Penn State Alum Partner With Sexual Assault Network Amid Scandal
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Many Penn State alums have just looked on helplessly, full of emotion, as they cling onto what they know to be true about their beloved University.
"For me personally, (I'm) very saddened, very empty," Middle Tennessee Penn State Alumni Chapter President Lisa Fultz said. "Penn State is a community of people who love the school, love the education they got there, the time that they spent at the University and the connection we feel to other alumni."
Even in the midst of the sexual abuse convictions of former football assistant Jerry Sandusky and a possible cover up by school officials.
"Our thoughts, our prayers, our concerns are totally with the victims. That's not going to go away," Fultz said. "So what could we do as a group to have the most impact?"
In response to the scandal, the Nashville Penn Staters began fundraising for the Sexual Assault Center (SAC).
"Our call volume tripled since Penn State," Sharon Travis, SAC Education Manager explained. "Our waiting list, we didn't have a waiting list before. We have a waiting list that's three months long now."
The Center helps about 700 clients a year, whether they have insurance or not. At least half are children. Many others are adults who were assaulted as a child. Donations help with counseling, remediation and group therapy.
"They face the trauma. Once you go into that space they let it go and then they move forward in a healthy way and give back," Travis said.
While nothing can be done about the past maybe now together, they can impact the future.
"We're not going to turn away," Fultz said. "We're going to face it head on."