Safeguard Old State Announces Non-Profit Status

Safeguard Old State has become a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation in Pennsylvania. The result of a decades long movement at Penn State for a return to the fundamental principles of higher education and the values present in a healthy university community, Safeguard Old State has taken the next step in its mission of advocacy and education at Penn State University.

Founded last year as a student club on campus, Safeguard Old State has in many ways already contributed deeply to our community in Central Pennsylvania through our continual call for a renewed dialog over the state of education and the rightful role of students in the life in our university.

Since our founding, we have received over 150,000 visits from some of the most discerning members of the Penn State family, from students to faculty, alumni to administrators, friends to trustees. Over the past year and a half, we have heard powerfully the message of readers and supporters from e-mail, phone calls and personal meetings.

Now, as the Safeguard Old State movement goes non-profit, we are better positioned to fulfill our mission of positively transforming our university through our humble confidence in the rights and traditions of all Penn Staters.

The University sits today at a crossroads. We can either plow forward with President Spanier’s concept of being a “student centered research university,” thereby devolving, once and for all, into just another “Big Box College,” or, we can seek to rediscover the spirit that has defined the current reputation of Penn Staters as not only the most numerous in America, with over 600,000 living alumni, but also some of the most loyal, spirited and dedicated in the world.

We can see the deleterious effects of the loss of a shared vision for our institution. In the space of a few years, administrators at Penn State have gone on a financial binge at the expense of both students and Pennsylvania taxpayers. The annual operating costs have risen from roughly $2.4 billion in 2002 to nearly $3.6 billion in 2007 — stunning numbers, considering that it equates to a 40 percent spending increase with only about a 10 percent attendance increase.

Tuition has skyrocketed from about $2,700 per semester for in-state students in 1997, to nearly $7,000 per semester for in-state students today. The University Faculty Senate has been rendered more or less impotent and tenured faculty have decreased. The Trustees defer almost without question to the decisions of President Graham Spanier.

Safeguard Old State’s mission is born out in practice by uniting the the scattered members of our community to facilitate dialog and action among fellow Penn Staters. In this way, we believe we can synthesize the best of our rich legacy and our hopeful vision for the future into a living commitment to once more genuinely pursue excellence — personal, intellectual and institutional — at Penn State.

Safeguard Old State exists to help guide the next generation of Penn Staters, preserving the rights and traditions of our university family through advocacy and education. As more Penn Staters continue to rise up to reclaim their rightful place in the life of their university, perhaps the Nittany Valley, our quiet home in Central Pennsylvania, can help a nation rediscover that long forgotten spirit of the classical university.

Penn Staters of all interests are increasingly heeding the call to rediscover their roots and the purpose of the real university. Join us as we continue to preserve and honor the rights and traditions of Penn Staters. The future is ours to shape.

Press Release: Penn State Advocacy Group Unveils Ambitious Vision For Higher Education
Video Announcement: Safeguard Old State Achieves Non-Profit Status (The Vision for Penn State)