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April 13, 2003

NTID, Gallaudet teams rally

From: Democrat and Chronicle, NY - Apr 13, 2003

Social ties strengthened at top schools serving deaf

By Greg Livadas
Democrat and Chronicle


(April 13, 2003) - HENRIETTA - Someone at the Washington, D.C., campus of Gallaudet University last week opened a box containing bones from 100 Buffalo wings.

The gift, from students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, was in reference to Gallaudet's mascot, a bison.

"We sent the bones to scare them," said Amanda Janovsky, 18, a student at NTID, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology.

Janovsky, of Bryan, Texas, was one of a few hundred students competing Saturday against students from Gallaudet in the semiannual RIT/Gally Weekend and Brickfest, sponsored by the NTID Student Congress.

Games ranging from flag football and water polo to chess and billiards were played, with bragging rights and a trophy being awarded to the winning college.

"The purposes of this event are to foster a spirit of sportsmanship, competition and cultural awareness," said Brickfest chairman Carlos Mendez, an NTID student.

About 2,000 students, nearly all of them deaf, attend Gallaudet; nearly 1,200 attend NTID. The colleges are by far the largest colleges for the deaf in the country.

"There's a lot of socialization between the two schools," said David Ferrer, 21, a Gallaudet student from Los Angeles.

"Deaf people are very social and we like to get together."

NTID hosts the competition during odd-numbered years.

Gallaudet hosts NTID students on even-numbered years for its Rockfest, when a loading dock is transformed into a dance venue, with blasting, reverberating music.

"It's part of the Gallaudet and NTID tradition. That tradition is a huge part of college students' experience," said Mercy Coogan, a spokeswoman for Gallaudet.

Two busloads of Gallaudet students arrived in Rochester at 4:30 a.m. Saturday.

They planned to have an all-night party at Jillian's at High Falls before heading home to Washington at 9 a.m. today.

Like her teammates, Tomeka King, 19, a Gallaudet student from Laurel, Md., wore a blue shirt with "declaw 'em!" written on the back, in reference to RIT's tiger mascot.

"I came to meet people and see what it's like," King, with mud on her face, said smiling despite losing to NTID in softball.

Copyright 2003 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.