What is your name, year in school, and area of study? What are your preferred gender pronouns?
My name is Tahier Seid, I am a senior, and I am majoring in mechanical engineering; I prefer the pronouns he/him.
Why did you decide to pursue your major?
Growing up I always wondered how things work and so I turned it into a hobby where I fixed things around the house. I was always interested in cars, airplanes, and motorcycles, so I began designing models of the future and started to think about how to put parts into smaller designs. So eventually I decided to become a mechanical engineer.
Do you experience microaggressions from professors or students because of your identity? If so, can you describe an instance? What would you like others to learn from it?
I would experience microaggressions from professors usually during exams where the professor or TA would stare at you specifically throughout the duration of the exam, but I would continue and focus on completing the exam. So I would say about three to four times a quarter usually during quizzes and exams. You really can’t do anything about it other than prove them wrong and kill on those exams or quizzes. Most students won’t even work with you [in-class] labs assuming that you won’t do nothing, are lazy or just dumb. So the only way to make them feel stupid is by proving them wrong which also makes them want to join your group.
Do you think your gender plays a role in how you are treated on campus or in the classroom—positively or negatively?
I believe that gender plays a role in how I’m treated because if, I a black/African American male, walks through campus or [a] classroom I would be looked at like I didn’t belong. Because they usually assume that I am in the wrong classroom or just in the wrong place or just passing through campus.
Do you receive support in those situations? If not, what kind support do you wish were offered?
I do receive support from my campus friends and family by just being able to vent to them. This allows me to get through the day or the week knowing that people are there for me whenever I need it.
In what ways does the UW lack a diverse community for Black students? What changes would you like to see?
In terms of the number of Black students that are admitted to the University outside of athletics, we need to increase more Black men and women students because we are lacking in this area.
What are your thoughts on this year’s presidential election?
I was in shock that night and for the rest of the week, couldn’t believe that America really voted Trump to be our next President of the United States of America. I don’t like Trump for all the misogynistic and ignorant things he says. Still in shock but it’s a time to come together and understand one another.
How do you stay true to yourself when faced with adversities related to your gender or race?
I tend to work hard and try to overcome those adversities by proving them wrong. Just keep calm and prove them wrong.
If you had the chance to tell all white people something, what would you say?
I would say educate yourself and stay *woke about the country you live in.
If you had the chance to give advice to a young Black child, what would you tell them?
Always be the best person you can be in any circumstances, and always work hard and never give up on your dreams and aspirations.