Sunday, December 17, 2006

Censure, Not Punish

editorial by D. McClintock

I think maybe I wasn't loud enough in proposing that the BoT censure certain actions instead of mete out reprisals. It seems I am the only blogger with this idea for censure. Let me explain why I am in favor of this alternative to reprisals.

For definition and history of censure, see this link,

Why does not the BoT do the same for certain protestors, whose behavior was unacceptable? Censure communicates the message that such behavior, as throwing bottles and vandalism, is unacceptable. Censure may also serve as a warning for future protestors. Censure is a face-saving measure that the BoT should have considered. Extreme reprisals, in my view, such as expulsion of all those who were involved in the protests, send out the wrong message.

I have travelled widely around the world and have witnessed how America was perceived in other countries. I understand generally how Europeans and Asians think. I fear that if extreme reprisals are carried out, prospective students in other countries will see Gallaudet as a "not-friendly" place. Reprisals may hurt Gallaudet's image farther in the long run than the BoT may realize.

The best course of action for the BoT would be to rescind reprisals immediately and offer a censure instead. This would be peaceful and appropriate, in light of the need for harmony on campus. The BoT should also take into account the students' complaints against the DPS, who exceeded use of force beyond the limits of their authority.

If the BoT feel reprisals are absolutely neccessary, let the reprisals be service, research papers, compensation for damages...what else? Nothing more. I, the faceless blogger who lives 3,000 miles away from Washington, D.C., have never met the student who threw an apple through the window or spraypainted over IKJ's name. But I don't feel a desire he should be expelled from campus for what he did. Rather I think he should be made aware such behavior is wrong, that's all. Let his education continue. I think he should even come forward and offer to pay for the damages. I think it would be better for the student to take the bullet for the movement than the movement to take the bullet for the student. This is up to the student.

Ken (Bibliomarket) suggested a boycott of Gallaudet to protest reprisals by the BoT. While I respect his opinion and support his call for solidarity, I think this idea would backfire. Why? It would probably defeat the purpose of the protests. What good would staying at home in January accomplish? Have you thought what negative impact it might have on Gallaudet's accreditation process? What about those students whose tuition is already paid in full for one year? Come on, do you want Dr. Davila the new Interim President to come to an empty university? I think your visible presence is needed back on campus. I think we should think of more creative and proactive ways to protest the reprisals. I think you need to be there to show the BoT what student power is about.

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