I read everyday the blogs and news articles on the Gallaudet protest and my heart is just crying for what is happening to Gallaudet but I cannot say I am surprised.
There is so much hate on the side of the protesters and so much anger that I am not sure how they expect anyone to be able to negotiate with them and listen to their concerns. The over the top name calling and the demonization of President I. King Jordan is uncalled for and those who are calling for social justice have done him a huge injustice and owe him an apology.
Students also seem to forget that the position of President is not a life appointment. If the President designate cannot do her job, she can be removed from her position.
The protesters talk a good deal about Deaf oppression on campus and yet President Jordan has been a wonderful goodwill ambassador for the Deaf community. It seems to me that the protest is undoing much of his good work. They are making the Deaf community look intolerant and unable to come to the table and have a civil conversation. Unilateral demands will get them nothing because they leave no room for negotiation.
I am a hard-of-hearing graduate of Gallaudet and I had to deal with my own oppression while a student there for 4 years. There is definitely a Deaf elite who think that their native sign skills make them superior to those that learned to sign later in life (like the President Designate). Maybe they do not like Dr. Fernandes because she represents the reality of the deaf community and all of its diversity.When I was a student,I put up with bullying and name calling for the duration of my time there because I was determined to get an education. However, many of the people who were in the New Signers Program never made it to graduation and several did not even make it through the first semester. It was not that they were not smart enough to do the work, they were not thick skinned enough to brush off the nasty comments in class. I saw a friend leave a class in tears because someone in the class made fun of her sign and the teacher did NOTHING.
I think that the Deaf community ought to be taking a long, hard look at themselves before they go pointing fingers and complaining about lack of diversity when they cannot even tolerate the diversity of communication preferences on campus. Maybe that has something to do with the dreadful graduation statisitics that some have talked about.
I also agree that lots of the students think Gallaudet is a great big Deaf social club instead of a university for higher education. They party all night and don't go to classes or do the work. The library was always a ghost town and there were more people chatting then there were doing course work. They do not care if they fail because the tax payers are footing the bill for many of the students.(didn't know that did you?)
You do not value what you do not pay for and maybe if more of these students had to pay for school, they would take it more seriously. I am tired of my tax dollars going to pay for students who do not even care about doing their work. That is not the fault of the administration but it is the fault of the students.
For those who say well, they should not let in students that are not prepared for college work, how long do you think Congress will pay for a university that has only a few students? How many faculty will you be able to have if the student body shrinks? What do you think these kinds of protests do to your enrollment?
I can tell you that Gallaudet is the LAST place I would send my children for an education at this point. Thank goodness for the ADA that allow more choices than I had when I went to college. Now my very bright Deaf daughter can go to a university with classmates that actually value education and my hard-of-hearing nephew will not have to put up with the bigotry of the Deaf Elite that are running the show.(yes, I come from a deaf family but a mainstreamed one)
If they win this fight, they should call it Gallaudet Deaf Club and Congress should look and see what their millions of dollars are buying.
While the protest itself is not illegal, the methods in which it has been carried have gone too far.
As a graduate of this school, I feel greatly ashamed that some faculty are taking part in this primitive protest.
When we participated in DPN, we set a one time precedent that would by all means stand the test of time.
For the students and faculty who are now raping this great school, remember there are many of us who do not agree with your methods of dissent. We gave you a good man for your president, and by making his exit such shameful, you are insulting DPN and those who participated in it - because you are initially calling us fools who gave you a bad president.
Likewise, by making Dr. Jordan's exit from Gallaudet so shameful and disgracing, you are dishonoring all the sacrifice, all these years he gave to Gallaudet, and all the progress he made, and all the development he brought to Gallaudet.
Dr. Fernandes remains one of the most well-qualified administrators who is in place to bring academic discipline back to Gallaudet. If you succeed in forcing her out, 10 years from now, or even sooner, most of you will look back and say "We should have let her assume her presidency, she would have done a better job"
My heart bleeds, and my sorrow is deep, at the immaturity and hindsight of the current dissenters.
Remember also, there is a large percentage of students and faculty who are not with you in this. Assume that the tables had been turned, and a candidate of your liking had been picked. Would you be very pleased to be on the other side? Held hostage and your education put on standby by a mob scrawling insults and plain childish grafiti on the walls of HMB and locking up an entire campus? Judging by your character so far, probably we would be moaning someone by now!
I commend those on the other side who have patiently held back, been humble and respected the institution of Gallaudet.