Even with the unpopular quagmire Iraq war, American college campuses have been rather calm in recent years.  With one glaring exception: Gallaudet University, the federally-funded, somewhat-federally-run deaf university in Washington.
   As of this week, confrontations between authorities and protesting students at Gallaudet have resulted in the injury of (at least) one student, arrests of several, and the place effectively being shut down for days.  And it’s not the first such time there.  18 years ago, similar protests forced out newly-named college president Elizabeth Zinser almost as soon as she was appointed.
   What’s this only-in-Washington circus all about?  Like in 1988, it’s about student demands that any president of the deaf college himself be deaf. 
   It’s bizarre in many ways.  First, it’s bizarre that Gallaudet still exists at all in an era in which handicapped people are seeking equal access to jobs in America and largely getting them if they can do them.  It’s bizarre that Gallaudet still exists 20 years after a time when it wasn’t unheard of to see a blind student in a law school at a regular college.  But second, it’s bizarre that Gallaudet students want discrimination against the non-deaf (as administrators at Gallaudet) and equal job opportunities for themselves when they graduate.
   The answer isn’t to forcibly reopen Gallaudet with a massive police presence if necessary or a deaf president to pacify the protesting students.  The answer is to shut the place down and tell its students to go to regular colleges in their home states.

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