I just read this at People of the Eye: “The BOT has just announced that students won’t get PNG but they will do community service. However, nothing has been said about any possible consequences for staff and faculty.”
Before this was announced, I was discussing with a good friend of mine tonight what possible reprisals the BoT might decide to issue to the participants in the Protest that has led to Dr. Fernandes’ termination tonight. Here is what I said to him:
“I heard a rumor earlier in the week that reprisals could be on the order of community service for all student participants. if that happens, what I would love to see is a large mass of alumni, supporters, NAD and it’s members, etc, etc, all come and stand shoulder to shoulder with the protesters and serve out that community service ‘sentence’ together! Wouldn’t that blow everyone’s mind? the naysayers, the media, the outsiders who simply never understood?”
Think about this – what a powerful message this would send!
My plead to all members of the Gallaudet community that have stood and supported the protesters, and to the protesters themselves – please consider the wisdom and, YES, the IRONY of not protesting further, but instead ACCEPTING the sentence of community service if that is what the BoT decides to do.
Can you imagine the message it would send to everyone, including the BoT, IKJ, JKF, the rest of the administration, Fernandes’ supporters, and to the public at large, most especially our neighbors in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia who have been disgusted or confused by the media and the mixed messages put forth by the IKJ Administration, if we would ALL return and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our protester heroes, and work with them to fulfill their community service sentence?
I issue the call: Those of you who can and are willing, whether you be Alumni, Parents of any campus student, grandparents, friends, NAD members, FSSA members throughout the country, faculty or staff at Gallaudet or other local universities that supported our cause, one and all, commit yourselves to come, stand once again besides our heroes and complete the sentence of community service together.
I’ll go one further, and CHALLANGE all those who supported Fernandes’ appointment to drop your weapons, your words, your acrimony, and come, too, in the spirit of healing the riff that has divided us. That includes IKJ, JKF, their staffs, their silent supporters, their most vocal supporters.
All of us, together.
copyright @ 2006, Kenneth G. Samson