TCU student upset by professor's e-mail

TCU student upset by professor's e-mail
Saturday, September 14, 2013 - 4:14pm

An email from a Texas Christian University professor is raising questions about singling out minority students.

An invitation from a professor. "At the beginning of the semester I usually like to invite all my students of color to get together and discuss the challenges that they may face during the semester."

It's the email Allyson Guzman and 11 other students received Wednesday afternoon from their professor, Santiago Pinon.

"We can also discuss the exam that is coming up, if you want. I don't mind if this would turn out to be a study session for my students of color only."

Allyson was slightly offended.

"I don't know if he was judging it by our pictures or our last names or what? When you go off the check list, I check caucasian, because that's what I am."

The teacher's class, "Understanding Religion: Society and Culture."

And this e-mail raised questions about race, ethnicity and special help.

"What if I was white and didn't get this e-mail, like, shouldn't there be a study session for me as well? Why am I being segregated?"

She wasn't the only one asking questions.

TCU said another student contacted the administration about the e-mail Wednesday night. They say it was a misunderstanding and that Pinon, a professor of Hispanic heritage, does reach out to minority students to help them feel connected. But, the university did address the situation.

"TCU expects that professors offer equal assistance to all students."

Late thursday, Pinon sent an e-mail to all of his students, stating they can contact him about the exam and how to best study for it. Allyson got that one, too.

She said she likes her teacher, admires his passion, and hopes he turns this experience into a lesson in the classroom.

"I don't think i should deserve special attention from anyone else."

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