Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Story: Gallaudet University - Board of Trustee

In the spring of 2003, I suddenly found myself to be the Acting President of the Student Body Government (SBG) at Gallaudet University from the role of Speaker of the House for the Student Congress with the resignation and disappearance of the previous administration's President Darius McCall and Vice-President Katie Canfield.

With the help of Dean of Students, Carl Pramuk, he had gotten me a spot to speak at the February Board of Trustee (BoT) meetings after the previous administration had failed to set up their spot. This part of the meetings with the BoT was called the 'Committee on Student Affairs' along with approximately seven BoT members present.

To get an idea of what the BoT's meeting schedule look alike. Check this link at here and there.

I was warned by Mr. Pramuk that I might not have much time to speak because my part was at the very end of the 90 minute meeting after the board hears from the athletic department and the honor's program. There was also the Graduate Student Association (GSA) President Greg Montgomery, that was scheduled to speak after me.

The athletic department took up approximately the first 30 minutes of the meeting and the honor's program took up the next 55 minutes. This only gave me and the GSA President two and half minutes each to speak on the behalf of the Gallaudet student body. I was truly upset at the honor's program because I felt that they had no regard for our part of the meeting whereas we'd have our opportunity to speak to the board about various issues that we go through on campus. The honor's program presentation to the board was led by its Director Dr. Shirley Shultz-Myers and Provost Dr. Jane Fernandes.

When I was called to speak my part to the BoT - I was cut off after only a minute and half and I was told that there wasn't any time remaining for me. I spoke back and told to the BoT that I represent the SBG and they should let me finish, unfortunately, they didn't let me finish and I had to go back to my seat. Up next was the GSA President, all he had to say was sorry that he's not able to say anything of importance due to the time, he hoped that he would see them at the first ever students & BoT tea social.

The voice of Gallaudet's undergraduate and graduate student body was shut out of the BoT meeting because Provost Dr. Fernandes and Dr. Shirley Schultz-Myers had no regard for us. As some of you know, this very meeting was our only opportunity to speak directly to the BoT because any other time we wanted to speak directly to the BoT, we'd have to go through the President I. King Jordan's office.

Late in the afternoon at the very first ever students & BoT tea social, there were approximately twenty-five selected few students by Mr. Pramuk present to socialize with the BoT and we were disappointed to find that only two BoT members showed up. One of two BoT members that showed up was Dr. Glenn Anderson.

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