I went to an event at an elite private university last week and the professor didn’t show up.
That’s when I went out to ask her.
It was supposed to be a night for a student conference, but instead it was a party where the students of her prestigious university would gather to celebrate their academic achievements.
I asked her, “Are you okay with this?”
She said, “Yes.”
I then asked, “Is it a problem?”
She was hesitant to answer and said, “[But] the conference is not my event.
I am the one who is organizing it.
I would like you to go on this as a guest of honor.”
She then left.
That night, I got a text from my friend, “What is wrong with you?
What is wrong?”
She had an outburst and left.
“I had a difficult night at the university,” I wrote in an email.
“I had to cancel a conference for two reasons.
First, my professor didn`t show up, and second, she didn`s not even a guest speaker.
I told her, and I told other professors, that I would not be able to attend the event.
She didn’t seem upset, but I still think it was very strange that she didn’t want to attend.”
“My university is not a place for me to have fun, so I can’t attend.
I had to go through my day.
I don’t know what I could do, but my best friend has been trying to get me to cancel her conference.
I’m not sure if I should cancel, or if I can hold on.
The university has a great reputation, but there is a problem when it comes to my rights as a student and as a minority.”
At the end of the day, I was shocked and upset, and that night I wrote a letter to the dean of students and the vice president of student affairs asking for help.
I felt like I was going to have to do this again, because I don`t think there is anyone there that I trust to help me with these problems.
But after some research, I realized that I had the perfect person to help with the situation.
In the letter, I shared what I had learned about what is wrong in my school.
I asked that the school investigate the issue, so that students of color and LGBTQ students wouldn’t be treated as second-class citizens and treated as a joke.
I also asked for a safe space for the LGBTQ community and people of color to feel comfortable.
And I shared that I didn’t feel comfortable with my classmates sitting on the same row as me.
But my dean responded by saying that she did not see how I could be a problem and that I should take it on myself.
My friend didn’t immediately return my call, but she sent me a screenshot of her email to me.
I wrote back to say that I wasn’t upset, I had no problem, and she was not the problem.
She did not ask me to be her guest speaker or tell me that I was a guest at the event, she just wanted me to go out and celebrate my accomplishments.
I wanted to help her with this.
But I was not ready to take on her power.
I think she felt that she could not do this alone.
I thought, This is not the right time for me, but if I didn`ts want to cancel the conference, I could go out to dinner with a group of other people and have a drink, or go out for dinner with the whole group.
But then, after I told my friends that I felt unsafe, they told me that they were afraid of me.
And my friend told me, “You should just go to a restaurant.”
I think that this is a common experience for LGBTQ students and other students of colour.
I can understand why students of different races, genders, and sexual orientations might feel uncomfortable.
And as I said in the letter that I sent to the university, I know that many of us struggle with this issue.
But we need to take it seriously.
This kind of behavior is unacceptable and not only contributes to the school culture, but also to the very structure of our society.
We need to stop using our power to bully, isolate, and exclude people who are not the majority in the classroom, at home, or on campus.
If you are a student of color or LGBTQ student and you experience discrimination, please call the university and tell them what happened.
It is your right as a member of our community to participate in our community without being called a bigot, and to share your experiences with others.