Thursday, October 26, 2006

Gallaudet University demonstration news and links

An update on the student protest at Gallaudet University.

The demonstration against the incoming university president has now been going for more than 20 days. In the last week, several students, and faculty members who support them, walked en mass to Capitol Hill to call upon three U.S. senators who are on the university’s board, asking them to intervene on their behalf. Yesterday,
university officials brought in heavy equipment
to gain access to gates the students have taken control of to deny access to the campus.

Acording to the Associated Press story:

“Gallaudet University maintenance workers cut a chain that was being used to block a side entrance and used a construction vehicle to move a tent city the students had built, protest leaders said. Other protesters then used their cars to block the gate again.”

If you want to view images of the student unrest, Yahoo has a
slide show
chronicling the on-going protest.

A good discussion on the
sense of identity,
so strongly tied to the deaf community and central to this demonstration, is presented by Washington D.C. columnist Clarence Page. In his latest column, Page also offers a quick primer on the background of the current situation at Gallaudet.

While we should all applaud passion and students standing up for what they believe, I would predict the outcome of this demonstration will be for naught. The protesters have given reasons against the incoming president, Jane Fernandes,to cite her as being unqualified for the job, but the underlying reason is that the students, and many of the faculty, think she is not deaf enough. I understand passion and identity, but that is not a disqualifier folks.

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