I WANT SOME GALLAUDET HYSTERIA
I'm REALLY not happy with what I'm seeing about the selection of the next President of Gallaudet University.
Commented David Evans on Adam Stone's blog:
No other university that I’ve attended or heard of would shut down for an entire day just for a presentation by a presidential candidate. Still, I’m sure that whoever went first would have to sacrifice something in the short-term. Short of having a debate/longer forum, I don’t think there’s any easy way to resolve this.
I've heard of plenty who have all three presidents give speeches and involve as many of their students as possible. And a little work on Google found this. I went to a hearing college, and it seemed a perfectly reasonable idea to pick a time which would allow all students to attend these introductions. Another commenter on that blog also suggested all three speeches be at the same time; this is another good idea. Please don't fall into the trap Deaf people have of trying not to be "uppity" and not asking for what you deserve. This is an important position we're talking about, having effects worldwide. The words I. King Jordan spoke when he was first confirmed as President are still rung round the world. And who is the Deaf community? We are.
This is where I have to stop, with Adam. I was an MSSD student and I was proud of being connected to Gallaudet that way and still am, but that's the only way I'm connected. Maybe it's enough to give me the right to comment, though. The President of Gallaudet College is a representative of the Deaf Community-THE representative. In some ways, he's very much in the role of a diplomat to a foreign power. We should be sitting there with our children. "Kids, this could be the next Gallaudet President. This is going to determine who leads us in the coming world." And we're going to need a leader - it doesn't look like it's going to be an easy world. And we need someone who can think about this world. I mean, look at the class ramifications of cochlear implants, for god's sake. We need someone with excellence in language to lead the University also in ideas, and especially ideas about Deaf people, Deaf culture, etc. We need someone who can reach out and give people reasons to attend Gallaudet so we continue to have a center of Deaf culture like this (and it's not just Deaf people - look at Howard University, for example which is also suffering student attrition as access and discrimination decrease.
But today, with our wonderful technology, we really don't have to worry about shutting down a university. 20-minute speech, at the same time, different stages for each candidate, each speech to be filmed by separate film crews, and play it on the campus television thingy for the entire day. Subtitle as possible and replay the subtitled version when it becomes available. This way fairness is achieved and we provide respect to the importance of the position of Gallaudet University. Put the speeches on the internet. "Spying" wouldn't matter. Let the Deaf bloggers talk about it - all over the world. You can tell the Search Committee to ignore the buzz if you want - but people's words should be out there. But don't any students have video cameras? Is the Buff and Blue reaching out into AV yet? GallyPost.com looks like an interesting resource; I don't see any posts on Presidential selection yet. gally-l seems to be hopping about this "secrecy" and the choice to have the selection happen over the summer when the students won't be around to see. Fine, get some students to stay there. AND BRING THE DAMN CAMERAS. Got to be hosting somewhere. (General Jen would remind me: keep the mic on.)
And by the way - did anyone go to Bernice Johnson Reagon's speech? She is an amazing, amazing woman, a great writer who has worked for feminism and equality for a long time. She also happens to have strong ties to the Deaf community. I'm hoping her speech was packed, and hoping someone has a link to the text of her speech.