Despite the events of the past 10 months, Penn State community members still support the school, according to a recent survey.
Affinity Connection, a non-profit organization, collected the results from a survey they created regarding the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse case and Penn State, and how community members reacted to it.
“There’s a combination of negative and positive responses,” said Jodie Dello Stritto, vice president of Affinity Connection. “While some people do acknowledge that it’s not going to change for the better overnight, I think people do see the ability for the entire Penn State community to have a positive change whether that happens in 12 months or in 12 years.”
Greg Woodman, CEO of Affinity Connection, said they have received 1,200 responses overall, 7 percent of which is comprised of students and 65 percent of alumni.
Dello Stritto said she was not surprised by the overwhelming majority of alumni who responded because they have strong feelings about the school. She said the group will compile the results from the survey and release the report to the public, which is ongoing until Sept. 17.
Woodman said the report attempts to seek alignment between the different groups at Penn State and integrate their answers to find a common theme.
“The bottom line is what’s going on, a lot of people are saying they want to be heard, that this situation is so serious it’s going to take everyone involved,” said Mark VanOuse, also part of Affinity Connection.
VanOuse said other common responses have included people discussing the strength of the Penn State community.
“People kept saying over and over again, especially the students, that it’s like family. It’s community,” he said. “One response said something like if this crisis hit just about anywhere else, it would have folded them like a house of cards.”
Dello Stritto said the organization also received negative responses where the people answering the survey believed there was a lack of leadership at Penn State. She said they hope to obtain more student replies before it ends, because the survey was released in July when the majority of students were not on campus.
However, Laura Homich (junior-chemistry) said she does not find it surprising that only a few students have replied.
“I think a lot of students are probably sick of hearing about it and are kind of just waiting for it to blow over,” she said.
Dello Stritto said they have continued to promote it on Facebook and through other various media channels in hopes of receiving more replies from students as well as other groups.
“It’s going to take some time,” Homich said, “But I think the community here can really help.”