How long has it been for NTID to have this awful name on Tower B for so many years? How long has NTID (National Technical Institute for the Deaf (had to say it for the hearing audience out there) ) on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) known for many years that Alexander Graham Bell has never been a supporter for the Deaf Community?
Who, with a shriveled conscience of their soul, would allow a name like A.G.Bell be put on the name of a dorm of the young, then, college of NTID? Would it not be years later that the truth of A.G. Bell float to the surface and finally to be found that A.G. Bell is not for what he is, nor is his existing organization in support of the deaf community. It;s like hiding a explosive issue that is designed to hit to the surface in the years later which is at the present time now. Bad Idea!
When students of NTID presented a petition to have the A.G. Bell removed off the Tower B, Mr. Hurwitz responded to set up a commission.
Later, Hurwitz responded that the dorm name would not be removed, but the plaque would be taken down and rephrased to say more clearly about A.G.Bell's work.
Here's what was said by Hurwitz personally:
Here's the website that shows the plaque in Bell hall, just in side the lobby area. Read it carefully:
The decision has prompted an out burst from the NTID Deaf Community.
Three blogs have said something things very clearly:
Having this Bell Hall controversy happening now, just before the 40th NTID reunion happens in a month time is very unfortunate for NTID.
This should be a wake-up call for ALL NTID ALUMNI to come to the NTID 40 Reunion .
This should also be an opportunity for RIT President Destiler (sp) to come to the reunion and sit down the current NTID students and Alumni and talk about the Bell hall. It would be important for President Alan Hurwitz to also come and sit down as well before he takes the oath of his new office. If he fails to budge on his decision about the Bell hall name, it could have an impact on future students coming to NTID.
Why should a major deaf college honors someone one who wanted to destroy the Deaf Community because that person believed that Sign Language wasn't a recognizable language? The same type of his name-sake organization that promotes sign language for hearing babies and cochlear implants with no sign language for deaf babies. How does this reflect NTID that wants to teach and train deaf people people to be hard working deaf professionals?
I wouldn't want to live in a dorm that was named for someone who was out to destroy the deaf community so long time ago.
In saying this, I'm all for having the name: "The Alexander Graham Bell Hall" to come off tower B and put into the dust bin of deaf history.
I say Tower B should be renamed to "Dr. William Castle Hall" on tower B. Dr. Castle was our first director of NTID. His efforts should not go unrecognized for his major contributions that he has done to lay the foundations for what NTID is today.
An honor for a dorm name should go to a person who makes a direct contribution to the deaf community. But that "contribution" should not be just for money to have the name put on a dorm (as some colleges do to promote the benefactor). A. G. Bell wasn't a benefactor. He was a person against the deaf community. His name shouldn't be on any dorm, much less on his own organization's building.
So listen closely (Alan Hurwitz) to the heart of the NTID and it's deaf community: Take down the name of A.G.Bell off tower B dorm!!
Update: A discussion is going on with some of the NTID community and Alumni. I do believe that we should be having a general discussion and a debate about the Tower B dorm name at the 40th reunion.
Also, I'm backpedaling (withdrawing) the nomination of the name: William B. Castle after a person pointed it out in the comments about his actions during his years in NTID previously as a director. In sense, Dr. Castle should have never allowed Bell's name on the dorm. Even if it was good intentions.
But we, the NTID Deaf Community and Alumni need to come up with names of honorable people who DO deserve to be named on the dorm. Keep those ideas flowing!
But one thing: Don't name I. King Jordan on it! He's already got his name on the Student Academic Center. That's enough for him.