One student at Cornell University had about enough of her professor when she made comments about her looks.
Letitia Chai was prepping for a senior thesis presentation, and during her trial run on May 2, Chai said she was wearing a blue button-down shirt and jean shorts. According to Chai, her performing and media arts professor Rebekah Maggor asked her “Is that really what you would wear?”
Chai said her professor thought the shorts were “too short” and she believed Chai was trying to make a “statement” with her wardrobe. In addition, Maggor reportedly felt like the “men’s attention” would be distracted from the presentation if Chai wore what she wore.
Chai definitely had something to say afterwards.
When she returned for the livestreaming of her senior thesis presentation last weekend, she gave an emotional speech, then started removing her shirt and shorts as a statement about being accepted as yourself. You can check out the clip here.
Following Chai’s actions, more than two dozen people in the audience joined her in disrobing.
Since the May 2 incident Chai says people have shared with her, “stories of being put down and being made to feel like less because of someone else’s words and perceptions, and I feel your pain.”
However, in a joint statement, 11 other students in the class said that the teacher “apologized for her choice of words” more than once. According to the statement, Chai walked out the class that day before she could hear the professor’s regrets. Check out some of the students’ words below:
“We do acknowledge that our professor could have been more conscious and careful of word choice when discussing such sensitive topics. However, she has openly recognized this and apologized on more than one occasion. As a professor, she is incredibly open to criticism and, following the incident, listened to what her students had to say regarding her role in what occurred.”
Seems like another case of errors, call outs and misunderstandings.
Well at least an important discussion was had, right?
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