Wednesday, May 21, 2008

NTID President Responds re: Bell dorm

Reprinted here with author's permission

On 5/21/08 4:03 PM, "Alan Hurwitz" wrote:

Dear Colleagues and Students:

I have been deeply touched by the reaction to my decision regarding leaving the Alexander G. Bell name on our dormitory. I have read and reread the emails and postings on the topic, and have reread the report of the working group several times. While the postings and some of the emails have been public and open, I have received a much larger number of private, individual communications – both via email and in person.

I accept all of these expressions openly, for I know – no matter what viewpoint they represent – that they stem from the hearts of those coming forward to express their views.

In addition to the postings and emails that have been exchanged, I believe it is appropriate for us to allow for a discussion in an open forum. It will allow concerned members of the NTID community representing all points of view to express those views and perhaps to develop a greater understanding of others’ positions; it will also allow me to discuss my decisions. Regarding the AGBell plaque, I believe there has been some confusion; please be aware that the plaque has been removed and that I would welcome comments regarding its replacement.

With the calendar availability affected by the press of time for graduation ceremonies and activities this week and with quarter break next week, I will conduct an open meeting with the NTID community the following week on Wednesday, June 4 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in CSD Student Development Center, room 1300. I look forward to entering a deliberative dialogue with all who attend.

In addition to inviting the community to the forum, you have my invitation to sit with me on a one-on-one basis in my office to discuss this topic (or others); I also want to reinforce that I am always available via email to communicate with any of you as well.




Sherry said...

Pah Ruthie! I'm so proud of you!

Domvera said...

Hi there!

Darn! Since the open forum to NTID Community will be on June 4, most of Alumni, who are not residing in Rochester, would have misssed the opportunity to participate the open forum. Is there any possible to have another open forum for NTID Alumni members during 40th Alumni Reunion weekend to be schedule availablity?

Nick Vera

James Northcutt said...

Pah!! It is enlighted to know that it has been removed. Hopefully there will be an open forum discussion during the 40th Reunion if Alan can make that happen. This should give us alumuni members a say as well. During that time, we all can come to term to find a replacement.

Be assured I will be at the 40th Reunion next month.

SVP '77 / NSC President '80-'81

Anonymous said...

The plaque has been removed because the advisory committee agreed the wording on the plaque was offensive. A new plaque in Bell's honor will go up in its place

Dr. Hurwitz is asking for input on the new wording of a plaque in Bell's honor

the open forum is to allow folks to share their views on the topic of bell hall and for Dr. Hurwitz to explain his decision

the email above makes NO mention of the decision being reconsidered or changed.

Anonymous said...

Hearing people will be the first people to act by disgracing Bell as a plagiarist in the near future. All of his honors will be stripped off!

As usual, Deaf people will be the *last* ones to wake up.

Ella Mae Lentz said...

Dr Hurwitz,
I think the emphasizing the fictional, til proven true, "private" emails in support of keep honoring AGBell with a building on a campus he never been on or has nothing to do with, needs to stop.
You as the leader of NTID would be far more effective and empowering by recognizing and truly respecting the true heros. Those are Deaf people as well as hearing people who stood up to the oppression and damage of Oralism upon generations of Deaf people. Those people have courageously PUBLICLY exposed themselves speaking the truth and desiring justice to be finally visited upon our language and culture. Insisting that there are "many more private emails" as a way to squash those heros is becoming like an insult to them.
Did the committee unanonymously agree to keep on honoring Bell with that building or elsewhere on campus? Did the committee vote with a majority to do that? Or was it the other way around?
Dr. Hurwitz, it will be great that you be a true Deaf leader who takes a position AGAINST social injustice but not against Deaf people? And the social injustice is the years years of eugenics (selective breeding and cleansing of misfits from society) that AGBell is largely responsible for in form of taking Sign Language from Deaf babies, children, putting a huge stigma on being Deaf in all educational institutions, and promoting elitism (thus divisions) among Deaf people by falsely glorifying those who "speak and hear well (for a Deaf person)". The list goes on, and insisting that due to the unseen, unread, unheard, (and if true, pitifully ignorant or arrogant) majority's preference, you need to keep on honoring the "Hitler" of Deaf people does not seem like an issue demanding great deliberations. The only thing I would assume that's causing this is the degree of control AGBell has on NTID. If this is so, it is not a good thing for the empowerment and enlightening of Deaf youngsters with their birthright to Sign Language and a healthy positive Deaf identity.
I look forward to your being a big part of the paradigm shift that does away with audism.

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Mission: To share with the RIT community about Deaf Culture (language, history, humor, etc.) and related activities.

To facilitate relationships between Deaf and hearing members of the RIT community through awareness of our cultures.

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