A comment left on InsideHigherEd.com’s website in response to today’s Searching for Answers at Gallaudet article reaffirms what I have been witnessing myself on the ground at Gallaudet and in blogs across the Internet. This protest, in a few short weeks, has done more to galvanize the WHOLE deaf community than anything the Gallaudet administration has done in Jane’s six years as a Provost overseeing the University.
Based on what I saw of her during the last crisis she had to deal with as a provost, I do not think Fernandes is the person the university community needs to lead us out of the current time of crisis and into a time of healing. So far, she has shown herself to be more of a divider than a unifier on campus. Indeed, from what I have seen of the protesters, they have done far better at crossing the bridges between races, genders, position (student/staff/faculty/alumni), and, YES, even hearing status and cultural identity (protesters and sympathizers are Deaf, deaf, hard of hearing, “hearing impaired”, deaf-blind, hearing, grew up oral, grew up with ASL, grew up with something in between, have cochlear implants or don’t). The protesters have done in the past few months what Fernandes never succeeded in doing during her six years as provost. -andrea