Today’s American societal view leans more toward punishing wrongdoing after it has taken place, not taking strong enough measures to stop a problem when it begins.
The news of Joe Paterno’s death Sunday led some to praise the former coach for holding the most victories by an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. Others were angry, saying he did not take full measures in reporting his knowledge that assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was sexually abusing minors.
In a message last week on Intercom and at the All College Meeting, President Tom Rochon urged the campus community to take civic responsibility and report wrongdoing to campus authorities or online through EthicsPoint, the college’s anonymous and independent hotline.
In light of the Paterno scandal, Rochon’s message serves as a reminder to the importance of calling out unjust behavior to appropriate authorities as soon as one witnesses a crime or suspects wrongdoing. Taking such measures might bring solutions to problems as early as possible — solutions that shouldn’t wait.