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Triggered college student uses bias reporting site to complain about prof's 'old white guy' statements

Student wants reduction in 'future insensitivity'

Photo by Omar Marques/Getty Images

A student at Northern Illinois University used the school's Bias Reporting website to call out a professor for making "old white guy" statements, the College Fix reported.

The professor "persistently makes problematic statements of a type that we in marginalized communities might call 'old white guy' statements," the student said, according to the outlet. "These don't appear malicious, but they are assumptive."

The College Fix said it filed a freedom of information request to obtain the complaint, which was among 71 filed last year with the NIU bias website. Most identifying information in the complaints was redacted to protect the privacy of the individuals involved, the outlet added.

What did the professor say?

The triggered student noted a few things the professor in question said, including once when he asked the class to compare the two textbooks from two countries, and then pointed out that the topic of racial or minority theory was absent from one of the books, the College Fix said.

When he asked the class why, a student answered "because it's from Denmark" — to which the professor added, "Where there are no black people," the outlet reported.

"He did elaborate to say that there were 'some' black people in Denmark but clearly indicated that he believed the lack of the topic [of] racial theory was due to an absence of minority populations rather than historical incidence of purposeful racial segregation," the student wrote, according to the College Fix.

Another time he commented about a female author being on the syllabus because "you've got to have a woman, and she just so happens to fit the bill," the student reported, according to the outlet.

The student added that the professor's behavior wasn't "anything more than something to roll one's eyes over" but that "friends suggested I go ahead and fill out a bias report," the College Fix said.

What does the student want?

"I am not particularly asking for action taken" against the professor, the student added, according to the outlet. "I would, however, care about general training using these examples anonymized so that future insensitivity might be reduced."

The College Fix said Northern Illinois University officials didn't respond to its request for comment.

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