Wednesday, December 8, 2010
CONFRONTATION AT GALLAUDET
Dr. Edward C. Merrill, President, Gallaudet College 1973 from Tower Clock 1973
"Confrontation has been and is prevalent in our society. It has made its mark on college and university campuses across the nation. It would be unfair to say that confrontation is no way to do business.
Frankly, I think it is fundamentally an expression of a basic right, and I am pleased that confrontation is the theme of the Tower Clock for 1973.
To me, confrontation means facing the issues. It means bringing problems to the surface for all to see. It means providing opportunities for everyone to participate in achieving a solution, permitting all points of view to be expressed.
It is only when confrontation takes the form of coercion, intimidation, or is directed toward individuals on a personal basis that it loses both its value and effectiveness as a means of bringing people together and arriving at decisions. When it deprives individuals and groups of an opportunity to deliberate, it is in violation of basic rights and is no good.
It is my hope that Kendall Green can become increasingly an open forum where issues that are vitally important to people and when causes to which individuals are committed can be not only discussed but pursued actively. Thus, confrontations will continue to be one of several valuable procedures by means of which we relate to each other and work toward improving Gallaudet College as an institution of learning and as a setting where we demonstrate important values in our daily lives."
This was in 1973 and it is 2010 now. Confrontations continue and Gallaudet learns to grow and improve. ASL is the sacred language and should be respected as a form of communication on the campus.
Dr. Merrill has this quote whenever he presented Gallaudet on his travels. I try to remember something like this, "Hiring hearing teachers for deaf classes is like hiring Japanese teachers with no English skills to teach English classes.
That was something then and this is something now!