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Statement from GSA President Jon Lozano

The events of these past several hours have resulted in a monumental changing of the guard at Penn State. The dismissal of a pair individuals that have for so long been two of the most prominent faces of our University in the form of President Graham Spanier and Coach Joe Paterno comes as a shock to everyone within our community. I am certain that the actions taken by the Board of Trustees were among some of the most difficult of their lives and that, even as some members of our community disagree with their actions, these decisions were taken with the best of intentions for the health of our University as a whole in mind. Amid all of the speculation, confusion, anger, and sadness regarding the fate of two prominent Penn Stater’s jobs, we may have lost sight of the original tragedy that caused these emotions in the form of the tragic abuse of several children. With this issue settled, I call upon all of us to remember these victims, especially as more and more come to light.

The decision by our Board of Trustees to appoint Provost Rodney Erickson as Interim President in these trying times was a wise decision. Having worked with Dr. Erickson in the past, I have confidence in his judgment and ability to help us through this scandal and help us all to create a brighter day for this university we all love during his time in this role. I wish Dr. Erickson the best in all his efforts in a difficult time for us all.

It is important though to take this time to reflect upon who we are as a University on all levels. In these coming days, I know there will be continued mixed emotions and confusion as we try to make sense of what all has happened and as the magnitude of the changes we have experienced sets in. All of us need to take the time to think about what it means to be a Penn Stater and how we can act from this point to improve our University and act in a way that will help restore the great public reputation that has been tarnished by recent events.

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