UCLA computer science student says she was ‘stunned’ by racism in first day of class
An English-language student at the University of California, Los Angeles, was stunned to learn that a professor had made disparaging remarks about her race during a class discussion.
In the course of the class discussion, a professor asked a student whether she was white and whether she would be accepted as a graduate student in computer science.
The professor said she would not be, but that he would accept her if she could get a job in the computer industry, the student said.
The student’s reaction, she said, was “stunted.”
In the weeks that followed, she received several emails from people across the country that expressed similar feelings.
The student is now part of the group at UCLAs Center for Minority and Women in Computing that aims to promote diversity in computing.
In her email to the group, she described the comments as “slanderous and dehumanizing.”
She told The Associated Press that she did not think the comments were racially motivated.
However, she noted that in the course she took the course, a white student said that he had no interest in her being accepted as an undergraduate student because she was not white.
The university has since taken action, issuing a statement saying that the professor’s comments were “inappropriate and inappropriate for a university computer science program” and that “any and all individuals in the classroom who engage in such discriminatory comments must be held accountable.”UCLA said it has also taken the steps outlined in the student’s email, including issuing a policy that requires professors to explicitly and unequivocally state that students of color do not have the right to participate in a computer science class.
The UCL Department of Computer Science did not immediately respond to a request for comment.