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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Real Unity 

Since the announcement of Jane K. Fernandes as the 9th president of Gallaudet, there's been some interesting developments, newspaper articles, letters, flyers, emails, photos, videos, rallies, perspectives and blog postings.

Unlike DPN, we're getting information much faster than before, thanks to pagers, blogs and videophones. There's been countless of instant messages with friends and acquaintances about this whole thing. Don'cha just love technology? Oh yeah, let's not forget the media as well.

There have been several blogs, chronicling the protests, rallies and meetings at Gallaudet. Such blogs are:



DeafDC (Adam Stone, Bobby Cox, Julie Feldman, Chris & Allison (Polk-[?]) Kaftan)

There are so many more bloggers writing about it, whether they're on campus or not.

Yesterday, Chris and Allison posted an entry, The Gallaudet Community Shoots Self in Foot. I thought it was a bold posting. Whether you agree with it, either wholly or parts, or not, it does call for introspection.

Like I said, the posting was bold because they attempted to show both sides of the protest, although one could get the sense that the protesters were being scolded. One thing that I immediately agreed was that no one should be staking out anyone's residence. The Kaftans said that some students had gone to JK's residence, thus forcing JK to stay on campus for the sake of safety. Some commenters stated that was not true. Regardless, I believe that no one should intimidate others at all, whether it's been happening or not.

The rest of the the post, I had to think about it. After work, I took KT out to dinner at Lauriol Plaza. It was our first time there. Let me tell you, I thought it was a fabulous Mexican restaurant. The tortilla chips were fresh. The salsa was fresh and spicy. KT had chunky chicken fajitas. I had a burrito gordo, along with a frozen lime margarita. Mmm, it was a delicious dinner!

Anyways, while dining at Lauriol Plaza, we got into some interesting discussions about the whole thing. Even when we got home, we were still talking about it.

So, I'd like to address some things from the post:

I definitely agree that everyone needs to be tolerant of one another. However, to be tolerant doesn't mean to be neutral. It just means to respect one another, whether they want to participate in the protest or not or whether they agree or disagree with your views.

People are allowed to change their minds or stances. They should be allowed to change or modify without any pressure or intimidation from anyone. Changing one's mind or stance doesn't just occur during protests, it occurs in daily life with jobs, education, relationships, decisions, choices and the like. Even during the election year, people change their minds or their political affiliations.

Now, about students allegedly going to JK's house, I have to re-evaluate that. Again, no one should intimidate others. However, I will have to agree with some of the commenters in regards to JK not reporting this incident. I mean, if I was being harassed, I'm gonna be like Ridor by boldizing their names and tell them to get the fuck off my property and stay the fuck away from me, from KT and the kitties. Of course, I'd get the cops involved.

If it did happen, why didn't she report it? We'll never know her intentions until she tells us. Perhaps, she was trying to be diplomatic. Who knows?

As for Dr. Jane Norman... Like I said, we shouldn't intimidate others just because they support JK and vice versa. Now, about her letter, it's interesting. Like Elisa said in her blog, what paper? The only "paper" that I'm aware is that e-petition in regards to the 2 demands.

We have too many people saying that someone did this and someone did that. It can get confusing. Do we trust that person or that blogger? Do we discount them altogether? Do we only believe only what we have seen with our own two eyes? I believe we should take everything with a grain of salt. Let's not be quick to jump in and gasp in shock. Investigate. Confirm.

As for the protest itself, I do believe there are too many messages as being the basis. Is it the search process itself? Is it JK? Is it diversity? Is it IKJ? Is it the BOT? Is it social injustice? Is it the system? However, I believe it is natural for all of these and other questions to be asked and discussed. This will all consolidate and is in the process.

I have to applaud Chris and Allison for being able to show the other side, in this case, Gallaudet for All (GFA). The GFA has been getting support from the university, such as monies and laptops. Allison questioned their potential to show support for JK without influences from the university. That is something to consider.

As for the Tent City, I think it's unique. There's been some concerns about campers doing leisurely activities instead of protesting. Well, first of all, do you expect them to protest 24/7? These people are there at the daily 4pm rally in front of Chapel Hall. These people are there at JK's daily sessions. These people go to various meetings and whatnots. Meanwhile, in between, they are allowed to relax, bond and do other things.

As for resources, I'm not quite sure where I stand. Last week, I would say, "yes, they can use the university's resources". Some of these protesters are students of Gallaudet University. They're using the Internet, electricity and other resources in their dorms. It's just that they're in a different location, Tent City. This week, school is officially out for the summer. Does that mean their resources should be cut off as well?

Like I said, I'm not sure where I stand. The reason is because the campus location is a different story. You see, a university is never really closed to the public, especially to its own students and alumni. However, does that give us a pass to their resources? Anyways, I do take comfort that Tent City doesn't wholly rely on the university's resources. When I was there last week, I was told that Tent City was gonna rent out those public bathrooms, among other stuff.

I do wish that students and collegiate organizations had done something like the Faculty Senate did with the no-confidence votes before the semester had concluded. I believe that staff will be voting today. Correct me if I'm mistaken.

I believe the protesters should be asking themselves another question, which may lead to another strategy. If JK says, which she has repeatedly, that she will not resign and the BOT says they will not rescind their decision, what will the FSSA do next? Will the protesters remain on campus throughout the summer? Will the FSSA initiate another strategy or another demand? Or are they going with the flow?

That reminds me, I gotta get the "Unity for Gallaudet" t-shirts.

Speaking of unity, we need to really practice that. It doesn't help with people pointing fingers and belittling each other. All for one, one for all, right?

I do hope something positive will result from this protest. Who knows what just might happen, eh?