What is your name, year in school, and area of study? What are your preferred gender pronouns?
Ahmed Moalim, senior, electrical engineering; he/him.
Why did you decide to pursue your major?
I like the way it feels after I solve a complex problem, [electrical engineering] provides a scenario in which I can do that. [Also], I am about this money.
Do you experience microaggressions from professors and students because of your identity? If so, can you describe an instance? What would you like others to learn from it?
It does not happen every day, but it happens often enough to where I can get significantly annoyed. The worst one was when I had a teacher come up to me before a verbal assignment and tell me that I did not have to do the assignment because of my “challenges with the English language.” This was during the early days of the class, so I had not said anything in class, so the professor assumed I had problems speaking English because of my immigrant background. I believe this is why representation is so important because without it, people will assign assumptions to ethnicities or sexualities they do not have familiarities with.
Do you think you gender plays a role in how you are treated on campus or in the classroom—positively or negatively?
As a cis male, I do not have to constantly think about my gender and how it affects the way people behave around me, so no.
In what ways does the UW lack diversity or community for Black students? What changes would you like to see?
In every way imaginable. Representation is lacking, our concerns are not being treated seriously, and we do not have that community atmosphere. We should come together as Black folks at UW. I also really believe we should be more involved in the process at UW, meaning ASUW, SAP, etc.
What are your thoughts on this year’s presidential election?
This election was, as I’ve heard before, a whitelash from all of the progress we have been demanding the past couple years.
How do you stay true to yourself when faced with adversities related to your gender or race?
Stay true to yourself, no one can define who you are but you.
If you had the chance to tell all white people something, what would you say?
Our experiences as Black people are real; we are not making this up and it is not a figment of our imagination. Racism is embedded into every fabric of our society and until you realize that, I cannot fuck with you.
If you had the chance to give advice to a young Black child, what would you tell them?
If you feel something is inappropriate or offensive, please speak up. The worst thing you can do is be silent and let those types of behaviors be reinforced by your silence.