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Texas Professor Labeled Racist After Sending “Students of Color” Email

Standing out

A professor at Texas Christian University is being criticized for being racist after sending out an email last week asking for his students “of color” to meet with him to go over any issues they had this semester.

According to reports, assistant professor Santiago Pinon sent a message out last week asking about nine students “of color only” to participate in a special study workshop. Here is the message:

At the beginning of the semester I usually like to invite all my students of color to get together and discuss the challenges they may face during the semester, However, the time slipped by and I didn’t get a chance. So, I would like to ask if you are interested in a get together on Monday afternoon? 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.

One student that received the massage said, ““After I read it, I read the names [of the other recipients] and they were just Hispanic last names. I thought, ‘Is this really happening?’ I laughed, in shock, as my immediate reaction.”

However, not everyone that received the massage was offended. “I think it was written with all good intentions, not meaning to segregate or leave anyone out,” said another student. “Anyone could come, he just strongly encouraged students of color to come, and I think it was taken a bit out of context by some people.”

In an emailed statement, Pinon said that his message was taken the wrong way:

“I should have been more clear in that the study group is open to all students,” he said. “My goal is to participate in and contribute to the [university’s] mission by being available to all students so they are successful in the classroom and beyond. I have always been open to having review sessions with an entire class or with smaller groups of students without excluding others. I want all my students to be successful and am willing to devote extra time to foster that success.”

He continued: “I do like to offer myself as a resource to students (particularly those of color) who may face challenges and become discouraged; goal is to encourage and offer support, so I am troubled to think some students may have thought they were being excluded from a study session because that was not at all the intention. I have since sent an e-mail clarifying the misunderstanding.”

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