For those who may not know, DPN stands for “Deaf President Now”.
On March 6 1988, there was a student protest at Gallaudet University, Washington D.C. The protest started when the board of trustees decided to select a hearing president as Gallaudet’s seventh annual president. Her name was Elisabeth A. Zinser. Many student and teachers were not happy about this. They haven’t had a deaf president in 124 years. Many deaf people questioned the board of trustees and doubted that they knew what was best for them. When the decision was made you could hear the many students yelling and screaming out of anger and rage.
They soon began to protest and demanded for a deaf president. They roamed the streets chanting and burned life sized dolls in parks. Things were getting way out of hand. Day after day the protest went on they knew there point was not getting across so a group of deaf students and faculties came together and came up with the idea of locking up the school. They figured if they did not get the president they feel that they deserve then the school should not be open for no one. Later the board of trustees began to negotiate. The protesters we glad they were finally being heard so they came together and tried to think of some demands. Demands that the board can agree and work with but was also fair to the protesters as well
The protesters presented the Board of Trustees with four demands:
Zinser's resignation and the selection of a deaf person as president;
The immediate resignation of Jane Bassett Spilman, chair of the Board of Trustees (who, it was alleged, announced the board's choice with the comment that "the deaf are not yet ready to function in the hearing world");
The reconstitution of the Board of Trustees with a 51% majority of deaf members (at the time, it was composed of 17 hearing members and 4 Deaf members);
There would be no reprisals against any students or staff members involved in the protest.
Wednesday march 9, 1988 students met with Zinser to discuss their demands. She agreed with the second and fourth demands but that did not fully satisfy the protesters.
They said they needed a role model for deaf people, someone who’s has been through what they have so they have a better