A Latina student at Suffolk University in Boston has been accused of plagiarizing an essay because she used words like ‘hence’ within the text of a class assignment, The Huffington Post reported.
Tiffany Martínez, from the Bronx in New York City, wrote a powerful post on her personal blog that she posted to Facebook on Oct. 27, explaining that on Thursday morning in her sociology class, a professor returned the paper to her. It has since gone viral.
As the professor returned the paper to Martínez she said loudly in front of the class “This is not your language.” She also circled the word ‘hence’ in the essay and wrote: “this is not your word.”
On the front of the paper the professor wrote: “Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste.” Martínez said she was humiliated.
In her blogpost ‘Academia, Love Me Back’, Martínez said the issue is indicative of a larger problem.
“My last name and appearance immediately instills a set of biases before I have the chance to open my mouth,” she said.
“As a minority in my classrooms, I continuously hear my peers and professors use language that both covertly and overtly oppresses the communities I belong to.”
“Therefore, I do not always feel safe when I attempt to advocate for my people in these spaces,” she said.
“In this interaction, my undergraduate career was both challenged and critiqued. It is worth repeating how my professor assumed I could not use the word “hence,” a simple transitory word that connected two relating statements. The professor assumed I could not produce quality research. The professor read a few pages that reflected my comprehension of complex sociological theories and terms and invalidated it all. Their blue pen was the catalyst that opened an ocean of self-doubt that I worked so hard to destroy. In front of my peers, I was criticized by a person who had the academic position I aimed to acquire. I am hurting because my professor assumed that the only way I could produce content as good as this was to “cut and paste.” I am hurting because for a brief moment I believed them.”
“The experience led Martínez, who is an aspiring professor, to question her ability to become an academic. After posting ‘Academia, Love Me Back’ on Facebook, she has received an outpouring of support,” Huffpost wrote.
Suffolk University told the Huffington Post in a statement that “the issue is being investigated.”
“As an institution that was founded on the highest principles of inclusivity and respect, we take this and any such concern extremely seriously.”
“As a community, we are not perfect, and we make mistakes as an institution and as individuals,” it said.