I Reported My Professor...

Okay, let’s be honest. Take a second to drop your guard and join me in this quick, but serious, heart to heart. At some point or another, we have all had that one professor that we could not stand — whether the dislike stemmed from a bad grade, their failure to respond to emails, or simply the sound of their cringey, monotone voice, we have all been there. In some cases, our distaste grew from a more serious issue, such as a discriminatory remark, a sexual innuendo, or inappropriate physical contact. It is insane how many female students struggle with these very issues every quarter/semester, yet next to no one is bringing awareness to it.

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Last quarter, I took a class with a professor that left me an emotional wreck. Up until that point, I had never come face to face with any issues involving my professors. The day the incident happened, I remember walking out of my professor’s office shaking and struggling to breathe. As the adrenaline, bewilderment, and realization set in of what just happened, I immediately began to feel tears rolling down my face. I had never experienced anything like it before, so I had no idea what steps I needed to take in order to move past the incident. After speaking with my parents, my boyfriend, and my closest friends, I came to the conclusion that I had to report the incident. Although I feared that the professor may retaliate and tank my grade, I knew that I had the right to defend myself and the obligation to save any future students from experiencing what I did.

I am not going to lie, it was hard. Until now, I never opened up to anyone outside of my inner circle about this. I was scared of what people might think about me, which, I know now, makes no sense. It took me weeks to completely come to terms with the fact that my professor’s actions and words are not a reflection of my character, but a reflection of theirs.

If I could offer any advice, it would be to not be afraid to speak up. Whether you need to tweet about it, cry to your best friend, or seek your on-campus resources for a more serious alternative, take any and all steps necessary to help yourself heal and move forward. Every single college campus is responsible for providing its student body with numerous outlets to seek help from. The experts working in these resources are there to help you take whatever action you think is necessary, such as anonymously reporting an issue, filing an official complaint, or pressing charges, if the situation warrants legal action. Do not let the fear of your professor’s potential reaction to you standing up for yourself prevent you from doing any of these things!

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Above everything, regardless of how upset you are, always remember that it is not your fault. Do not accept any of the blame for whatever your professor did. Their sole job is to teach you course material; they are not allowed to use their position of power to take advantage of you.