October 18, 2012
Given recent events, I want to assure you that all programs and services of the Office of Diversity and Equity for Students (ODES) will continue uninterrupted. This includes Keeping the Promise: Black Students, Keeping the Promise: Latino Students, Multicultural Student Affairs, and the LGBTQA Resource Center. Mr. Edgar Palmer, executive director of ODES, will report to me until further notice.
There will be several opportunities in the coming days for students to express their views in safe environments. These events will be student-initiated. Watch for announcements. In addition, the LGBTQA Resource Center in Hall Memorial Building N113 is a “safe haven,” and will be staffed during its regular hours.
Academic Affairs staff are welcome to share their concerns about recent events with the Gallaudet Staff Council, with their immediate supervisors, and with me. Staff may obtain confidential services from APS Healthcare, Gallaudet’s Employee Assistance Program. To talk to a counselor or arrange an appointment, staff and faculty can call 877-344-0489 (TTY) or 800-607-1522 (voice and video relay). For more information on services available from APS Healthcare, go to the APS Healthcare web site atwww.apshelplink.com/. Enter the code GALLY on the APSHelplink.
Our students are looking to you, our faculty, for understanding, guidance, and support. I encourage you to engage them in civil and respectful discussion, both in and outside of class. Recent events provide many “teachable moments,” and can be approached through a large number of our academic disciplines. Please refrain from taking sides; rather, facilitate discussion of the multifaceted issues so that everyone can understand and participate in reasoned dialogue. This is the hallmark of an institution of higher education.
Students, Staff, and Faculty
There is considerable public and media interest in recent events. I ask that you refer all media inquiries to the Office of Communications and Public Relations, in keeping with our policy on external relations. Contact Kaitlin Luna, Coordinator of Media and Public Relations, at Kaitlin.Luna@gallaudet.edu, or call 202-448-7106 voice or video relay.
Stephen F. Weiner