State University made a declaration of support for its
nondiscrimination policy on Wednesday, amid a pending court
case that accuses a university basketball coach of
The statement was
possibly prompted by student activists who last
week questioned the university's commitment to its policy,
which officially protects gay and lesbian students.
"Penn State is fully committed to our
nondiscrimination policy in every respect,"
university vice president Steve MacCarthy said in the
statement on a university Web site.
But in the case
brought by former student Jennifer Harris against coach
Rene Portland--which accuses Portland of race, gender,
and sexual orientation discrimination--Penn
State lawyers argued that the nondiscrimination policy
amounts to an aspirational statement, not a legally
to head off critics by saying in the statement that
"nothing in the arguments made by the university
should be interpreted as a suggestion that Penn State
has abandoned its policy regarding affirmative action
The university is
conducting an internal investigation into Harris's
allegations, but many still feel MacCarthy's statements
don't ring true.
Penn State continues to sidestep issues by presenting the
public with statements that don't directly
answer the ethical questions," graduate student
Eric Patridge told the Centre DailyTimes.
State's gay association, the Rainbow Roundtable,
echoed Patridge's feelings and is planning a
protest march Sunday to coincide with the final
women's home basketball game. (Advocate.com)