Tuesday, May 1, 2007

What is your "Unity for Gallaudet" story?

What is your "Unity For Gallaudet" story?

Where have you been during last year's May 1st 2006? How did you learn about the student protest brewed out on Gallaudet main campus? What was your intital reaction? What did you assume about the state of protest? What source (s) did you find out more about the first day of "Unity for Gallaudet" protest? How you really feel about the "UFG" sparked out? What were your personal assessment about the chain of events led to the "UFG"? What did you seen yourself on that day?

Would love to read your "UFG" story. Let's start with mine-

I went to the Kendall Green campus for having the early afternoon appointment with deaf audiologist, who works on her thesis paper on "People with Waardensburg Syndrome (WS) and Balance Assessment". We did reschedule few times before May 1st. I was on my way to the Mary Thornberry Building (MTB). Handful of Gally people and alumnus stopped me and informed me about the Gallaudet Board of Trustees' last-minute change of plan for an announcement of new Gallaudet President on May 1st. I replied "What?? The announcement was supposed to be on May 8th."

I found the deaf audiologist to see if we could reschedule our testing session for "WS". The deaf audiologist said "Me, too! I want to go to the GKCC to find out who is the new Gallaudet prez!" I ran to the GKCC before people packed in the Swindell Auditorium. I was few foot from the auditorium door. I chatted with Cary Barbin before entering the auditorium. Another Gally employee chatted with me. Few Gallaudet students had conversation with me thru the use of Sidekick pager because of Carl Pramuk sat above us. I waved to other people on another side of auditorium.

The moment came with Cecil Baldwin, Gallaudet Board of Trustees chairperson made the announcement about the 9th Gallaudet President with fingerspelling of J A N E. I knew that was Jane Fernandes. I had my stomach dropped in reek. I stood up right away after Baldwin spelled Fernandes. I immediately walked out to the door and saw the whole incident with Ryan Commerson being arrested on the scene by the DPS officer. I said quick hello to Dr. John Van Cleve (JVC) on the way out. I asked him what's matter with him for not saying hello back. JVC replied "I am working right now". I was confused what JVC talked about. I got out of the door and saw the DPS officer pulled Ryan's arm upward near his shoulder blade. One of Gally student ran to take a photo of Ryan Commerson pushed against the wall with his Sidekick (SK) pager.

The DPS officers ran back and forth inside the GKCC. Other students flocked to the Swindell Auditorium from the additional ballrooms. Students were in total shock and dismay about Fernandes being selected as a successor to I. King Jordan (IKJ) outside the GKCC building.

Students flocked to the Gallaudet Mall between the Merrill Learning Center (Gallaudet Library) and College Hall with the Student Activity Center on right side. The "UFG" protest born there. Twenty minutes later, students were urged to be at the Front Gate.

Several Gally staff employees quipped "DPN wannabes!" One of Gally staff employee spoke with me - "Don't students realize about the real importance of Provost, not President?" I stood there witnessed the growing protest crowd over hours.

I went home pretty late around 10:30pm. I got the big SMILE on my face while sleeping. I told myself about us finally step up to the real protest which had been very overdue for many years! You know the rest of the "Unity for Gallaudet" protest brewed for another six months from the day of May 1st.

ASLize yours,
Robert Mason (RLM)


  1. Hello I dont know if you remmy me from Gally . I was there during Fall 1989 and Spring 1991. Im friend of Robert Guillory Im the black guy from Louisiana..

  2. May 1st, hmm, emails were flying around like wildfire that day I remember. The next day, I signed a national online petition. Then I joined youtube a week later and posted my first video May 26th, which I will blog 'bout it later.

  3. Hi David,

    Are you the one with the glasses and mustache and usually hang around with Rhonda and Chris?

    If yes, how are you doing so far? I hope that everything go very well with you. Smile!

    I do no have your email address which you did not post yours on the comment log. Here is my email address for public use - rlmdeaf@hotmail.com

    I used to have the Comcast DSL service until few months ago. I am searching the new place to reside. That's why I disconnect the DSL service before signing for another annual contract.

    I saw Robert Guillory when he flew down to DC last December 2006. He was really getting little older and changed as a person.

    I hope to see RG again next Fall 2007 if he will go to DC for whatever reason.