer.”

“The violence and lawlessness that occurred at the United States Capitol Wednesday afternoon are an affront to the values of our country and another distressing result of the erosion of civil discourse – the civil discourse that is a hallmark of the United States’ democracy,” Barron wrote. “I know many in our community have witnessed and watched this event unfold with intense sorrow, anger and fear.”

Barron praised Congress for quickly reconvening Wednesday night and working toward facilitating a peaceful transition of power, adding it’s a “reflection of the strength of our nation, even when our process is under assault.”

He emphasized that freedom of speech, free expression, and the peaceful and respectful exchange of opposing ideas and beliefs are cornerstones of Penn State’s values. Barron also encouraged Penn Staters to speak out against violence, no matter its form.

“It is our responsibility as learners, teachers, researchers and members of this society to not only put aside our differences, but to rise above the hate and vitriol and thoughtfully engage with those with whom we disagree,” Barron wrote. “Civil discourse is the central tenet of an institution of higher education and key to the continued growth and success of our country.”

Barron wrapped up his statement by encouraging Penn Staters and Americans at large to find “common good” within differences and work to ensure democratic traditions remain in place.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a junior majoring in journalism and Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza. He loves Seinfeld, is really into video games, and would wipe the floor with you in Halo. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ for bad sports takes or email him at [email protected]

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