Celebrations should be expressions of joy, not destruction. Behavior of the
kind exhibited after the Red Sox win is unacceptable and cannot be
tolerated. I would like to say that the actual perpetrators will be brought to justice, but that is hard to achieve. We will continue to seek them out. However, I disagree with those who say that the vandals were only a handful and no one else was at fault. If you were there — and whether or
not you intended it — you should know that you participated by your presence, by your chants, and by your tacit approval. If you were there, you were part of the problem.
The majority of PSU students, who were elsewhere, have you to thank for the damage that has been done even beyond the physical damage. Your parents and future employers have read the reports, and the reputation of this institution has been damaged, thereby diminishing the value of your degree.
I will do everything I can to repair that damage and to ensure that it will not recur.
It is hard to imagine that some students would think that others in the host community and beyond would view what happened as merely high spirits. The truth is that, in spite of significant preparation for this event, we did
not prevent what happened; but in the final analysis the only people who can prevent such occurrences are students themselves by not joining the crowd. Huge police presence encourages confrontation. Minimal police presence implies lack of care. We chose a middle route. Alternative events are wonderful, but appeal to students who would not engage in such behavior in the first place. All students who have ideas about what we might do to prevent future incidents are encouraged to send them to me or to any of the administrative team, anonymously if you wish. They will be considered seriously.
As to what we do in the aftermath of this particular event, the responsibility is mine. There will be no rush to judgment. There are democratic procedures in place that I value and will honor (those of your Student Senate, for example), there are ongoing police investigations, and
there are a variety of opinions about the best course of action. I am duty-bound to consider all the information, advice, and opinions and make an informed decision. I will not act until I have heard from these constituencies, and I will let you know then how we will proceed.
Sara Jayne Steen