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TCU professor’s email raising questions on singling out minority students

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

“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,” the professor, Santiago Pinon, stated in the email.

That’s part of the message Allyson Guzman and 11 other students received Wednesday afternoon from their professor.

“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,” the email stated.

MORE: Read more from Fort Worth’s WFAA

Allyson said she was slightly offended.

“I don’t know if he was judging it by our pictures or our last names or what,” she said. “When you go off the check list, I check Caucasian because that’s what I am.”

The teacher’s class is “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,” she said. “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 officials told Texas’ News 8 another student contacted the administration about the e-mail Wednesday night.

They said 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,” TCU spokeswoman Lisa Albert told WFAA.

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 said she 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,” she said.
WFAA said it contacted Pinon for an interview but did not get a response.

By: Monika Diaz for WFAA

Dr. Santiago Pinon’s e-mail to all students

As I stated in class, if you have any questions about the exam you are more than welcome to contact through email over the weekend.  Also, I should be in my office on Friday and on Monday if you should have any questions and would like to stop by and discuss how to best study for the exam.

Good Luck.

Dr. Pinon