By Sam Coren
Last night crisis spread throughout the Penn State University community over the firing of long-time Football Head Coach Joe Paterno and the swift resignation of University President Graham Spanier. The scandal surrounding the child molestation charges of former Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky blew up after it was revealed in a Grand Jury report that many of the incidents occurred on University property were not properly investigated. The lack of initial investigation by the University and law enforcement boiled down to a lack of responsiveness by Penn State administration after graduate assitant Mike McQueary came to Paterno to report catching Sandusky in one of the alleged acts. The University is now under investigation by the US Department of Education over the mishandling of the incident.
The news about the ending of Paterno’s storied coaching career was not taken lightly. After learning that Paterno was released of his head coaching duties at a media conference, many students at Penn State’s Main Campus flooded the streets of State College, Pennsylvania to voice their disgust over the Board of Trustees’ decision to single out Paterno. While the rioters who turned to vandalism and throwing rocks at reporters only represented a small portion of PSU’s University Park 44,000+ student body, their actions were captured and discussed by the Penn State community on social media.
To fully understand what was going on at Penn State last night you couldn’t rely solely on traditional media outlets, especially after their news vans were overturned by angry college students. Penn State’s Student Newspaper, The Daily Collegian, took to Twitter to report to the whole world what was really going on at State College and did an impressive job with their live coverage. As one of StudentAdvisor’s Top 100 Social Media Colleges and the university that just happens to have one of the largest living alumni communities, Penn Staters and those outraged by the story quickly propelled #PSUCharges, Joe Pa, and Board of Trustees to national trending status on Twitter.
Below are some of the top tweets from last night’s events:
Veteran Philadelphia ABC 6 News Anchor Jim Gardner tweets from inside the Board of Trustees media conference with the breaking news:
Onward State, a news source representing State College, PA and the Penn State community reported it was a tough blow for students in the student union who just learned the news:
The Daily Collegian notifies that students are getting ready to overtake the streets in support of Joe Paterno:
Senior Chemical Engineering major Christopher Shlemon cautions the rioters:
Senior PSU biology student Ryan Moraski weighs in:
Robin Smail, a staff member at PSU’s Education Technology Services, tweets feelings of heartbreak:
Penn State student Dylan Rappold reminds us not to ignore the more positive actions of the University’s students: