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.


At 10:39 AM, Blogger bill said...

Though you may be right about it being illegal, the protest or even locking down the university cannot be considered immoral. Let us not resort to unkind words but to careful thought and compassion. There is were the solution lies.

At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes the protest is illegal and should be taken down. I am disappointed that the administration is not having enough balls to order the blockage broken. I need to go back on campus and resume my education and my campus job. I need the wages!! They claim they represent me but they really don't. They represent only themselves and declared everyone under them.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Mike McConnell said...

Oh, and compared to the "careful thought and compassion" by other bloggers who aimed sticks and daggers at JKF, IKJ, Coogan, and BoTs involved? This blog article is mild compared to other bloggers out there screaming with hyperboles and conspiracy theories that would put UFO believers to shame.

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no careful thought or compassion about the protest and the seizure of HMB and the lockdown. Little thought or attention was paid to the consequences of a university shutdown on those who are not involved in the protest.

It is just an excuse for the protesters to have a party out the front gates.

At 3:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a lot of people think it's petty students, but a lot more involved. see www.elisawrites.com for press releases, Gallaudet University doucements, and various Votes of No Confidence. Learn more than just from newspapers.

Im staff at gallaudet and have seen a lot of questionable things. I think this is good to clean out bad blood... a better future awaits gallaudet.

Tonight, over 130 people were arrested.

A lot more than that truly cares. Expect to see more... Homecoming is appoaching soon.

At 1:00 PM, Anonymous jbo said...

I beg to differ with Bill. It is highly immoral to hold the education of not only your fellow university students hostage, but those of Kendall and MSSD students as well. They do not deserve to suffer so that you can vent your frustrations indefinitely.


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