A group of Penn State alumni will take to the Old Main lawn this Saturday to rally for the resignation of members of the Board of Trustees who were a part of the board in November 2011.
The “Rally for Resignation” will start at 10 a.m. on Sept. 15 — the morning before the football team plays Navy at Beaver Stadium at 3:30 p.m.
The group is also demanding for Penn State President Rodney Erickson and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett to resign because of their handling of the Jerry Sandusky case.
The organizers of the event are hoping for as many people as possible to attend the rally including students, spokesman for the group organizing the rally David Mullaly said. He also said that a large student presence would go a long way.
“This is about the present and future of the university, and they have a major stake in what happens to a great institution,” Mullaly said. “It is about leadership; the present and the future leadership at Penn State.”
The rally is scheduled to take place a day after the Board of Trustees hold a meeting where, for the first time in its history, they will allow public input.
Thirty minutes of public expression will be allotted to 10 people who pre-register their comments on the agenda’s website for Friday’s meeting.
The group of alumni posted the idea of a gathering at Old Main on several Penn State message boards before turning to social media. The “Penn State Rally 4 Resignation” Facebook page had more than 800 likes as of press time Wednesday.
Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship spokeswoman Maribeth Schmidt said they are not organizing the rally but support it.
Scott Kimler, Class of 1983, who is a member of the executive committee for Penn Staters Reforming the Board of Trustees wrote in an email that the organization feels that asking for resignation is unrealistic.
“We believe wholesale resignation by Board members is not in the best interest of Penn State, regardless of obvious failures by Trustees in their fiduciary obligations,” he wrote. “It is short-sighted and would leave a vacuum in leadership, were it to happen.”
Several faculty members as well as former Penn State running back Franco Harris will speak at the event.
Harris said he could not emphasize it enough that Penn State’s current leadership should resign. The hope for the rally is to keep pressure on those in leadership positions, he said.
Trustee Anthony Lubrano, who was not approached by the group, said he urges patience among the Penn State community. Lubrano also said he thinks the idea of the rally is “a great idea.”
Keith Eckel, another trustee, said he was not aware that the rally was planned to happen, but he has no intention of stepping down from his position on the board.
“My focus is on our 95,000 students and moving forward,” Eckel said. “And I intend to serve as a trustee dedicated to that purpose.”
Mullaly said he does not expect changes overnight, but said he believes that a large rally will work because the vast majority “believe extremely in the extreme.”
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