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Gallaudet Protest Coverage

Now that graduation ceremonies are over, the Gallaudet campus is becoming quiet again. Students have mostly packed up the "tent city" that sprang up during the nearly two weeks of protest following the May 1 naming of provost Jane Fernandes to succeed I. King Jordan as Gally's next president.

Like the "Deaf President Now!" protests that catapulted Jordan into the post as the University's first Deaf president, this story has been covered in news media, with the Washington Post doing the lion's share of the job.

At the Tent City, Time to Pull Up Stakes (Washington Post, May 13) gives a good overview of where things are now: Students are leaving campus, but many vow that the battle's still not over.

The Post's op-ed columnist Fred Hiatt, in a thoughtful piece, looks at the Signs of Change at Gallaudet:

Protests swept I. King Jordan into the presidency of Gallaudet University 18 years ago. Now, as he prepares to retire, protest once again has erupted on campus.

But it is the differences between the two that are instructive -- instructive about changes in our perceptions of deafness and disability and about how progress in medical science may shape more change in the future. . . .

It's impossible to listen to the various sides in this painful conflict and not accept the idea that everyone may be right -- that no one explanation is sufficient. Gallaudet's campus, a lovely pocket of green tucked into a gritty Northeast neighborhood, is, like any liberal-arts campus, a cauldron of political passion, debate and infighting.

But it's also impossible not to tap into a deep undercurrent of uncertainty about the future of deaf culture and institutions. . . . (read article).

The elisa abenchuchan protest coverage blog carries a photo with the caption "Message from Tent City" -- the photo of a sign held aloft: We will be back." This blog has probably the most content of the protest issues from students' perspectives.

More links, including those to Gallaudet faculty resolutions on the protest, can be found at the AAPD website.

Visit our earlier Closer Look entry for earlier coverage and links to commentary by Gally students.


It has nothing to do with the Fernandes 'not being deaf enough.' This tactic to distract the media and the public from looking at the real issues has been extremely effective. However, if you look at the protesting members of Gallaudet University, especially the Faculty and Staff members, a lot of them are hearing or deaf with oral backgrounds. A lot of students came from oral and/or mainstreamed settings. The real issues are ineffectual leadership, operated by oppression and retaliation, and a flawed presidential search. A lot of unethical practices have been done on the campus.



Here is the latest and definitive press release from the protesters:


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