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October 19, 2006

NTID gets Gallaudet unrest

From: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - Rochester,NY,USA - Oct 19, 2006

Students there, here angry over presidential pick

Greg Livadas
Staff writer

(October 19, 2006) — Students at Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf are planning to join other deaf students at Gallaudet University this weekend to protest Gallaudet's next president, Jane Fernandes.

Hundreds of students and faculty members at Gallaudet are upset with the choice and have blocked entrances and camped out in tents on campus. More than 100 students were arrested last week after they refused to allow a campus entrance to be opened.

One entrance at the school, which is in Washington, D.C., remained open this week, and classes resumed.

But homecoming ceremonies planned for this weekend have been postponed.

Fernandes is slated to become Gallaudet president on Jan. 1, following I. King Jordan, who is retiring. Fernandes, who is deaf, believes opponents think she is "not deaf enough" — not raised with sign language and uses her voice. Others say she is not sensitive to students' needs.

On Monday, dozens of NTID students are expected to have a 24-hour tent city of their own here at RIT.

The tent city at NTID is a way to show faculty, students, staff and administration at Gallaudet "that we are behind them 100 percent and we are also promoting the concept of social justice, not only at Gallaudet but everywhere," said Clayton Ide, 23, of Pittsford, an NTID student who attended Gallaudet last year.

© 2006, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,