Saturday, December 03, 2005

Another Sensible Letter from Donald Tropp

As expected, Donald Tropp, the Editor-in-Chief of The Buff and Blue responded back.

Talk is cheap, prove it. That is the main slogan because what did the administration manage to accomplish in the last 15 years when it comes to communication issues at Gallaudet? Not so much, really.

As you can see, Donald Tropp once again trampled on Provost Fernie's points -- action speaks louder than words, really.



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Dear Provost Fernandes,

I appreciate your response to my recent letter. It seems the University is finally acknowledging our concerns, and we will continue to make noise. The rapidly growing number of students using a shirt that says, “Know Thy Enemy,” with your picture on it has added fuel to the fire.

In this issue, we reprinted an article from The Nation about the Carl DuPree incident from fifteen years ago. We wanted to show our readers that there has not been much, if any, improvement since then in terms of communication. Last year, the University said they would implement the mandates presented by the audism committee, a promise that has yet to reach fruition. Despite these facts, you appeal to us to believe you and to give change a try. Only when you make points based on facts, we can begin to do so.

With that said, you cannot blame me for not trusting the leadership we have now. President Bush has been heavily criticized for such events as the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina. He lost the trust of perhaps millions of his constituents and is now struggling to regain it. The same rings true for the University’s leadership. President I. King Jordan has done many great things for Gallaudet, but he, like everyone else, still has his flaws.

Under Dr. Jordan’s administration, Gallaudet has not effectively improved communication access, as was evident during the goalpost incident. That’s why it is important that the presidential search committee be aware of this pressing issue in their hunt for the next leader of the deaf world. That person must have strong convictions, personal courage and community building skills if we want to see changes for the better.

But that doesn’t mean we have to wait until next January. When Dr. Donalda Ammons moderated the recent Town Hall meeting, she requested that the students not only identify an issue but propose a solution. My suggestion is to assemble a team of legal experts and qualified linguist to reform Gallaudet’s communication policies.

I agree that we should not dwell on the past, but the University must learn from history to avoid repeating the same mistakes. We must look ahead to the future with the understanding that Gallaudet is far from perfect. I am looking forward to seeing what the new “strategic plan with clear actions to effect change” can do for Gallaudet.

We’ve waited long enough.


Donald Tropp
The Buff and Blue

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