Well done, Donald Tropp!
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Dear Provost Fernandez,
Thank you for responding to my letter, although your message wasn’t exactly what I was hoping to hear. Even though you agreed that the University failed to meet our communication needs during the goalpost incident, you still didn’t accept responsibility. You insist that you will work to improve communication access, but we’ve all heard this time and time again.
I never blamed the goalpost incident on anyone but the students involved. I only said the administration must be held accountable for the following events that occurred. DPS handled the situation horrendously, reflecting upon the poor leadership of Paul Kelly, Vice President of Administration and Finance. I wonder why we haven’t heard from him yet.
I agree that the team could have worked with the administration to plan “an enjoyable, safe and appropriate celebration,” but you said that the fans, including the administration, didn’t have “time to think about how to mark the team’s outstanding season.” The team had won eight straight games, giving the fans every reason to believe the chances of an undefeated season were very real. Even if they lost their final game, their season still would have justified a celebration. During their winning streak, the administration never once publicity applauded them. Did you ask the football players how they felt about that?
The CREs, as you said, may have been the “first logical responders.” However, when DPS and MPD showed up, I could see the CREs were as lost as the students. They only said to stay inside our dorms and could not answer any of our questions because they simply did not know. There was no interpreter provided to assist them in this crisis, so how could they communicate effectively with the students if they didn’t have access to communication themselves?
You brought the Homecoming incident into your letter when you asked, “Are we to blame that on the hotel staff’s lack of ability to sign or the guest’s inability to do so?” It is not logical to tie the two acts together especially when they were committed by different groups of students on separate occasions.
Gallaudet University is not the Grand Hyatt Washington, but a place where we supposedly have the right to full communication access. The University’s inability to accommodate our communication needs is not surprising. DOSS accidentally killed Carl Dupree on November 9, 1990 because of a communication breakdown. Fast-forward fifteen years later, and it seems the only change we see from DPS is their name.
You wrote, “I believe that real listening to one another will help us to work together to achieve some positive results from these very serious and troubling incidents.” If real listening means giving us an opportunity to be heard, then there’s a problem.
No one’s listening.
The Buff and Blue