National

Updated: November 02, 2016

College professor edits Latina student's essay: 'This is not your language'

By Brianna Chambers

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

A college student said she felt "disrespected and invalidated" when her professor wrote a discriminatory comment while editing an essay the student wrote for class. 

On the paper, she said the professor wrote, "Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste." She also said the professor circled "hence" on the paper and wrote, "This is not your word."

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Suffolk University senior Tiffany Martínez wrote about her experience in a blog post titled "Academia, Love Me Back" on Thursday. She wrote that the professor "challenged (her) intelligence" in front of other students in her class. 

"This morning, my professor handed me back a paper (a literature review) in front of my entire class and exclaimed 'this is not your language,'" Martínez wrote. "On the top of the page (she) wrote in blue ink: 'Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste.' ... They assumed that the work I turned in was not my own ... On the second page the professor circled the word 'hence' and wrote in between the typed lines 'This is not your word.'" 

I was hurt badly this morning and publicly humiliated in front of my peers by a professor. They assumed I plagiarized my...

Posted by Tiffany Corin Martínez on Thursday, October 27, 2016

Martínez told Buzzfeed News that the professor "spoke loudly enough that students at the back of the room heard and asked if (she) was OK after class."

"I spent the rest of the class going back through every single line, every single citation to make sure that nothing had been plagiarized, even though I knew I hadn't," she told Buzzfeed. 

Martínez, a Latina with aspirations of earning a Ph.D and becoming a college professor, wrote that she has battled stereotypes throughout her academic career. She discussed the disappointment she has felt with consistent assumptions that she is "weak, unintelligent and incapable."

"As a minority in my classrooms, I continuously hear my peers and professors use language that both covertly and overtly oppresses the communities I belong to," she wrote. "In the journey to become a successful student, I swallow the 'momentary' pain from these interactions and set my emotions aside so I can function productively as a student."

After Martínez's post gained attention online, Suffolk University president Marisa Kelly released a statement saying the school "must redouble efforts to create a more inclusive environment."

"Suffolk University is committed to making every member of our community feel welcomed, valued and respected," Kelly wrote. "I take (Martínez's) concern seriously on behalf of the institution as the acting president, and I take it seriously as an individual personally committed to diversity and inclusion."

Kelly also announced that faculty members will go through mandatory microagression training sessions on how to better interact with students.

 

In her Momentum blog, Acting President Marisa Kelly addresses the University's commitment to making every member of our...

Posted by Suffolk University on Tuesday, November 1, 2016

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