Davidson Microaggressions Project

Could be a Student

During my first few weeks at Davidson, about a half dozen faculty members assumed that I was a student, and when I introduced myself as a new colleague, I was repeatedly told that I “looked like I *could be* a student.” This didn’t happen on the two days I wore jeans and a t-shirt to move and unpack boxes of books. Rather, I was told this on days when I was wearing office-appropriate and professional clothing. In other words, this isn’t about how I dress or how I look: it is a reflection of their beliefs about who is entitled to be here and what accomplishment looks like. Can a person be something other than middle-aged or older and male and “look like” a professor? To some faculty here, the answer is no.