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Penn State Letter To New Students Seeks To Reassure

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Michelle Durham Michelle Durham
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By Michelle Durham

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) – A letter sent by Penn State’s president to tens of thousands of new and prospective students at the university acknowledges the turmoil raised by the alleged child sex abuse scandal but calls on them to show the high moral character that Penn State would rather be known for.

Penn State spokeswoman Annemarie Mountz says the letter from PSU president Rodney Erickson, portions of which were printed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, talks about the reslience of the Penn State community and acknowledges the strength and compassion demonstrated by current students in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.

“We know there has been an enormous amount of media coverage on the issue with some strong opinions and conflicting information,” she told KYW Newsradio today.  “We wanted to provide our students and prospective students and their families with facts. We are still an outstanding university that offers a quality education,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mountz says, Penn State students have been hard at work raising money for victims.

Scott Tattar, a crisis public relations expert at LevLane in Philadelphia, thinks the letter was a good idea.

“The fact that they are comunicating from the president to the students is a sign that things are moving in the right direction for Penn State — that’s a positive,” he says.

Tattar adds that the only thing Penn State officials can reasonably do is be upfront, transparent, and honest.

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