My name is Sonny Wasilowski. I knew your son, Eric. He and I are proud graduates of Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf. I was there as a student at Gallaudet when he was murdered. Every year on September 28, I think of him and talk about him to others that know him. I love and miss him dearly.
I am writing to you in response to your article in the Sunday’s issue of the Washington Post paper. I read it as I was heading back to Minnesota from Washington, DC to give my support to the people involved with the protest. The people that you have called them, radicals, have stunned me because you have not only described me as one but also your son, Eric, as one. If Eric was alive today, I know he would have been with us asking for Dr. Fernandes’ resignation so that the presidential search may be re-opened and that there will be no reprisals to the people involved in the protest.
During Mesa’s reign of terror, the faculty, staff, and students stepped up, not Dr. Fernandes. Did you know, it was a small group of students including myself from Minnesota led by a staff, Deb Skjeveland, not Dr. Fernandes, that founded the scholarship in Eric’s name? Did you know that the majority of the people on campus knew it was someone within us that carried out the murder of Eric but Dr. Fernandes cried to us and the media that the murderer came from outside? Did you know that the murders would have never occurred, if had Dr. Fernandes expelled Mesa from MSSD for multiple thefts? I hold Dr. Fernandes accountable for the murders, not as one who stepped up for Gallaudet.
The protest is not led by mere 10 percent of the student body, as you believe. The numbers are much larger and it is essential to recognize that the faculty, staff, alumni, and parents are very much involved in this. Please take the time to educate yourself of the protest at http://www.gufssa.org. This protest is not about Dr. Fernandes not being “deaf enough.” It is about her failures of leadership and loss of support from the campus community.
I hope you and your family will reconsider the endorsement you have given to Dr. Fernandes to be the next president of Gallaudet.
PS – In the future, please refrain from offensive comments regarding the intelligence of the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents that they will not remember their past presidents and what it takes to run a university or how a university president is chosen. We are in this protest because we do know our past presidents and know how a university president is chosen or what it takes to run a university.