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Gallaudet Students Protest New President

 
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 10:11 am
It's made the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/13/us/13gallaudet.html

I'm gonna try to finish my op-eddy thing today I think. (Try/i].)
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 12:37 pm
May your muse be attentive and your Near & Dear cooperative.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 May, 2006 05:27 pm
They haven't been! (Any of 'em -- muse is elusive, E.G.'s at work, and it's a rainy day and sozlet wants attention) but I have a draft completed. I'm going to sit on it a bit, revise, and then submit tonight or tomorrow morning.

What I would love from you guys, if you would, is to say the three things that made the biggest impression on you of my analysis of this so far. I want to keep it fairly short but want to get the most important stuff in, and would love your input on what's most important.

Thanks!
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 05:04 pm
sozobe wrote:
What I would love from you guys, if you would, is to say the three things that made the biggest impression on you of my analysis of this so far.

Thats kind of hard to say .. I tend to read stuff, immerse it into my awareness, and forget about where I got it from - so when I look back on a subject, I dont remember what I got from where..

so the problem with a random brainstorm like the below is I cannot exactly say what I got from you or from the blogs and articles you linked us to. But here goes:

---

- the bookends thing; the notion that this could 'herald' the end of an era; of a heyday of sorts of Deaf community

- the comparison between the protests then and those now; personal/petty grievances, mostly from an emotional POV ("doesnt say hi"), have replaced concrete demands on weighty issues

- the danger of the protests' impact on the outside world (including potential funders and subsidisers); the 3-minute summary will only show nasty, personalised identity politics; whereas it is a great and uniquely important institution that is at stake

---

- the explanations about deaf vs Deaf (as culture / identity) - I had no idea..

- how interaction between the Deaf and the deaf (small d) and hearing is basically a form of intercultural communication; and thus naturally also comes with all kinds of intercultural misunderstandings

- how much of the protesters' grievances about Fernandes' character and past actions could well just be such cultural misunderstandings (the example of the media students who found Fernandes rude and ruthless, when in reality she was probably just being businesslike the way hearing people are)

- the sheer focus of the complaints on personal stuff; at its broadest still only on issues of charisma and personality. Skills and qualifications (beyond charisma and communicability as skills themselves) apparently do not even enter the discourse of the protestors, like they're just not even aware of the president's tasks beyond a figurehead position. (Also shows up in their championing of a candidate who doesnt even have a PhD)

---

- the trouble with the "not Deaf enough" subtext of the protests; it denotes a certain clubbiness/elitism, which serves to empower the core community, but also alienates / discriminates against the layers around it.

- how that issue involves Gallaudet's future existence itself. Without opening up to wider, not 100% pure Deaf, students, it can probably not financially survive. How that is something that the protestors either dont see or purposely block out. (Thats where you inspired my comparison with Old Labourites etc; people can be so fearful of change - and with good reason, sometimes - that they'd rather risk their community going down altogether than to see it change unrecognisably, and lose their home that way.)

- in defense: the explanation of why there is a point to the students' passion about the university representing Deaf culture; it being the only place in the world where ASL is not just an awkwardly won favour, but self-evident. (The comparison of Gallaudet's role with that of Howard Univ - but even more so)

---

- a general point about the apparent .. slide in cultural mores? of Gallaudet students; boorishness, pettiness, low educational (entry) standards
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 05:06 pm
Gosh, thanks!

I was looking for maybe a sentence or two, that's very thorough.

I have all that. I'm not particularly pleased with my writing -- it's fine but doesn't have much oomph to it. But I've covered or implied most of those points I think, thanks so much.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 05:35 pm
sozobe wrote:
I was looking for maybe a sentence or two, that's very thorough.

Two sentences is much harder than half a page :wink:
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 May, 2006 06:14 pm
sozobe wrote:
What I would love from you guys, if you would, is to say the three things that made the biggest impression on you of my analysis of this so far.

As nimh says, there's a lot of impressions you've made. But if I had to settle on three, they would revolve around the following points:

(1) Gallaudet's double role as an academic institution and a cultural center of the Deaf world; why the "cultural center" part is a legitimate concern for the community, not just a fraternity-like "nice to have.

(2) This years protests versus 18 years ago.

(3) The cultural mismatch between "deaf" and "Deaf", how the two groups have trouble communicating with each other, and how this can lead to a climate of mutual suspicion.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 09:18 am
Oh good grief.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061012/ap_on_re_us/gallaudet_protest

(I never finished an article and then the issue faded, now that it's back maybe I'll see what I can do. Never really got it focused -- length, audience, hook, etc.)
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FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 11:14 am
Oh my.
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 02:25 pm
Once upon a time, I could distinguish absolutely between right and wrong.

Appreciating gray comes with maturity.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Oct, 2006 02:37 pm
sozobe wrote:
Oh good grief.

Immature little punks -- they're the same whether they can hear or not. Why should you deaf people have it any better than the rest of us?
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Oct, 2006 02:13 pm
NPR's talk of the nation has a special edition about the conflict. A transcript is included in this link:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6189253
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Oct, 2006 02:27 pm
This made me grin:

Quote:
CONAN: And before we get flooded with e-mails from Columbus, we know it's The Ohio State University.


OSU has a big thing about that. THE Ohio State University. Yeah yeah yeah (now I have to see why they were here...)

Happy to see RIT mentioned -- it's almost as much of a force as Gallaudet, but all the early part of the show was Gallaudet = mecca, Gallaudet is the only, etc. RIT is important too. (I know probably as many people who went to RIT as Gallaudet.)

Quote:
Somebody once described it -- King Jordan's like Bill Clinton, and she's like Al Gore. Jordan is very charismatic. She's not.


I hadn't seen this before, great summary.

Haven't read the cochlear implant part yet, need to go.

Thanks for the transcript, very interesting.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Oct, 2006 04:15 pm
Thomas wrote:
NPR's talk of the nation has a special edition about the conflict. A transcript is included in this link:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6189253

Just noting that, if it hadnt been for Sozobe's explanations earlier in this thread, I would have read the interaction between Conan and this caller called Jenny differently.. I would have just thought, what a strange woman. She's all over the place. And why is she being so rude?

Mind you, I must be scandalously cynical, because the first thing I thought was that Conan didnt wholly accidentally "hit the wrong button" and cut her off. But she got back on the program later again anyway, so - teaches me..
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Oct, 2006 07:23 pm
Oh I know. Bad voice interpreting. Ugh. I so hate using a voice interpreter. There were times that I gave ASL presentations to mixed audiences, and the Deaf people were like nodding and smiling and laughing and the hearing audiences were stony-faced and uncomprehending and I shuddered to think what the voice interpreter was doing to what I was saying. A couple of times I had hearing friends in the audience, the verdict was never good. Sigh.

I can decipher what Jenny was actually saying -- part of the problem was that the interpreter was doing more or less word-for-word voice interpretation, and Jenny seemed to be using good ASL grammar. So this:

Quote:
And myself, I'm from the alumni, too -- there at Gallaudet University -- and because of the culture, you know, complete access to communication, you know, and the deaf world is all connected. But now I'm looking and said why? Why is the president at Gallaudet, you know -- one moment, let me get clarification. Yes, and his, you know, administrator, you know, why are they letting -- you know, their strike to continue to increase. And want them to stop and listen to the students. And also¬Ö


Would have more properly been:

    I am also a Gallaudet alumnus, and valued my experience there very much -- the complete access to communication, the strong connections that were built there -- and feel connected to what is happening there now. I'm concerned about what is happening there, and why the president and the administration are allowing this problem get worse and worse. The students need to be listened to, and they aren't being listened to.


Something like that.

The italicized part by the way is the interpreter speaking for herself, saying that she needs to clarify something -- voicing "yes" was confusing because what happened there was the interpreter signed something back to Jenny, like "is this what you mean?", and Jenny said "yes" as in "you're correct," not something to voice.

All of that said, voice interpreting is HARD -- I've done it a few times and I can't stand it. Thinking in two languages at once, ugh.

I think she's probably very typical in her response of (paraphrase) "Deaf students are protesting, I am Deaf, therefore I support them. Period." It's a pretty typical thing of oppressed minority cultures -- and yes, while they're making a mockery of it now (part of what pisses me off), Deaf people have been oppressed in all kinds of significant ways for a long time. But there's that strong family/cultural connection that translates to a strong us-against-them vibe -- and in this equation, Jordan and Fernandes are the "hearing" people. They must be wrong, regardless of the facts. (Jordan! Of all people!) Sigh.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Oct, 2006 07:33 pm
I am still frustrated with Fernandes herself, though -- she keeps not quite striking the right tone. Just saw this from her, on the 9th:

Quote:
"I firmly believe I have the clearest, the deepest and the best understanding of what Gallaudet and the deaf community is going through here,"


Oof. That doesn't help anything. It's not the core of any problem really, and just reinforces the whole haughty, better-than-you thing.

What a mess.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 Oct, 2006 03:29 pm
It's big news now. It made cnn, complete with images of arrests and some fairly thoughtful commentary.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Oct, 2006 03:25 pm
Slate, on blogs re Gallaudet protest

One blog talks about the Washington Post's establishmentarianism (support for Fernandes) in articles and editorials on the subject, and I didn't chase that down to find links.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Oct, 2006 10:37 am
Thanks so much for the links, guys.

Ugh, this is just so bad. Just got this via email:

Quote:
Anyway, yesterday Gallaudet Faculty had a special meeting, and
here are the results. They did not have the chance to cover
last four items on their agenda due to the lateness of the hour.

============ ========= ========= ========= ===

Results of Faculty meeting Oct 16 2006
(Note: there are 221 eligible voting faculty members at
Gallaudet University; 168 are present at this meeting,
representing 76% of eligible voting faculty)

Motion A
�The University Faculty moves that Faculty Governance. Through
their official contacts with the Administration and the Board,
examine and discuss models for including faculty, staff,
students and alumni as members of the Board, and set a timetable
for incorporating one of these models into practice at
Gallaudet.

PASSED Unanimously (168 by standing vote)

Motion B
�Be it resolved that the faculty demand that Jane Kelleher
Fernandes resign or be removed from her position for the greater
good of Gallaudet University�

PASSED
Ayes 138
Nayes 24
Abstain 6

Motion C
�Be it resolved that the Faculty request the Board of Trustees
convene an emergency meeting with four elected representatives
from the students, four elected faculty members, two elected
staff members, two elected Clerc Center representatives, and two
elected members of the Alumni Association to determine how to
manage Gallaudet University during the interim and to plan for a
re-opening of the search process.�

PASSED
Ayes 131
Nayes 23
Abstain 2

MOTION D
�Be it resolved that the Faculty request no reprisals against
any member of the community, including students, staff and
faculty, Clerc Center teachers and staff, Trustees and alumni
for their support of or dissent from the current protests."

PASSED
Ayes 133
Nayes 15
Abstain 0

MOTION E
�Be it resolved that the Faculty express loss of confidence in
I. King Jordan as the leader of Gallaudet University.�

Ayes 80
Nayes 60
Abstain 7

MOTION F
�Be it resolved that the Faculty express a loss of confidence in
the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees�

PASSED
Ayes 106
Nayes 10
Abstained 0

============ ========= ========= ========= =


Motion "E", especially <shaking head>
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Oct, 2006 10:43 am
Just read the blog selection, thanks Osso.

This is patently untrue:

Quote:
Ben Adler critiques the Washington Post's "establishmentarian" coverage of the protests at Campus Progress as "clearly skewed towards the school administration" and for "repeat[ing] Fernandes' complaint that those who oppose her feel she 'is not deaf enough'--something none of the protestors interviewed by me, or any other reporter, have actually heard from Fernandes' opponents."


I've listed several instances of it right here on this thread, and characterized the opposition as "not deaf enough" myself before it appeared anywhere else. (Maybe I'm to blame?)
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