A few weeks ago I read an article about Tiffany Martinez, a student from Suffolk University, who said she was humiliated in front of her class by one of her professors.
The professor said she plagiarized her paper because she sounded “too scholarly," specifically by her use of the word 'hence'.
Some of her classmates asked if she was okay because everyone heard the professor’s comments.
Martinez said that the professor was talking loud enough for her classmates to listen.
Martinez was born and raised in the Bronx, she is actually American, but just because of her name the professor judged her and made hurtful comments.
If that happens to a person who is American, I don’t even want to know what people will say to Latinos who were actually born in another country.
How is that a safe learning environment for us Latinos to express ourselves without getting judged because of our names or accents?
Being in the U.S. means adapting to a whole new world, a new language, new traditions, new people.
So the only thing that students want is to be in a safe environment to share their ideas.
If a professor insults them, or makes them feel like they are less, it can change their whole college experience.
Here at EPCC it's very common to hear someone speak Spanish, or hear their accents, and not only at EPCC, but in the whole El Paso area.
I haven’t had a bad experience when it comes to my classes here at EPCC, but once I leave this college, and even El Paso, I know things are going to change.
I don’t want to have an experience like the one Martinez had, but I’m sure it’s bound to happen.
I know that this may be harder for us.
When I got this job I knew that it was going to be a huge challenge since English is not my native language, but if I didn’t take this risk then how else was I supposed to learn what I have so far?
I think it’s important for people like us to express ourselves without the fear of being judged, because due to people like Martinez we get to know what is really going on.
And for everyone else out there who is afraid of speaking up just because of the fear of being judged, there is always going to be someone who is going to judge you.
Take the risk, speak up, and never let anyone else tell you what you can and cannot do.