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Grassroots Email Campaign Urges Penn State To Change ‘Blue-White’ Attendance Policy

A new student-led email-writing campaign is demanding Penn State football alter its attendance policies for the Nittany Lions’ revised Blue-White Game event planned for Saturday, April 17.

The initiative, led by an anonymous student group called “Dark Paw,” specifically asks Penn State to let seniors into Beaver Stadium for the final spring football practice. Currently, only freshmen are permitted to attend.

“The decision makes zero sense,” Dark Paw’s website reads. “Freshmen will have 3 full seasons and 3 Blue & White games left to experience Penn State Football. Seniors, though? This is our last chance to ever experience a football game as students. The decision was simply disrespectful to Penn State’s most loyal fans who have religiously purchased season tickets for years.”

Dark Paw’s campaign essentially sends emails to Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour and an unclear number of Penn State football’s “top donors.” Its website said each message intends to let recipients know seniors are “getting totally shafted.”

At the time of writing, only 82 emails have been sent through the initiative, according to Dark Paw’s website.

The group said it aims to showcase “how loud [students’] voices are.” It also promised seniors “will not go down without a fight”

Should Penn State’s current plans remain in place (which, frankly, seems likely with the planned event just a week away), Dark Paw said it’ll host a “Seniors-Only Protest Tailgate” outside Beaver Stadium. The university already said it will close its parking lots and ban tailgating over the weekend to minimize unwanted gatherings.

“We’ll shut down this site as soon as Penn State announces seniors will be allowed into the game,” Dark Paw’s website reads. “Sandy Barbour—make the right call, because after all, the ball is in your court. Just let us inside of it…”

Interested students can visit Dark Paw’s website or text “WHY” to (775) 252-5729 for updates.

Last month, a student-created Change.org petition demanding seniors be let into the game gained nearly 12,000 signatures.

Dark Paw first appeared online earlier this year around State Patty’s. Its website claims the group consists of Penn State “technologists and artists who build cool stuff to shake things up at Penn State.”

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

By day, Matt is a senior majoring in journalism. By night, he's Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football lover, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza and "Arrested Development" quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate him.

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