Thousands of students gathered and said prayers for the eight inner city children who were allegedly abused by former Penn State football staffer Jerry Sandusky.
Many who showed up on Friday wanted to express their embaressment. Nick Walters, a student at Penn State told reporters, “What happened the other day, the violence, that’s a few not right people, but this is what’s right, this is what the university wants to show and this is who we are.”
“It is more than football,” Samuel Miller said, “and you’re talking to one of the biggest Penn State football fans around and I’m here tonight to support the victims because what one person did is not right in my books,” .
Friday’s candlelight vigil was in response to the violent events that occurred on Wednesday night, where many students blamed the media for the firing of coach Joe Paterno. The peaceful protest turned violent and even Ashton Kutcher got in on the hipe, tweeting “How do you fire Jo Pa? as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste #insult #noclass.” After immediate backlash, the actor quickly recanted and subsequently “quit Twitter”.
Fall out over the scandal continues for Penn State staffers as the last game day of the season approaches. Assistant coach Mike McQueary was also fired and was reportedly the one who told Paterno of the alleged assaults.
At the heart of the scandal, Sandusky is free on $100,000 bail and reportedly disputes the explicit grand jury testimony of the alleged crimes, according to his lawyer.
Penn State officials have said that a “rigorous, objective and impartial” committee has been created at the school to review these types of allegations in the future. “Never again should anyone at Penn State — regardless of their position — feel scared to do the right thing,” said interim president Rodney Erickson.
According to vigil organizer Kyle Harris, “We are just as horrified, if not more, than a lot of people. We want to make an impact. We want to show these kids we care.”