31 October 2006

Gallaudet Board of Trustees Breaks Faith with the University

The Gallaudet Board of Trustees has made possibly the greatest mistake in the history of the university's existence and wilfully so. They have failed miserably in their responsibility to all of the university's consitituents and have made Gallaudet one of the most unsafe places to work and live for all.

There is no reason to trust them and they have sent the message that if you don't like decisions that are, in fact, in the best interest of the university, lean hard and they will cave.

They are weak and useless.

This will go down as the worst board, capitulating to the worst tactics from some of the worst people the university has ever had the misfortune to harbor.

Our hats off to all you good people who had hoped and worked for a different day at Gallaudet. It is with a heavy heart that we say today is not that day.

22 October 2006

Another Light Shines - A Must Read!

A Response to the Gallaudet Situation

I have been struggling to understand why I am supporting the Gallaudet BOT and administration in the current struggle at the University.

I am a longtime social change activist, and have developed strategies for analyzing and addressing power imbalances and structural inequality, through my rich experience working with disenfranchised people and groups throughout the U.S. and through understanding my own disenfranchisement as a woman, a lesbian, a working-poor person and now as an older person.

So I know Deaf people are usually under the power line and have in many ways up to today been controlled and defined by hearing people. In my experience, hearing people really have a hard time “getting it” from the perspective of Deaf people. However, things are not simply Deaf/hearing. Race, class and gender bring their own power imbalances into the equation. For example, the Deaf community is still very divided by race. There is a large Black Deaf community which basically rarely interacts with the white Deaf-controlled institutions. This is obvious in the NAD, which has made little if any progress in including Black Deaf people, or taking initiatives to reach out to and support the existing institutions and leadership in that community. Gallaudet reflects this reality, with a minority of Black Deaf students, and few Black Deaf faculty or administrators. And of course, we have to include in our analysis the place of the Asian-American, Latino and Native American Deaf people, among others.

The issue of class is complex in the Deaf community. Ordinarily it would mean advantages of money and education (in the US). In the Deaf community, education and college education definitely create classes of people. Living in Washington, DC I’m very aware of a divide between the college-educated, Gallaudet people and the others who did not attend college or are not from Gallaudet. Then there is class related to hearing status. People who are Deaf with Deaf parents or families, native ASL speakers, rate high within the Deaf community. People who are later-deafened, with hearing families, and especially those who can speak, rate higher in relation to the hearing community. (see the work of Barbara Kannapell). In the past, these latter individuals were leaders in the Deaf community. Nowadays there is something of a shift as Deaf people become proud of their language, culture and community and Deaf leaders emerge who come from a strong Deaf background, and are native ASL users. Further, Deaf people now have PhD’s in key disciplines and they can speak for themselves with authority.

Things are made more complex by the introduction of cochlear implants—a physical modification that allow a person to hear sounds. We know of many Deaf people who have had this surgery. The Deaf community has been opposed to this surgery for many reasons, especially as it is applied to children who cannot decide for themselves if they want it or not. Yet now there is confusion about the acceptability of this procedure. We don’t know yet if the cochlear implant will create another class of Deaf people, or just add to the “hearing impaired” (as opposed to Deaf) group.

Gallaudet as an institution is at once a home and a history for many Deaf people. For many it was the only place where they could be themselves and take real leadership roles. For many it is a family history going back generations. Gallaudet has reflected the times in which it lived and so did not take leadership regarding race, for example, or even regarding bilingual education for Deaf children and recognition of ASL until fairly recently. While Deaf people do have leadership roles at Gallaudet, the institution still has a way to go in terms of reflecting a truly Deaf vision of equality. This is apparent in the leniency toward faculty who are not fluent in American Sign Language. As a social change person, I would say the faculty should be at least 70% Deaf and all faculty fluent in ASL and knowledgeable of Deaf culture and history. This is not the case today. Also, all students should have required courses in Deaf History and culture and in American Sign Language from a sociolinguistic perspective. So Gallaudet is at a challenge point in terms of defining and redefining what its leadership will mean in the 21st century.

In 1988, the students (with leadership from outside Deaf community people as well) held a successful protest which resulted in a Deaf president- I King Jordan. The protest was a classic organizing example of clear, simple demands and persistence. I viewed the students as being in the right. Deaf leadership was required for a Deaf institution. This was a basic principle. As a result of the protest, the make up of the Board of Trustees also changed to involve Deaf leadership.

Today the issues are less clear. Ostensibly the students object to the selection of the incoming President and to the process by which she was selected. But to me it feels like someone opened Pandora’s box. Every resentment and accumulated anger over the past 18 years is rising to the surface. People had 18 years to take action and address what they considered to be failings on the part of I King Jordan, but they did not. Fernandes was Provost and there was plenty of opportunity to take on her decisions and actions, but that did not happen. Now the students have been joined by Faculty and staff members to form the FSSA. Who knows what resentments or history faculty members and staff are bringing into the mix.

A University is not a democracy. The Board of Trustees has absolute power, and the Administration is conferred power by the board. Strictly speaking students are way below the power line. So one issue would be to change the entire structure of the University and how power is distributed. As far as I can understand, the Board of Trustees is controlled by Deaf people, and Deaf people were involved in the selection process, as well as students. From the perspective of the BOT and Administration, they may feel they have bent over backwards to take student views into account, when strictly speaking, they did not have to do this.

Is the underlying issue how “Deaf” the incoming President is? I recall that when King Jordan became President he had the support of the Deaf community even though he is late-deafened and can talk. There were murmurs in the Deaf community that he wasn’t Deaf enough, but maybe many saw him as a successful transition to someone they would consider truly Deaf. Once again the incoming President is not a native ASL user. But all deny that this is the issue. Still as I look at the protest, many outside Deaf people are torn and are supporting the students (who by the way are not all Deaf, ASL users either) because of the Deaf issue.

As I observe the protest, I see the students (and their advisors) applying organizing methods which were defined in the ‘70s by Saul Alinsky and others. But I have the nagging feeling that this time the organizing is misapplied. Recently the grapevine announced that there would be hunger strikers among the students. I was outraged to hear this. Ghandi used a hunger strike; the Irish prisoners struck and died for their beliefs. Something has gotten all out of proportion. What exactly is it that the Deaf students see as a principle worth dying for? It feels more as if they will use any trick in the book to get their way. Are they thinking of the good of Gallaudet University, really?

Recently the students had as many as 23 demands. That’s far too many to organize around as any organizer will tell you. I understand these were reduced again to two, which are non-negotiable. What is the fall-back position-- where is there any room to negotiate? Added to this are really ugly personal attacks that would demean all 18 years of King Jordan’s presidency, and nitpick at every decision Fernandes ever made. Blanket statements that Fernandes lacks leadership skills only raise questions about the leadership skills of the protesters. And who are the leaders? It’s pretty hard to identify them.

This protest seems to be generating negativity and a sort of crowd mentality that does not allow for critique or differences of opinion. In this sense, while it appears to be about empowerment, it may actually be disempowering, driven by a very short-range definition of purpose.

In order to organize effectively, it is important to identify the social change that is required. As this is analyzed, underlying causes are distinguished from effects. The most successful organizing addresses the structural causes, and not just the results. If the issue is Deaf control of a Deaf institution, reflected at every level of the institution, then analysis will reveal many strategies for change. If the issue is the further powerlessness caused by race, level and type of hearing status, gender and class, then intense analysis is required so that these can be effectively addressed. As I understand it, Fernandes has committed the institution to intense work on these issues, with the goal of changing the institution. She has in fact demonstrated her commitment to this work with her history of support for diverse people and groups.

I’ve certainly seen organizing efforts deflected by setting up committees and commissions which include the protestors and in some cases buy them out while the issues remain unaddressed or only superficially dealt with (i.e. the KDES Parent Advisory Group which was set up when the parents really had the goods on the failure of KDES to educate Black children in particular).
However, in this case, a genuine commitment on both sides to define the key issues and develop and implement strategies for change might be the only way out.

With lack of clarity on the real issues, the student actions to close the entire campus seem out of proportion- throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The university from its perspective withheld action and waited out the students as long as they could. The students promised to allow the sixth street entrance to open so that people could come and go (while threatening to fill up the garage and prevent parking). However, they reneged on this promise, so the university had to have recourse to arresting the students for blocking the entrance. At the same time, the university only asked for one gate to be opened. They would be within their rights to remove the students from every entrance. The arrests were anything but violent. The students applied non-violent strategies and the arrestors were very careful The fine imposed was minimal. The entrance is now open and classes and business are supposed to resume today.

This is a crisis moment for the University- a moment of danger and opportunity. I hope the student leadership will be identified and be willing to sit down with the University leadership to work through what the real issues are, and how to attack them. Instead of creating a no-win situation, backing the BOT, the administration and themselves into a corner, there is an opportunity for figure out a win-win, which leaves everybody’s dignity intact and allows for real structural change to benefit everybody on and off the campus. This level of change work will require true initiative and leadership, and not just imitation of organizing tactics from the past without a clear vision and purpose for the future.

Eileen Paul

21 October 2006

At Least Seven of Gallaudet's Board of Trustees are of No Use to the University

Backbone for the Board
Gallaudet's trustees should not surrender their principles.
Friday, October 20, 2006; Page A20

TRUSTEES AT Gallaudet University knew they weren't making the most popular decision when they selected Jane K. Fernandes to be the school's next president. But they believed she was the best choice to lead the renowned school for the deaf. If the trustees are to take seriously their obligation to the university, they must not surrender their principles to mob rule.

Weeks of unruly protests that have disrupted the university, a faculty vote of no confidence and unrelenting bad publicity appear to be weakening the resolve of some members of the board of trustees. As reported by The Post's Susan Kinzie, as many as seven of the 20 trustees (cloaked, of course, by anonymity) are having second thoughts about Ms. Fernandes and think she should step aside. This is the board that just six months ago unanimously appointed her and that, as recently as five days ago, called her "the most qualified candidate to run the institution."
Contrary to the false claims of protesters, Ms. Fernandes was picked after a careful six-month search by a 17-member committee that included people of color as well as deaf and hard-of-hearing representatives. The majority of the committee was made up of faculty, students, staff and alumni -- all appointed because of their good standing on campus. Ms. Fernandes emerged as a finalist after she and five other candidates were interviewed. Such facts don't appear to matter to those students and faculty members who have just one goal in mind: to get their own way. It is instructive that even now they have offered no cogent explanation of what they see as so wrong with Ms. Fernandes. Indeed, even her harshest critics concede that "on paper" she is qualified.

It is clear, however, that one factor that went into the faculty's vote of no confidence and that is now affecting the board is a belief that it would just be easier for Ms. Fernandes to leave so the university can move on. How, though, will the university ever function if the people who are charged with its interests go against their best judgment and give up their legal authority to individuals who behave so badly?

Ms. Fernandes knows the answer, and that's why she, at least, is standing by her principles. She should not be left standing alone.

Another Beacon of Truth! The FSSA Protest in Disgrace!

Here is Mr. David King's interview with the Buff and Blue about his experience of the FSSA. Read on to see some painful truth:

Buff & Blue: Why did you leave the FSSA?

David King: I stepped down from FSSA because it hijacked its original goal and original agreement with the students of color. We agreed in FSSA to protest the flawed process and not attacking the person of Jane Fernandes. We even agreed that if the process was to be reopened and she is selected by fair process, we are going to accept her as the president. The issue of her incompetence to lead is out of question based on our agreement. I also asked if BOT feels that reopening the whole process is waste of resource and decided to appoint Mr. Ron Stern as the President, what should we do? At first white students almost jumped into jubilee and we have to remind them why the students of color will feel used. However by the end of day, we concluded that we will reject any appointment unless any of 3 finalists emerged from a new process. However in FSSA today, it holds too many reasons for the protest and most reasons can be sorted out through dialogue and negotiation. People injected their personal agendas into FSSA as we are seeing now. Some are seeking to score personal vengeances against the administration or Dr. Jane Fernandes, so in that case I refuse be used. Another problem is that FSSA lacks leadership. SBG is not leading the FSSA, so it is like a ship where everyone is a captain.

Buff & Blue: How do you think the protest's methods are wrong? Can you please elaborate on this?

David King: Because there are too many issues in the protest that it eventually lost its direction. For instance, they are protesting Management By Intimidation, administration policies, low admission enrollment, low number of graduating students, graduation with low grades by students of color, audism, racism, non-recognition of ASL and d/Deaf culture, poor or low academic standard, low number of successful employed graduates, lack of accountability and transparency, even some are protesting allegedly that “she threatened me.” If these reasons for protesting are authentic, then we are in a wrong protest, because none of us can fully guarantee either Dr. Stephen Weiner or Mr. Ron Stern’s administration will halt these problems instantly. Hence, these numerous valid problems in the University which can only be resolved through proper dialogue and negotiation are allowed to censor or shadow original reason which I think is non-negotiable. Since FSSA chooses to focus and champion on negotiable issues as reason for protesting, I think that we should equally adopt negotiable approaches in resolving these identified problems and concerns.

Regarding the methods, we need to take a look at protest in May 2006. We did some lockdowns, but the university’s business operation was not impaired. We were more civil and more diplomatic than we are today. At the beginning of the academic year 2006/2007, SBG/FSSA provided a presentation that eloquently stated protest will (i) be void of violence and harassment, and (ii) not interrupts with norms and academic activities of the university. However what we have seen last week protest is contradict to FSSA/SBG’s creed.

The students of color asked that process to be reopened even before finalist was selected and announced, was our way of holding the BOT responsible for their action, and pray for explanations for their decision why they think it was okay for PSC to select Mr. Ron Stern without PhD and college administration over a black man with PhD and more qualifications? We demand explanation, and whereas BOT cannot justify their action, they will be left with no choice than to reopen the search process, whether it directly affects Dr. Jane Fernandes or not, it will be BOT/Fernandes’ business. In this way we would have shown that we don’t attack her person; we would have shown that we have nothing to do with her competence or incompetence; we would have shown that the protest is not rooted on the outcome of the selection, or because “she threatened me.” Unfortunately the protesters did not realize that there is difference between demanding reopen of presidential search process and demanding Dr. Jane Fernandes to resign. By demanding search process to be reopened we placed responsibility upon BOT and hold them accountable, while demanding Dr. Fernandes’s resignation, we are placing an optional choice upon an individual. Much as the latter matters, Dr. Fernandes’ fundamental right to make an optional choice for which she strongly believes in cannot be overemphasized. If we respect her right to make a choice, then her choice not to resign become non-negotiable. The only option left is for her employer to terminate her appointment or cancel the offer, and such action bears handsome prices to pay.

Buff & Blue: Did you feel intimidated by the FSSA members?

David King: To better answer this question, I think we should ask who FSSA members are. How do we know that one is member of FSSA or not? This might sound complicate. What I think is that FSSA identifies all protesters as members as long as the person attends their rallies, walks out of classroom and acts under direction of FSSA. Having said who FSSA members are, I tried so hard not to feel intimidated, though I received so many intimidating messages from the protesters and their tactics includes, discovering my academic performance and financial situation with Gallaudet University to listserv, discussing my personal and private family life on listserv, blogs and vlogs. In fact since I stepped down from FSSA, I have been labeled so many names such as rapist, racist, sexist, bigot, moron, mole, and pig, sold-out and so on. The most frightening is that an angry student facing me calls me a traitor. Other example of intimidation actions occurred when FSSA member took a quick picture of The Concerned Students meeting without our consent and fled away. Again when a group of concerned students was seeking to meet with SBG president in SBG office, I was asked by one of a FSSA member to check the HMB Atrium and Dr. Donlada Ammons confronted by the doorway querying me “what are you here.” I pointed her to the guy who asked me to check the Atrium, Dr. Ammons told me vexingly that I cannot enter and must leave now, she they turned to the man and queried, “know who he is?’, then continued, “That is David King, he is the troublemaker.” I really felt hurt and awful inside that such statement would come from a professor toward a student in middle of crowds. Whatsoever Dr. Ammons means by “he is the troublemaker”, only she can explain. But that is an intimidation of century I can think of. The concerned students who witnessed this hostile feel intimidated too. Up till this interview, I have not received any statement from Dr. Ammons apologizing for her action. I keep thinking about her and her statement about me, the damage she did to my innocent reputation. I just cannot believe Dr. Ammons, white and an international deaf figure would stoop too low to accuse a black boy and student who have never for once done any thing to her but merely were disagreeing with the protest she is involved.

Buff & Blue: Do you think the FSSA oppressed others' right to an education?

David King: Whether the FSSA masterminded the lockdown of HMB and later entire campus or not, bottom line is that the protesters absolutely oppressed the right of others to an education. I heard the protesters saying that they are willing to put their education on hold and I strongly agree with their choice but they don’t have right to hold education of others hostage or at ransom. You may want to ask how old are those who are willing to put their education on hold that long? The 18ies and 20ies might have more times but not the 30ies. Alumni, faculty and staff who aid effect the hostage of education have nothing to loss, as they have their degrees and jobs to keep inflow of paychecks, with or without Gallaudet University. By lockdown the university they are shutting down the gate of learning, the gate of education, the gate of career prosperity and the gate of academic freedom. Also the protesters oppressed pre-school, elementary and high school students whose institute is sited on campus as well.

As we all are told, the lockdown of university was done by football team. FSSA denied being part of HMB lockdown. But FSSA and SBG are still to make any formal statement in good faith condemning any action taken by an individual or group of individuals that impede learning and academic activities. Faculty’s three hours meeting on Monday, October 16, 2006 ended up without a statement condemning the lockdown of the university that denied them the right to dutifully teach their students who paid the university or even painful of campus mass arresting of students. All they care about was to pass more votes of no confidence. I guess when next there is a Faculty Senate meeting; we should be expecting votes of no confidence (laughing).

By large, the actions of BOT, administration, faculty, staff students and alumni don’t suggest to be indemnifying the university and our learning environment.

Buff & Blue: Will you be suing the FSSA with a lawsuit?

David King: FSSA washed its hands off the lockdown. Though many laws were broken including the No Child Left Behind law, the Concerned Students of Gallaudet University considered it necessary to walk the talk by being civil to protesters and engage them in reasonable discussion. Lawsuit is adding salt to the wound and which is not advisable. We hope that all parties involved will try to meet at round table so we can start healing procedure in the university.
_______________________________________________GALLYNET-L mailing listGALLYNET-L@gallynet.orghttp://www.gallynet.org/mailman/listinfo/gallynet-l

19 October 2006

Jane Norman: So Shines a Sane Light in an Insane Protest

Subject: A plea for understanding and peace

My colleagues,

In an effort to clear up any possible misunderstanding, I want to say I am recovering from a serious injury to my leg which took place during the Oct. 5th Washburn naming of the Linda K. Jordan Art Gallery.

I am a strong supporter of Gallaudet University and Jane Fernandes. Make no mistake about that. Being laid up for two weeks has given me the opportunity to think about everything thoroughly and clearly. If anything, my support for Dr. Jane Fernandes, President-Designate, is stronger than ever.

I cannot support any form of anarchy and destruction of individuals' reputations or the blocking of access to education on campus. I cannot support mob rule and hatred. I cannot support the hypocrisy of people spouting social justice while intimidating and threatening those who stand in favor of the University, Dr. Fernandes, Dr. Jordan and the BoT.

The administration during one of the negotiation sessions agreed to an investigation of the search process only to have it yanked from under them. The constant 2 demands are that Dr. Fernandes resign and that the BoT reopen the search process. Dissenters have said over and over that they were not heard. Believe me, you've been heard. The fact is that the BoT did not agree with you. My belief is that you have been heard. It's just that you don't agree with the response you get, and then you come back with "we haven't been heard.

There have been numerous attempts to negotiate with the dissenters, yet each time as things seem to be moving in a positive direction, negotiation terms were pulled back by the protesters. They pulled back with additional requirements and claim they haven't been heard.

During DPN, I was part of the media team. The stakes then were honorable and just. DPN was a peaceful, civil and sensible approach to making a social change. The current protest is negative and conflicting, and the weight of the issues facing the deaf world is being placed on Gallaudet's shoulders--and on one individual in particular.

“Management by intimidation” is a term used loosely and widely by the dissenters. More accurately, this is a “protest by intimidation.” I see in the media gates being blocked, access to education denied, people being bashed, careers and life work threatened, children crying, international students worried about immigration regulations that restrict their time in the United States to complete their studies, and more.

My colleagues, stop. Think. We have amassed a huge strength of Deaf people and supporters. Take this support and rechannel this energy toward: the FCC and closed captioning; health care for Deaf people; promoting ASL for all Deaf children throughout this nation and sign language for all Deaf children throughout the world; United Nations education and health care for all Deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind people of the world.

My colleagues, work with Dr. Jane Fernandes in a peaceful, positive, productive non-sabotaging manner. Think of Deaf children throughout the world. Turning against one of our own is not going to help us. She is one of us. Whether you deny it or not, the days of using the white deaf yardstick are long gone. It has been said that Gallaudet has serious issues with audism and racism. That is true. Few would deny it. To change this we must work together. And the truth is, there is no one more willing and ready to work with you on these crucial problems than Jane Fernandes and I.

We will benefit by working with all toward the common good of Gallaudet. In speaking out, I have been called all kinds of names, threatened and injured. No wonder people who share my views are reluctant to do so in public. I do not blame them. Many of them have families, some are not tenured and cannot speak up because their colleagues and chairs are dissenters. For many, their careers are at stake. Others depend on merit increases and promotions from their department colleagues. There is indeed much at risk.

I challenge anyone to question my loyalty to Deaf culture, my respect and love for ASL, my devotion to Gallaudet. I first set foot on campus when I was 2 years old. I am a former International Typographical Union member and worked my way through school. My family, Deaf, is grassroots and I consider myself a grassroots Deaf person. We place great value on education. My father, at the age of 12, hitchhiked to enroll himself in a residential school for Deaf children. Many of us share similar stories and take pride in our hard-earned education.

You say you are committed to social justice. I challenge you to prove it. Let us be mature individuals and reasonable in working with everyone, including Dr. Jane Fernandes, toward making Gallaudet for all. I look forward to regaining my full strength so I can stand by Dr. Jane Fernandes' side. Thank you for reading this letter and allowing me to express my views.

God bless Gallaudet and peace to all,

Jane Norman,PhD
Professor, Communication Studies
Gallaudet University

What a REAL Nonviolent Protest Looks Like ...

and the FSSA protest is far from nonviolent!

On Nonviolence and Civil Disobedience

By Dr. Jane Hurst, Department of Philosophy and Religion

I want to clarify the terms nonviolence and civil disobedience. These terms refer to a specific approach to challenging power. Nonviolence is the idea that each person has the power to change things not by inflicting suffering on others but by being willing to undergo suffering for a cause. Hence there are nonviolent hunger strikes and marches and protests in which the protesters show their inner dignity by standing for a cause. Nonviolence never attacks other people, but rather attacks issues and power structures. As Martin Luther King stated, “Nonviolent resistance does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding.”

According to this definition the current protest at Gallaudet has not been nonviolent. The threats to students who are trying to get an education (email, photographs taken if they attend classes, personal coercion), the threats to various members of the campus community (faculty, staff, board of trustees), and the personal retaliatory attacks on I. King Jordan and Jane Fernandes are all indications of the violent nature of this protest, whether or not anyone has actually been physically assaulted or not. The mood of this protest is not the way a nonviolent protest feels. In a nonviolent protest, the spirits of the protesters are uplifted. Their anger is transformed to hope. The feeling tone of the current protest is angry and vindictive. Emotions are running high, and spiritual dignity is lacking. This is NOT nonviolence.

Civil disobedience is a technique of breaking the law and being arrested to achieve a goal. As Wikipedia says: “In seeking an active form of civil disobedience, one may choose to deliberately break certain laws, such as by forming a peaceful blockade or occupying a facility illegally. Protesters practice this nonviolent form of civil disorder with the expectation that they will be arrested, or even attacked or beaten by the authorities. Protesters often undergo training in advance on how to react to arrest or to attack, so that they will do so in a manner that quietly or limply resists without threatening the authorities.” Gandhi, who essentially developed the idea of civil disobedience, taught that civil resisters should harbour no anger against the opponent, but rather seek to transform the opponent through the justice of the resister’s cause. Again, personal attacks are not acceptable.

The current protesters, faculty and students, can’t have it both ways. If this is true nonviolent civil disobedience, the anger and attacks and threats must stop. The complaints about being arrested are ridiculous, since being arrested is the point of civil disobedience. “How could King do this to us?” He did not do anything that was not requested by the protesters wilfully breaking the law. He was acting his part in the drama of civil disobedience. The protesters were acting theirs. These are the rules of this kind of protest.

The continued complaints, anger, threats, and retaliation (which is how I read the shameful vote of no confidence in President Jordan at the faculty meeting on October 16, 2006) show that this protest is NOT civil disobedience and it is NOT nonviolent. There is no hiding behind these labels while disrespectful, angry and threatening behaviour and words as well as deliberate lawbreaking continue. This shows disrespect for the protesters’ opponents, and worse, disrespect by the protesters for themselves and their ability to achieve their goals peacefully.

For reference, below are listed the principles of nonviolence from Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

I. Mahatma Gandhi’s rules for civil disobedience (from Wikipedia)
1. A civil resister (or satyagrahi) will harbour no anger.
2. He will suffer the anger of the opponent.
3. In so doing he will put up with assaults from the opponent, never retaliate; but he will not submit, out of fear of punishment or the like, to any order given in anger.
4. When any person in authority seeks to arrest a civil resister, he will voluntarily submit to the arrest, and he will not resist the attachment or removal of his own property, if any, when it is sought to be confiscated by authorities.
5. If a civil resister has any property in his possession as a trustee, he will refuse to surrender it, even though in defending it he might lose his life. He will, however, never retaliate.
6. Retaliation includes swearing and cursing.
7. Therefore a civil resister will never insult his opponent, and therefore also not take part in many of the newly coined cries which are contrary to the spirit of ahimsa.
8. A civil resister will not salute the Union Jack, nor will he insult it or officials, English or Indian.
9. In the course of the struggle if anyone insults an official or commits an assault upon him, a civil resister will protect such official or officials from the insult or attack even at the risk of his life.

II. The Principles of Nonviolence as Outlined by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
From the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia

Nonviolent resistance is not a method for cowards. It does resist. The nonviolent resister is just as strongly opposed to the evil against which he protests, as is the person who uses violence. His method is passive or non-aggressive in the sense that he is not physically aggressive toward his opponent, but his mind and emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade the opponent that he is mistaken. This method is passive physically but strongly active spiritually; it is non-aggressive physically but dynamically aggressive spiritually.

Nonviolent resistance does not seek to defeat or humiliate the opponent, but to win his friendship and understanding. The nonviolent resister must often express his protest through non-cooperation or boycotts, but he realizes that non-cooperation and boycotts are not ends themselves; they are merely means to awaken a sense of moral shame in the opponent.

The attack is directed against forces of evil rather than against persons who are caught in those forces. It is a struggle between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.
Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform.
Nonviolent resistance avoids not only external physical violence, but also internal violence of spirit. At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love.

Nonviolence is based on the conviction that the universe is on the side of justice. It is the deep faith in the future that allows a nonviolent resister to accept suffering without retaliation. The nonviolent resister knows that in his struggle for justice, he has a cosmic companionship.

The principles of nonviolence, based on a speech given at University of California, Berkeley, June 4, 1957, and an article published in Christian Century in early 1957. .

Pubic Service Announcement II

A few of you have asked questons which I will answer briefly here. Any post which is untrue will not be posted. Any post which does not adhere to the purpose of this Blog, which is to show the world what really demeaning and violent tactics are being used by the protesters will not be posted. The purpose is not about who the moderators are, it is not about what foul lnames you can come up with for us, it is not about intimidating or viciously debating what anyone else has posted. Look at Archives at Public Service Announcement (I) and you will see what is and is not ok.

Move on.

18 October 2006


The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is Strong ... and the Deaf Community needs the full TRUTH:

This is the untold side of the faculty meeting in which so much effort was put into bashing. But could there be a constructive end to the faculty meeting? Yes, but there was not because malevolence is one of the important values to the protesters. Read on:

"At the faculty meeting, four positive resolutions were also offered, including mediation, fixed renewable terms for the president, outside investigation of the search process, and uniform assessment of faculty skills--regardless of tenure. These proposals were postponed to an undetermined later date. "The faculty squandered an opportunity to address the real problems that are facing Gallaudet University that would have forged a path to a positive future. The faculty didn't think that future was worth another hour in the meeting," said Dr. Donna Ryan of the Government and History Department. "And now the University will bear the cost of their irresponsibility."

17 October 2006

FSSA Protest : Unjust in Every Sense

It was with much hope that you will read this thoughtfully and carefully.

Subject: Press Release by I. King Jordan in response to Faculty Vote Tuesday, October 16, 2006, 9:00 a.m.

"For those of you who have voted "no confidence" and called for Dr. Fernandes' resignation, I say this is a very sad day for me personally and for the Gallaudet University community. I have had to make difficult decisions during my 18 years here, but none so difficult as during these last few days when I was forced to ask the police to help reopen the gates of our campus.

During my entire presidency, my decisions have always been based upon what I believed in my head and in my heart to be in the best interests of the University, even when those decisions were difficult—and in this instance—very painful. The education of our students and the safety of everyone on this campus have always been and continue to be my top priorities.

How did we come to this impasse? I am quite amazed and deeply saddened at the anger and vitriolic demands and demonstrations on campus. The continued accusations by the protesters that their demands are not being heard do not ring true. What they mean is that we have not agreed to their demands. They say that the rift they have caused by their intransigent demands couldbe healed by simply acceding to the demand that Dr. Fernandes resign. That will not happen.

In a civil society do we give in to the demands by a loud and vociferous group intent on having its way at all costs? In a civil society do we lose sight of the rights of the many who have come to campus to be educated, to be respected and free to choose their own beliefs? In a civil society do we allow a mob to close our school buildings and our gates risking the safety of those on campus? In a civil society do we permit some members of the campus to hold the university hostage to their demands? I think not.

Shutting down the campus affected students from pre-school through university and graduate school. Shutting down the campus affected families with infants and young children, as well as senior citizens from receiving services from our audiology clinic. My plea to the protesters was that they conduct their dissent with administrative and board decisions without disrupting the rights ofthe majority to their education. I considered that to be a reasonable request. But somehow that has been turned around to put the onus ofthis discord on me and Dr. Fernandes.

Let me again try to set the record straight. First, the Presidential Search Committee represented the spectrum that constitutes Gallaudet's community and was under the leadership of a Board member who was also an alumna. The 17 committee members included five people of color as well as 13 deaf and hard of hearing and four hearing individuals. Of the six candidates to be interviewed, all were deaf and three were either women or people of color. These are facts that have been completely misrepresented by the protesters.

Second, let me be clear, Dr. Fernandes will not resign. She is eminently qualified to be the next President of Gallaudet University. She has been a change agent on campus, which has alienated those who like the status quo. She has introduced unpopular, but necessary, high academic standards for faculty and students and those actions have made enemies. She has been vilified and made the target of ugly accusations. The resolution unfairly prejudges Dr. Fernandes. She has been president-designate since May, and will not take up her full duties as Gallaudet University's president until January 2007. She deserves the opportunity to carry out the responsibilities of the presidency before others judge that she is unable to do so.

Third, on the issue of reprisals, there is a difference between "reprisals," which the dictionary defines as"retaliation," and being accountable for the consequences of one's behavior. The University does not engage in reprisals, but it does hold people accountable for illegal acts, destruction of property,and other actions described as unacceptable in the Student Code of Conduct or in the Administration and Operations Manual.

Finally, I have repeatedly been told that since I came into my presidency as a result of a student–led protest, I should be in sympathy with what the protesters now demand. This comparison is false. In 1988, the movement was about deaf leadership for the world's only deaf university. It was a civil rights issue. It was a protest for an ideal. In 2006, this protest is not for anything, but is against a person. This protest is happening because some people do not want Dr. Jane Fernandes to be the next Gallaudet President. She is deaf, she is qualified, and she issupported by the Board. There is no real parallel between the two protests, except that there are protesters. Jane Fernandes deserves to be the next President of Gallaudet University, faculty resolutions notwithstanding. I continue to support her right to beGallaudet University's 9th president.

An Appeal for True Social Justice and Civility

Date: Sun, 08 Oct 2006 00:38:48 -0400

Dear Ms. Kinzie,

During the naming of the Student Academic Center at GallaudetUniversity for Dr. I King Jordan, the program with speakers was
constantly interrupted.

On the 2nd level a white Deaf student held a cardboard black coffin with the words, "Social Justice" painted on it in white letters. An African American Deaf student stood to speak as part of the program. The student holding the coffin fingerspelled clearly and strongly " race card and tokenism" and pointed to him derisively as he stood on the podium below.

He was unaware ofwhat was going on behind him. He was part of the program. He was jeered as he gave his remarks. It took great courage for him to stand and deliver his speech. How can we have civil discussions if all people are not included valued and respected? Come my friends we need to sit down and talk peacefully. We have in common a commitment to social justice and in the spirit of inclusiveness isn't this the time for calm, reasonable dialog seeking reconciliation and ways to achieve our goal of social justice for all?

Jane Norman

FSSA Cowardice: Using Students to do Your Dirty Work

More Gallaudet and Rule by Law

Anthony calls the shutting down of Gallaudet University by students demanding that its next president sanction the exclusive use of sign language, at the university and in deaf culture, “strange.” Indeed, this latest pitched battle between campus members favoring the primacy of sign language, and those receptive to the use of voice and sign language simultaneously, is puzzling to outsiders.

But whatever the origins and merits of this dispute, it should not be allowed to obscure the fact that this campus takeover by students, allegedly at the instigation of faculty members, constitutes (in the words of the departing president I. King Jordan) “illegal and unlawful behavior.”

The president designate, Jane K. Fernandes, accused by the “sign only” faction of not sufficiently valuing sign language, seems to have been duly vetted and appointed by Gallaudet’s governing board

Former president Jordan is right to have forewarned students that they could be faced with arrest and suspension. The board is right to declare that its decision to hire Fernandes was “fair and final” and to forewarn that it will not reopen the search for a new president. And students and faculty who support Fernandes’s appointment are right in objecting that the protesters are depriving their fellow students of an education.

Due process and rule by law must carry the day. The protesters must desist and, if discussion fails, be forcibly stopped from (as Fernandes says) “holding the campus hostage.” In addition, if punishment is meted out to protesting students, it should be determined if and which faculty members instigated this latest bout of campus anarchy – and they too should face penalties. Professors should not have immunity when they use students as proxies in campus takeovers or any other unlawful actions.

Jackie Roth Writes to Us: Look and Consider

Hello friends, colleagues and members of the deaf community.

I have been sitting on the sidelines, following the story of this protest. Up until now, I have remained silent but have made inquiries on both sides. I was very active and one of the first to respond to the DPN protest. I believed that when Zinser was selected to lead the University, that it was blatant discrimination. Granted, she was very qualified but she was hearing and there were two deaf contenders. It became a civil rights issue. The time was right; the situation was right to voice our dissent. One of the objectives of DPN was to create a change in perception that deaf people cannot take the helm. That was the cause, one that everyone inside and outside the deaf community can empathize with and relate to. DPN responded to what was old and as a result, instigated the new. Deaf people can and should lead!

However, what happened then should not establish a benchmark for every discontentment or disagreement. As a result of the one of the four demands of the DPN movement, we have a 51 percent deaf majority on the Board.

There are checks and balances in place. The Board’s function is to oversee the work performance of the President of the University and has the right to dismiss if expectations are not met. That is one of the tasks of the Board. Every new President has to go through a year of probation where their work performance is constantly tested and evaluated. The President-elect is given the opportunity to prove his/her credibility.

Let’s discuss the search process. The Board has already said they do not see the search process as being flawed and found nothing to show that it was flawed. They are standing by the fact that they believe the search process was fair and just. Members of the Board are the people associated closely with the search process. We know they did some investigation following the first complaint from the Gallaudet community to determine if another search needs to be conducted. Since they still stand by the final selection, we need to trust their word that through their examination of the situation, they did not find anything that shows the search process was violated, or that there was undue bias.

As a community, we need to give our vote of confidence in the Board. This time around, as a result of DPN, the Board is now comprised of a majority of deaf members who hopefully do reflect our sentiments and will act in our best interests. Most of the Board, if not the majority, were elected to the Board following DPN. By defying the Board, we are minimizing everything that we have fought for during DPN.

Running a University is the same as running a business. Decisions are made by the Board, whether it is an advisory or corporate Board, on the basis of the integrity and goals of the institution. Gallaudet is an educational institution with a hierarchy of power to oversee the operations of a University. The powers that be are often questioned and challenged for their decisions and choices, but they need to be played out to determine whether they are good ones. Evaluations are based on performance and results. The Gallaudet Board is the “boss” of the Gallaudet University President. The President does not act alone.

This protest has brought on a lot of puzzlement, for lack of a better way to put it, because the reasons behind the protests have been nebulous all along and changed from one thing to another. The issues in question appear biased. Believe me, I have read the reasons people are discontent with the choice but they are not reasons that should manifest themselves in a public protest. Many times, people at the top make decisions that are not popular but that doesn’t justify the removal of someone or to declare that the person is not qualified. People at the top alienate people all the time in order to do their jobs.

Gallaudet is a University that has to be run like a business. Its reputation is critical in order to survive, to continue to grow as a internationally recognized and respected place for higher education, and compete with other universities to provide academic excellence. In addition, Gallaudet’s influence goes beyond just being a school. It is a brand. It is THE name that gives confirmation to the outside world and to our community anything and everything that is associated with our culture, community and language. Gallaudet is embraced internationally and those who work at or graduated from Gallaudet are revered. The Gallaudet name carries a lot of credibility.

It is critical to the future of Gallaudet to maintain that status. This protest, because it does not qualify as having a sound, unified and justified basis, is not gaining popularity. When the reasons are not clearly understood, there is no empathy.

I am a proud member of the deaf community. I love my culture, my people and my language. I am also an alumnus of Gallaudet. I was, with a colleague, the first professional student recruiter for the University. I am very proud to have been one of the leaders and the PR person for the four student leaders during the DPN movement. I am also an avid supporter of the University, its programs and its leadership in both the deaf and hearing worlds. I also have to trust that the Gallaudet University Board can carry the burden and honor its duties to fulfill the expectations of its current student body, staff, faculty, alumnae, families, friends and future students as well as lead the University in highly advanced communications and technology era. Let the President-elect, who will be on probation for a year anyway, be evaluated for her abilities to perform her duties and carry out the goals and expectations established by the Board. Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Jacqueline Roth
Class of 1976

FSSA: Intimidation and Denigration Are Their Standard

I am writing with a fake name because I don’t want the same to happen to me that happened to Shirley Myers. I am a faculty member, too. I was at both meetings in SAC 1011 and outside under a big tree on the grassy hill near the front gate.

On the grass, I saw terrible behavior. Now I see why few talk from other side. I heard they were afraid. But I did not believe it. Now I do. Some protesters use MBI themselves. We know Shirley has different view from protesters. Shirley was willing to come and talk with everyone. Most people were respectful to Shirley. And they want to be fair with diverse opinions of our faculty reps. But some are not fair and respectful. It happened so fast, but it kept coming back into my mind. Then I began to realize how awful it was.

One person made several efforts to make Shirley look bad and small. First time was early in the discussion with Shirley. Shirley agreed faculty should focus on faculty. (I think Kitty Baldridge said that.) But Shirley also said she was worried about students getting information for arrests. She said maybe we can explain about arrests.

MJ jumped and said Shirley showed her attitude because she signed “explained” downward and slow. Shirley said she signed slowly to show her purpose to calm students. Yes, it was true students were very emotional. But I also think Shirley missed to say another part. Shirley is native ASL user. I think she used directionality, too. She was up on hill and students down at gate. She signed right in the direction of the students at the gate. That meant over or down that small hill. Anyway, somehow Shirley was still a possible rep.

Then MJ said several times Shirley cannot support our points. People turned to Shirley to check if she said that or agreed. Shirley tried to say she wanted to understand fully. I realize she wanted to be honest to us about her reaction to the four points. But MJ failed to make that accusation stick. So last MJ said we cannot accept Shirley as a rep because she is not faculty. She is admin. That succeeded. MJ got her out.

But MJ divided us. If you were not on MJ’s side, you could not be a faculty member. Who is she to decide? Shirley is on the list of voting faculty members. I am upset with MJ. She did not walk her talk of civility. MJ did divide us. I am for the protest but MJ makes me think twice. I don’t see unity in MJ. I feel bad I watched her act like a snake to Shirley and I said nothing. Now I say I am sorry to Shirley. But I am afraid to say my name or maybe MJ will do the same to me next. MJ, how do you criticize JK? I am afraid you are much worse. First you were mean to interpreters at other faculty meeting. Now you were mean to Shirley. MJ, you are not a good leader. I saw you show incivility. I saw you bully.

Anonymous faculty member.

16 October 2006

Just in case ....

any of you have been fooled to believe that FSSA protest has not been paid attention:

Subject: Message to the Campus Community
October 15, 2006

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

For those on campus who say they want to be heard, I assure you have been heard. You have been heard by me. You have been heard by the Board. We have heard you from the beginning of your protest. We have considered and discussed your points of view. We just haven’t agreed with you. And we still don’t.

We recognize your right to continue expressing your opinion, but we cannot defend your tactics. Taking control of Hall Memorial Building and locking out students, teachers and staff is indefensible. Blocking entrances to the campus is unjustifiable. No one has the right to stop education.

The protestors are making accusations in the media which do not reflect the reality of the past week. The Administration negotiated with the leaders of the protests in good faith and around the clock. There was a complete lack of good faith on the part of the protestors. Agreements were reneged upon and demands changed at the last minute. I have attached a timeline of events to demonstrate the enormous efforts put forth by this Administration and the Metropolitan Police Department to peacefully end the standoff.

Most of you do not know how long and hard we negotiated with the protestors. On Monday afternoon, the SBG president signed an agreement to reopen HMB and then reneged. The protestors then made public a list of more than 20 demands, some of which were obviously unacceptable. They proceeded to shut down the campus by blocking access at all the gates, with complete disregard for the havoc their actions wreaked on the rest of the Gallaudet community.

We continued to negotiate but when it became clear the protestors had no intention of allowing access to the campus, I had no choice but to call the Metropolitan Police Department. MPD Assistant Chief Wilson was on campus for two days also trying to negotiate a way to peacefully reopen the campus. It is impossible to have a negotiation when only one side is willing to act in good faith. Chief Wilson and his team repeatedly explained to the protestors that they would be arrested if they did not allow access. Unfortunately, many protestors chose to be arrested. Let me be clear, this was a method of last resort but it was their choice. They were arrested for breaking the law.

I do believe that diversity, including diversity of opinion, is our strength and absolutely essential for academic excellence. Freedom is about choices within the law that respect justice for all people. It is our responsibility to teach these important concepts to our students.

Dr. Jane Fernandes has the leadership qualities needed to lead this University. The Board of Trustees has selected her from a diverse field of candidates. Dr. Fernandes can meet the challenge to lead during a time of change. She can help expand Deaf culture to include all deaf people. She knows and loves Gallaudet. Her years of educational and administrative experience have prepared her to help our students to be successful in a changing and diverse world. Encourage your sense of fairness to surface and give Dr. Fernandes the respect that is due her and the opportunity to bring us all together in pursuit of academic excellence and strengthening our inclusive deaf university.

For now, the University’s top priority must be to keep open the campus and to resume providing education to all of the students in the Gallaudet community, in a safe environment.

I. King Jordan


The Deaf community is wise. The Deaf Community is Strong but the Deaf Community is not being given the TRUTH:

Here is some SERIOUS truth


Dr. Jane Fernandes makes herself known

Many Ways of Being Deaf
By Jane K. Fernandes
Saturday, October 14, 2006

It was 3 a.m. on Tuesday. I had been up all night negotiating with student protesters occupying Gallaudet University's Hall Memorial Building, home to classrooms, department offices and labs. Negotiations had broken down. The protesters did not approve of my appointment by the board of trustees to be the next president of Gallaudet University. How had things at the world's premier university for deaf and hard-of-hearing people come to this?

Our Gallaudet community is varied. There are many kinds of deaf people. Some are born to deaf parents; most are not. Some are lucky enough to grow up using American Sign Language. Others -- like myself and increasing numbers of Gallaudet's students -- learn and embrace ASL later in life. Some are deaf from birth; some become deaf later in life. Some benefit from the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants; others don't. Some have visual impairments or other disabilities.

What unites all types of deaf people at our university is the rich history of the deaf community, American Sign Language and Deaf culture that has shaped Gallaudet's mission and character.

As divided as we might seem right now, we are united in our commitment to that mission and character. But what we see happening at Gallaudet is not just about being deaf. Just as there is diversity in ways of being deaf, the deaf community shares with the larger society diversity of age, gender, disability, racial and ethnic background, religion, sexual orientation and socioeconomic class. Just as in the larger society, racism exists within the deaf community. Deaf people of color face discrimination not only because of their hearing status (termed audism) but because of their race -- even from within the deaf community. Deaf people of color and others from diverse groups must be included and are just as central to Gallaudet's mission and character as are our commitments to American Sign Language and Deaf culture. Currently, they are not.

During the presidential search and selection process, the issues of audism and racism that have plagued the deaf community for centuries came to the forefront. Long rumbling under the surface, they erupted like a volcano. I happened to be the person standing next to that volcano. The heat and fury of the eruption are the result of suppressed frustrations due to racism and audism, disagreements on how best to address them, and how best to preserve and support Deaf culture and American Sign Language in an age when deaf people are more diverse than ever.

There are those who would have us hunker down, fighting audism by excluding those who are not already like us. If Gallaudet took this approach, we would find ourselves shrinking to insignificance as the diversity of deaf, hard-of-hearing and deaf-blind people looked to other institutions to welcome them, however imperfectly.

Let me make very clear my complete commitment to Deaf culture and American Sign Language as fundamental to Gallaudet University. Having devoted half my life to improving and extending deaf education, I want to see our university grow in preeminence as an institution of higher learning. The best way for Gallaudet to thrive in the 21st century is to strengthen our community by sharing American Sign Language and Deaf culture and by growing as an inclusive university for the deaf. American Sign Language and Deaf culture are the birthright of every deaf, hard-of-hearing and deaf-blind person who wishes to claim them. By welcoming and including the diverse spectrum of deaf people, by respecting and appreciating our differences, we strengthen our core.

At age 23, when I learned ASL and was embraced by the signing deaf community in Iowa, I found my home; I became a whole person. By including me and sharing their language and culture, the people of the Iowa deaf community made me whole and at the same time strengthened their community just a little bit. Becoming an inclusive deaf university will strengthen Gallaudet and its students in the same way, many times over.

Having grown up deaf, I know what it means to experience audism. In high school I was the only deaf person in all my classes. My best friend was an African American student, the only person of color in most of her classes. We shared a bond based on similar experiences of discrimination and a determination to address them. I maintain that determination today, and I am devoted to making Gallaudet University a place that welcomes, respects and provides a top-quality education to all students. It's time to break the impasse and work together on our common goals.

The writer is president-designate of Gallaudet University.

FSSA Protest Continues to Spread Lies

Subject: [Planners] Student Distortions broadcast unchallenged

Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 17:58:51 -0400

Folks – this is the kind of thing which must be countered. A student, a young woman whose name I didn’t catch, told NBC news taped earlier today that the Search Committee was all white, all hearing. This was reported as “the protesters are claiming that the search was not culturally inclusive enough.”

This is a patent lie.

13 October 2006

More on the immoral and criminal hostage taking of Gallaudet University

Friday, October 13, 2006; A28

UNHAPPY WITH Gallaudet University's choice of a new president, students
continued their blockade of the campus yesterday. Hundreds of students were
being denied their college education. Elementary and high school students
also were locked out of their Kendall Green schools, which share the campus.
Every lost day of school for them is significant.

Gallaudet officials, to their credit, sought a peaceful end to the
stalemate. But to every overture, students changed their demands, reneged on
deals and, in the end, essentially dared the university to arrest them. This
has been the pattern since demonstrations began in the spring. The
ultimatums they threw down -- a new presidential search and the withdrawal
of Jane K. Fernandes's appointment -- were the only two conditions that
university officials said, with justification, were not negotiable.

Officials were amenable to an outside review of the search process, real
student involvement in the search for a new provost and a student role on
the board of trustees, but students weren't interested. While it would have
been nice if Ms. Fernandes's selection had been more popular, it really is
not the students' place to name the president. That holds all the more true
since they were unable to articulate reasonable grounds for their

By any objective measure, Ms. Fernandes is well qualified to
lead the world's only institution of higher learning for the deaf.
Equally distressing has been the behavior of some faculty members who have
incited student dissent and abetted the shutdown of the school, when they
should have been acting like grown-ups and telling students about the real
world of consequences.

The blockade confronted university administrators
with a terrible dilemma. The protesters probably know the pain that would becaused by an image of students at the world's most famous school for thedeaf being hauled off in handcuffs -- a particular affront to those who
communicate with their hands. So official restraint was right and
understandable. Opposition to the tactics of the protesters is emerging, and
that could help in efforts to reclaim the campus.But the unlawful protest has gone on for too long, and it's time forlearning to resume.

11 October 2006

A Public Service Announcement (I)

Those of you who are writing with threats and words of intimidation, save your breath. There are scores of places where you may go and tell whatever lies, misinformation and half truths that you like. There are scores of places you can go to rant, rave and pick a fight. This is not that place. You are right that you are wasting your time doing any of those things. It is not surprising that once the truth got out about what is really going on at Gallaudet, you would flare. You are right on cue. We are not covering up for the FSSA any more.

The Students have had enough!

The FSSA repeatedly states they have not been heard. Well look here --- you were heard and disagreed with. Hearing does not mean bowing down to you. You ask for what you will not give. Now learn more about the morally bankrupt FSSA protest. Read on:

Subj: Most at GU support peace!"

Our education is being held hostage" is how MOST people at Gallaudet feel about the protestors. Pass it on.DON'T LET YOUR EDUCATION BE HELD HOSTAGE BY A FEW !A CALL FOR THE RETURN TO EDUCATION

From the “Concerned Students of Gallaudet University”We represent students who want to continue their education without interference, in a safe and peaceful environment. We strongly oppose any actions that disrupt teaching and learning. This applies to all members of this community, including the administration.We are not taking a position on the protest. While we have a variety of views about the choice of President, we are united by a desire to protect our beloved university. The protest is now interfering with our education. Our classrooms are inaccessible and our minds are distracted.

So that we get the precious education for which we have paid, we demand:

• Ending of the barricade of the Hall Memorial Building (HMB).
• Tactics of dissent that do not disrupt our concentration on our studies.
• No more bomb threats or personal intimidation.
• Faculty and staff who are part of the protest put their hearts and minds into their teaching.
• Toleration of expression of diverse views, if conducted in respectful and peaceful way.

All reasonable people will agree with these points. The Washington Post editor wrote on October 9th, “to hold hostage the educational hopes of their classmates…strikes at the heart of the nation’s leading institution of higher education for the deaf.” Even when we disagree, we must protect the heart of Gallaudet University: teaching and learning. ACT NOW !1. Sign the petition “A Call for the Return To Education.”2. Send your comments and concerns to us at <gallystudents@yahoo.com>3. All students, faculty, and students are welcome, regardless of view on the protest.

The FSSA Protest: Dis-Unity and Mayhem for All

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is Strong ... and the Deaf Community needs the whole truth.

It isn't enough that the FSSA protest has pit student against student, staff against staff and faculty against faculty. Now faculty protesters are trying to create more enmity on campus by saying protesters cannot get interpreters. They want special treatment. They spread lies. Read on.

Members of the Faculty:

It has come to my attention that there was misinformation shared at the Faculty Forum yesterday about the way that GIS provides interpreters for the campus community. To clarify, GIS will provide interpreting services to any unit on this campus, including the FSSA, if they use their department account code or provide us with a credit card. GIS will process requests for service at the internal campus rate.

Requests can be made by telephone, email or fax. I personally informed a faculty member of the FSSA that we would provide interpreters to them as we do any other unit on this campus. In fact, onFriday, October 6th, the FSSA received several calls from GIS saying that we had interpreters available as we wanted to make sure they understood that, as a neutral entity, GIS would provide them with service.

At this time, GIS has received no requests for service from the FSSA. Interpreting serviceshave not been denied – the requests simply have not been made. GIS will not compromise its neutral stance by providing free service to the FSSA or the administration of this university. By following standard procedure, we can provide impartial service to all requestors.

Interesting insight into the morally bankrupt nature of the protest

Standoff at Gallaudet
The wrong way to shape the university's future
Tuesday, October 10, 2006

STUDENTS AT Gallaudet University are entitled to protest the school's choice of president if they so choose. They're entitled to protest how that choice was made. They're not entitled to hold hostage the educational hopes of their classmates. Doing so undermines the legitimacy of their campaign and strikes at the heart of the nation's leading institution of higher education for the deaf.

Opposed to incoming President Jane K. Fernandes, student protesters have taken over the main educational building on the campus in Northeast Washington. For four days, campus life and learning have been disrupted. Officials have tried to relocate classes, but since Hall Memorial Building is home to most of the school's major academic departments, hundreds of students have been locked out of lectures, labs and midterm exams. Students say they won't leave unless Ms. Fernandes steps down and a new search for a president is undertaken, while the board of trustees says those are the only two items it will not negotiate.

One only has to watch the faces and hands of the students to appreciate the depth of their anger. It is more difficult to discern what is behind that anger. The protest started with complaints that Ms. Fernandes, who attended mainstream schools as a child and learned to sign when she was 23, is not the best choice to lead a school that is a touchstone for the deaf. Then there were charges that the search process was fixed; then, grievances about a lack of racial diversity among the candidates, classes that don't prepare students and poor graduation rates. Most absurd was the grumbling that a student center was being named for outgoing President I. King Jordan, who, ironically, became the school's first deaf president because of student protests.

The students who have barricaded themselves behind the walls of Hall Memorial Building say they are acting in the best interests of the university. Tell that to the students who are juggling jobs and school to get a diploma, or to the parents who are sacrificing to widen their children's futures. If the protesters really care about Gallaudet, they will open up the halls to learning and work toward reaching a middle ground.

University officials have been willing to make concessions; they agreed, for instance, to an outside review of the search process, only to have the students withdraw that demand. Students could get involved in the search for a new provost or push for a student vote on the board of trustees.There is no doubt -- given the bitterness of the controversy -- that Gallaudet has deep-seated problems. Ms. Fernandes, well qualified in every way, faces an unenviable job. That she still wants to do it should be one reason to give her a chance

Once again, they renege

No matter how much you reach out and try and work with the members of the FSSA led protest, they consistently show themselves to be untrustworthy and unconcerned for anyone or their education. Read on:

Campus Update
October 9, 2006, 7:50 p.m.

I was looking forward to announcing a peaceful resolution today to the campus building takeover. We actually had a signed agreement this afternoon with the president of the Student Body Government. He has since rescinded his signature.

We have been negotiating in good faith throughout the weekend and each time we thought we had arrived at an agreement, the dissenters changed their demands. The barricading of Hall Memorial Building (HMB) has forced us to reschedule classes and interfered with the business of the University.

We call on the dissenters to cease their occupation and allow the students who want to attend their classes to do so. We continue to respect their right to free speech, but not to force their views on the rest of the campus. We advise them to come out of the building now.

09 October 2006

FSSA: Myths and more tall tales

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf community is strong ... and it is time the Deaf community get the whole TRUTH:

Look carefully at this students! Did you all know that the FSSA met with the Board of Trustees for a total of 20, you see that right, 20 hours with professional mediators. Many positive steps were agreed upon and could have ended the protest months ago and benefitted students, faculty and staff BUT instead, at last minute, rejected their own ideas. Did I see the FSSA say that no one pay attention to them? Do you think that FSSA really cares about Gallaudet?

So, the FSSA is worried about a fair process, are they?

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is strong ... but the Deaf Community is not given the whole TRUTH:

Well, the New Mexico Deaf Community has more info and just shared some with us. Did you know that there is a story that Ron Stern was guaranteed the position of president by certain unethical persons who shall be dealt with? Can you believe that the FSSA has been screaming about an unfair process when they knew it was rigged in favor of Ron Stern? Thank goodness that there was an ethical and fairly overseen process by the President Search Committee.

Gallaudet University President Jordan --- You won't believe your eyes!!!

Subject: Open Letter to the Campus Community

Dear Members of the Campus

Community, I want to take this opportunity to let you know what’s happening at HMB and to ask your support in helping to resolve this unfortunate situation. We all have an important role to play.

I feel sure that many of you are as saddened as I am by the current discord on our campus, but I believe together we can restore civility and mutual respect to our campus. Interim Provost Michael Moore, Dean Carl Pramuk, and Enrollment Services Executive Director Deborah DeStefano met throughout the weekend with the dissenters who have been in HMB since last Friday. We have continuously met in good faith only to have their demands change. They have done so at my request and I appreciate their dedication and hard work.

We want to assure a positive educational experience in a safe environment for all of our campus community, but we cannot do that alone. It will take every student and member of the administration, faculty, and staff to come together to restore trust and a sense of security to a badly shaken community.

I believe we all need to be part of this problem’s resolution. I feel compelled to set the record straight on a number of issues. The Board of Trustees and the administration have heard and considered the dissenters regarding the search process and the selection of the 9th President. The Board has reaffirmed its support of the selection of Dr. Fernandes as the next President of Gallaudet University.

We are committed to free speech and so it is doubly painful to have some faculty, students and staff threaten and intimidate others who have every right to differ from the dissenters. Indeed some of their actions have been shameful. Nothing excuses their assault on me and the disrespect shown to my family last Thursday at what should have been a celebration for the entire campus. They have tried to impose their will on everyone at Gallaudet by taking over HMB. Those who have acted unlawfully must take responsibility for those actions and will face the consequences of their actions.

The dissenters vandalized one of the campus’ most cherished locations, College Hall. They have encouraged the harassment of board and administration members and their families by publishing their home and work numbers as well as other personal information, and then encouraging others to use that information to continuously disrupt their lives. They have disseminated misinformation and cried foul when the administration has tried to set the record straight. An example is their claim that a DPS officer assaulted students. The board has requested, and we will have, an outside investigator review this allegation. They have misrepresented the board chair’s support of Dr. Fernandes on a blog and falsely claimed that the Board did not meet with them. What the Board did not do is agree with them.

Despite these provocations we have continued to look for common ground. Gallaudet University has a rich tradition of caring and community spirit. We want to invoke that sense of family to resolve the occupation of HMB.

Let us remind our students and colleagues in HMB that their actions hurt us all. We welcome dialogue, but cannot allow a group of dissenters to lock us out of one of our own buildings. They promised not to interfere with others’ rights, however, they have broken that trust. I ask you to use your influence to let the students and your colleagues know how you feel. Together we must address the issues confronting us and begin the healing process.
I. King Jordan

Dangerous and Disruptive Tactics

Once again the protesters have called in a bomb threat stopping the work of the university. Taking police officers and fire personnell away from their jobs of protecting the citizens of D.C. Students cannot get their education. Do you think it is ok for everyone to suffer at the hands of the FSSA?

Oh, and there is a new "theory" being put out by the protesters that it's the administration calling in the bomb threats. I am sure we are all fooled by that one. Please.

Students are seeking peace --- read on!

Date: Sun, 8 Oct 2006 17:34:15 -0400

My Colleagues, As a student, I share your deep concerns for your right education and right to Return of Investment (ROI), just as the protesters who I believe we do respect very much are exercising their freedom to express their disagreement with the decision of BOT.

None of us are questioning their disagreement; either do any of us want to engage into fruitless debate on why BOT took a stand in their decision, based on the power and authority conferred upon them by the US Congress.What is most important to you and me is we need to ask ourselves only one relevant question: Why am I in Gallaudet University? Ponder on this for a moment.You and I are in Gallaudet to earn better and quality education. Many of us come from far and near, some of us are single parents, some of us work-study and pay our college education from our pockets, some of us are international students whose stay in college depends largely on their grades, some of us struggled so hard with VR, and if our grades fall down, we risk losing VR support.

We strive so hard to earn education, an opportunity that might not be present to us everywhere. Gallaudet is only one and will remain unique to us. This dream and inspiration in you that informed your decision to come to Gallaudet for education is about to be scattered and dashed. Your future ambitions and career goals are at stake and being held to ransom by the protesters who did not send me or you to Gallaudet. It has been said that your destiny is in your hands. Only you can decide what you want to become tomorrow by your actions of today. Coming to Gallaudet University show that you want better tomorrow, better education and better future.

This protest obviously interfering with your ambitions and I want us to join hand to voice out our right to education.If those protesters are not ashamed to ruin our education, why should we be scared to come out as ground and voice our rights and need for education? Protesters will never put 3 square meals on our table in future. They will never pay our bills in future. They are not going to refund the cost of our education we lost through their protest. Now you see where you have a huge responsible to tell your friends, this is enough, I want to go to class.The faculty who are visibly involved are mostly from Fowler Hall. They are going to teach their students in Fowler hall on Monday, but still support the barricade of HMB. I want you to ask, is that social justice? How can you understand this hypocrisy?Let us meet 7pm tonight sharp at MPR to meet and discuss our concerns.

Thank you
David King

08 October 2006

A peaceful protest: peaceful????

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is strong ... but the Deaf Community is not getting the whole TRUTH:

Did you know that protesters are now throwing bottles at DPS cars ? I guess that easier than hitting people like they did in HMB. Not only that, a fire alarm was pulled, yet again, showing further disregard and unconcern for the safety of others. What's your definition of peaceful?

07 October 2006

A respectful protest ... oh, really?

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is strong ... but the Deaf Community does not have the whole TRUTH:

Were you aware that a peaceful dinner was taking place in a ballroom of the GUKCC when students began banging on the glass doors and windows of the ballroom and then blocked all of the normal exits trapping innocent diners there late at night? Protesters were seen with bricks. It is so refreshing that these protesters quote such true peacemakers and giants as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi. Pity they have no idea how to act like them.

A respectful protest ... oh, really?

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is strong ... but the Deaf Community does not have the whole TRUTH:

Did you know that protesting students, with the approval of protesting faculty, went into the historically registered College Hall and smeared dung all over the waiting room of the president's office? Doesn't sound like respecting property to me. What do you think?

Washburn Arts Building

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is strong ... but the Deaf Community does not have the whole TRUTH:

Isn't it interesting that protestors are justifying their cruelty and physical attacks at the renaming ceremony because the Washburn Arts building wasn't named after Debbie Sonnenstrahl WHO has said nothing about this AND probably won't because, aren't I right, she NEVER wanted to be known again by the last name Sonnenstrahl? What an insult to her wishes.

HMB Incident: Tying it all together

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is strong ... but the Deaf Community is not getting the whole TRUTH:

Doesn't it seem suspicious that the protesters illegally and to the harm of fellow students attempt to lock down HMB, call in a bomb threat (knowing this will have to involve DPS), physically attack and obstruct DPS officer (who has to get out) and miraculously have a camera person on hand to film the event at just the right time and then yell "brutality"? Seem like set up to you? Seems like a set up to me.

Words of Wisdom

" If you don"t like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't Complain"

Maya Angelou

HMB Incident: Part 4

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is strong ... but the Deaf community does not have the whole TRUTH:

Did you know that pepper spray has a long lasting effect. If you are sprayed with pepper spray you are unable to do anything and you would be in great pain and want to go the hospital. Interestingly, the protesters were able to video without a problem, talk to the media without a problem, showed no signs of pain and no one asked to go to the hospital. I wonder what that means?

HMB Incident: Part 3

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is strong … but the Deaf Community does not have the whole TRUTH:

Did you notice in the video of the HMB scene that the DPS officer was trying to leave peacefully and it was the protesters who started to block his way and run into him first preventing him from carrying out his duty to make sure that HMB was secure?

HMB Incident: Part 2

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is strong … but the Deaf Community does not have the whole TRUTH:

Did you know that the reason the DPS officer went into HMB in the first place was because a protester had called in a bomb threat, which is illegal and disrupted the education of many students, and that the DPS officer was very concerned for the students’ safety?

The HMB incident: Part 1

The Deaf Community is wise. The Deaf Community is strong … but the Deaf Community does not have the whole TRUTH:

Were you aware that the recent incident in HMB involved a protester throwing a bottle at a DPS officer first and, conveniently, that provocation was not filmed or mentioned?