Correction: Actually, Homecoming was postponed, not cancelled.
Students at Gallaudet University are protesting. No, not just carrying signs and such. They have taken over College Hall on campus. It is the 1960’s in D.C.
The Washington Post (radio) has an interview with some of the students and faculty.
“Now with us this morning through their sign language interpreters (Emphasis is mine.) are LaToya Plummer, a student at Gallaudet University, and one of the faculty members, Dr. Jeff Lewis, who’s with us as well.”
Yep, a radio interview with interpreters.
I’d love to have heard that one. The audio is actually there. I missed it. Seriously, this is a great story.
LaToya Plummer explained the reasons behind the protest. “Well, the protest is all about a flawed process for the selection of the next president. It’s not only that but the lack of leadership capabilities that we’ve seen in Dr. Fernandes over the last 11 years.” (Source)
One of the issues is audism. Haven’t heard that one before, have you?
What is audism? A simple definition would be that it is a negative or oppressive attitude towards deaf people by either deaf or hearing people and organizations, and a failure to accomodate them. People who have audist attutides (sic) are considered to be audists. For example, the refusal or failure to use sign language in the presence of a sign language-dependent person is considered audism. (Source)
The following excerpt kind of says it all with regard to how strongly the students feel about this issue:
Jane Fernandez is the president-designate of the University who is scheduled to take office in January. Protestors (sic) deny that they ever charged that Fernandez, who learned sign language in her twenties, is not, as some put it, “deaf enough.” (Emphasis is mine.) But they do say that Gallaudet is more than a school. It is a symbol of what deaf people can achieve and the president must be an advocate for all deaf people. The student protestors (sic) and many faculty members are angry that they were excluded from the selection process. (Source)
We need to follow this story and think about how you would handle it if you were the media relations person for Gallaudet. I truly wish I could be there. I even tried to chat with Erin Caldwell, who is in D.C., to see what news coverage is like up there. Erin, of course, was asleep. The nerve of that girl. 😀