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October 13, 2006

Statements from I King Jordan, President, Gallaudet & Meloyde Batten-Mickens, Executive Director of Facilities and Chief of the Gallaudet University Department of Public Safety

From: Gallaudet - Oct 13, 2006

October 13, 2006

Statement from I. King Jordan, President of Gallaudet University

Gallaudet University has exhausted all means of communication and negotiation with those who have disrupted the university's educational processes and held the campus hostage to their demands. Both President-Designate Dr. Jane Fernandes and I have been available to meet with students and other concerned individuals throughout the protest.

Other senior administrators, such as the Interim Provost and the Dean of Students, also have been available and have met repeatedly with groups of protesters to try to understand their grievances and work toward a common resolution of them. At times, the protesters have refused to meet with either Dr. Fernandes or me, and at other times they have demanded to meet with Dr. Fernandes or me. The have failed to honor agreements arrived at through negotiation and compromise and changed their demands repeatedly. The protesters' actions have deprived the university's students of the education that they expect and deserve, and they have denied education to the children who attend the university's pre-college programs. The university fully respects and is committed to free speech and the free exchange of ideas, but the protesters' own actions are in violation of these fundamental principles of academic life and the pursuit of knowledge. The university can no longer tolerate behavior that denies the rights of students, faculty, and staff.

Gallaudet University will continue to allow students to protest at the front of the campus at the Florida Avenue gate, but access to the campus must be restored to students, staff, faculty, alumni, and visitors. The university is requesting that actions that interfere with educational processes, including the unimpeded movement of individuals into, out of, and throughout the campus, cease immediately.

I have asked the Gallaudet University Department of Public Safety, their consultant, and the Metropolitan Police Department to take the actions necessary to reopen Gallaudet University for educational purposes. I deeply regret being forced to take this action. I realize that it may lead to arrests, but the protesters have left me no choice.

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Statement from Meloyde Batten-Mickens, Executive Director of Facilities and Chief of the Gallaudet University Department of Public Safety

The Gallaudet University Department of Public Safety, assisted by our consultant and by the Metropolitan Police Department, will reopen the sixth street gate and roadway into campus.

At this time, I ask the full cooperation of all students and others involved in the protest to immediate remove from the roadway all vehicles, tents, and other objects that impede the access to the university campus for students, staff, faculty, visitors, and emergency vehicles. I also ask that individuals themselves not block access through the gate or to the roadway around campus. These requests are not negotiable.

This notice gives fair warning that any persons who interfere with the university's steps to restore freedom of access to Kendall Green will be subject to arrest and criminal prosecution according to District of Columbia law, specifically, statute 22-1307. Staff and faculty may additionally be subject to administrative penalties in accordance with the applicable university personnel policies. Students may be subject to penalties within the student judicial processes, including possible dismissal from the university, if they break laws or violate the student code of conduct.

The university has a duty to serve its students and the wider Deaf Community, and it will exercise its full legal authority as necessary to accomplish this goal.

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