So, there’s somewhat of a resolution about the panel debacle I was in on Thursday. I talked with the diversity program dude I mentioned before, and he reassured me that this professor has had panels many times in the past that went well, and that she’s very understanding of diversity and sought us out in order to be more inclusive. He suggested I email her telling my concerns and how I felt about the situation, along with some advice on how to have this go better in the future, which I did.
It turns on the professor actually wasn’t the one running the talk. The prof was out of town and had asked one of her TAs to lead the discussion…the TA just never introduced herself, so I wrongly assumed she was the professor. She was incredibly apologetic (sincerely) and assured me that she didn’t want any such situation to happen, and that she would like to have my help in the future with dealing with non-theism issues. It seems what happened was a lack of communication between her and her TAs, and the TAs and us due to her being out of town.
I know there will probably be some cynics out there who think this is all just a big cover up, but I consider myself a pretty good judge of character, and this all seems to be a big misunderstanding. Trust me, I’ve been in malicious situations against non-theists, and I can tell the difference. If anything, take this as a warning against automatically jumping to conclusions and being hasty. I would have hating going straight to the Dean or whatever some of you suggested only to find out it was something minor. The last thing I want to do is accidentally alienate allies to non-theists because of paranoia.