EDITORIAL - Penn State out of line in revoking student's degree

On campuses, students often get lost in the mystique of streakers. Generally, though, these people usually get arrested and fined for their merry pranking.

At Penn State University, a student has paid a dearer price. Jason Nowak, a Penn State alumnus, has been stripped of his 2001 degree by the university and has been disqualified as an applicant until at least 2003 for an incident during which he ran around campus in his boxer shorts. In addition to this, he had a mullet haircut which prompted the gathering crowd to chant the moniker, "Mullet Man."

The incident, which took place seven weeks before he graduated, occurred after a disappointing NCAA basketball tournament loss to Temple University. Penn State, in apparent embarrassment, has overreacted.

For a university to revoke a degree in this manner is wrong. Since when does a criminal record, especially the result of a minor crime such as this, have any bearing over an academic record? This is the action of a troubled university trying to save face in light of recent problems instead of promoting education.


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