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Gallaudet University Protest In its 124-year history as a deaf college and university Gallaudet University had never appointed a deaf individual as president Being the only liberal arts college for the deaf in the United States Gallaudet University is viewed by many within the deaf community as a symbol of pride It is extremely difficult if not impossible to locate a deaf person in the United States who has not heard of Gallaudet After making great strides within the hearing community during recent decades many from Gallaudet began to question the absence of their own deaf president Tension from the deaf students of Gallaudet was becoming more obvious when the office was open once again in 1988 Despite growing opposition on campus the majority of the hearing Board of Trustees for Gallaudet University selected a hearing president Dr Elisabeth Zinser After learning the news all hell broke loose The students were enraged They felt the deaf students couldnt be properly represented by a hearing person The protesters blocked off all entrances to the campus formed several marches to the US Capitol held rallies called press conferences and formulated four demands These demands included the removal of Zinser and the placement of a deaf president the removal of Spilman chairperson of the board that elected Zinser a 51percent deaf majority on the board of trustees and no reprisals against any faculty staff or students involved in the protest After enjoying pronounced popularity in the media with less than a week of protest the movement successfully achieved all four of their demands Zinser was removed and the deaf president I King Jordan took the office Spilman was also removed With thousands of protestors marching the group would surely be classified as collective and based on a common purpose and while the movement was short lived the effect of the protest and the cause will not soon be forgotten
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