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Opinions about Gallaudet University's protest?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
As some of u may know, I work at Gallaudet University based in Washington, DC of USA and for over 10 days now, there have been a big protest going on regarding the selection of Jane Fernandes as the 9th president and if the search process is fair. As of now, there is over 100-200 people living in tents on Gallaudet University's front lawns and more are joining!

I know there have been some media attention to this but there have been a lot of misinformation.. If you want to read up more about what's going on, please click on these links- www.gallyfssa.organd/or http://www.xanga.com/elisa_abenchuchan and you can also type in Gallaudet University in Google search and will come up with many different articles regarding this.

I was wondering if u guys could tell me what u guys think of the protest? Here's a poll and please feel free to share comments. After a day of this, I will explain what is really going on from an insider's point of view..
post #2 of 11
This is about the "deaf" world isn't it. Here is my opinion:
While I realize that there are varying degrees of deafness I don't understand why they don't want her as the president becasue she can speak. I don't think that is fair. If she is the right woman for the job then she should be it. If there is no other reason than the fact that she isn't "deaf enough" then I think I might consider that a form of discrimination.
post #3 of 11
It is my understanding that she was the School's provost for about 6 years and therefore would have in some part, played a major role in the School and stood in for the President on occasion, if they didn't have a problem then, I am not sure why they have a problem now.

To be honest, I can see the advantages of having a speaking President to convey ideas to the public who are not deaf with emotion rather than through an interpreter.

However, in the case of a vote of no confidence, I do feel that if a resolution is passed it should be upheld, BUT in the little time since her appointment, I don't feel that you can prove she has ACTUALLy done anything wrong in order to have a vote of no confidence. Anyone can concentrate on a few words out of a speech, but what about her 6 years as provost

As for the color letter, it would have been interesting to see (if they replied) why that person was not chosen, in the political climate, I can't see them at least not selecting someone 'so experienced and perfect' for the job who happens to be non white just because they aren't white... political suicide springs to mind.

And to be honest, I don't feel that any of the letters posted on the website explain why she should step down, they all mention the identity and the process not being fair because someone of color with a PhD was not chosen, but nowhere do they state why she is wrong for the job.
post #4 of 11
Since this is a little heavy for the Lounge, I'll move it to IMO.
post #5 of 11
If she knows her stuff and does it well, I don't see the problem of a deaf person being in her position.

As for whether the search process was fair, I don't have enough information to form an opinion. At least people WANT to work for your University, when I was graduating from mine all the contenders for the Presidency dropped out except for one. Then he was forced to resign 2-3 years later because of using the university's money for his own purposes.
post #6 of 11
I think they are going a bit too far - what is wrong with the fact that she can speak?

What about giving her a chance to do her job and see if she does well. She might surprise everyone.

Part of me thinks it is to do with the crab theory - when a Deaf person does well, the others want to drag them down.

I remember the protests when they wanted the deaf president now. Every time they get a new president, will they protest every time?

Its just a president, they could at least hold their tongues (or is it hands?).
post #7 of 11
My school just announced our new president and the faculty is all upset because only one guy got nominated and so they didn't have much input. I think nobody else wanted the job, personally. I don't know though.
I think the students have a right to protest whatever they want to protest. At least they care about their school.
I don't know who's right or wrong, but here nobody gives a durn about anything that admins do or don't do.
post #8 of 11
I still don't get what this is about. I visited those two websites, heard about this on NPR and just read a couple articles online and don't get it. They don't like her because she isn't a person of color, or because she speaks and learned sign language at 24 and reads lips, she isn't warm and fuzzy enough? I don't see any of the arguements against her being clearly defined.
post #9 of 11
If she's qualified and does a good job, why does it matter that she can speak.
post #10 of 11
My parents are both deaf and I think some of this prejudice against the new President is not that her level of hearing loss is not profound enough, but rather that she did not grow up in the deaf community. Kind of like some blacks who accuse other blacks of not being "black" enough.

These days many hearing parents choose to try and "fix" deaf children by getting the cochlear implants, hearing aids, sending them to speech therapy and mainstreaming them into "hearing" schools rather than sending them to schools for the deaf. I am not saying this is right or wrong, heck if my son would've been born deaf I can't say that I wouldn't have done the same. It would have been very difficult to sent him away to live at a school for the deaf.

One way or another, I think the University President should be chosen based on his or her qualifications to do the job.
post #11 of 11
The students and alumni don't think this person is qualified for the job. The University should listen to the concerns these peopl ehave and remember that Alimni write the checks, and the students will be alumni soon. They should show respect to the students, after all they are going to be affected the most by these person.
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