Within my first year of being at CMU as the only Latinx in my ENTIRE major, here are just SOME of the things I experienced...

1. The request that I not mention the fact that most students within my program and school were white. The person who requested this from me was a student who told me I was being “too loud” and needed to be careful.

2. I saw several professors avoid calling on me in class. In one of my required classes that I had to take for two entire semesters, my professor not only avoided calling on me, but would either cut me off mid thought, or pick apart and invalidate my comment in front of my entire class. I’ll never forget when he told me my viewpoint was elitist without ever explaining why. My viewpoint was that accessibility needs to be a necessity.

3. A student told me I was the first Latinx person they ever went to school with.

4. A student told me that I was here because of my ethnic identity and nothing more. He said that with our school’s supposed “push for diversity,” I probably would’ve gotten into any program because of the fact that I’m Latinx.

5. Students constantly confused me with either another Latinx student that was a senior, or another student in my class that I looked nothing alike. We’re both minorities. These mistakes came from white students.

6. I was told by a student that my inability to speak Spanish (in my Spanish class) made me a “fake latinx”. He said this to me in Spanish. I don’t know why that made it worse.

7. After exposing us to incredibly racist content, a professor denied my request to have a class wide conversation regarding the content, and instead thanked the class for not getting “caught up” in the racism of the content. I did get caught up in the racism of the content. It was super racist. His comment was a slight at me.

8. Several people within the student organization I love have questioned my professionalism.

9. I was told by a white student that students of color might be making up the racist encounters, remarks, and experience they face.

10. There are so many more that I’ve probably blocked out. I question whether or not I should stay a student at CMU too often. It is exhausting, dehumanizing, and even more humbling to know that my experiences are not unique and that they’re probably tame as someone who identities as Hispanic. I cannot imagine what my black classmates might experience and how much more difficult it might be for them.