Fashion Prof Faux Pas
The Prattler received this e-mail from an anonymous Pratt senior. It has not been fact checked by the Prattler. We encourage, and look to post, all student opinion pieces.
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After three-and-a-half years at Pratt Institute, two-and-a-half of
which involved [a professor] I can
honestly say I will never be proud of my education. In fact, I am
As a senior, the support of our professors is rudimentary to the
culmination of our senior collections. However, this experience has
been nothing short of disappointing. Many of the seniors have lost the
sense of creativity that drives them and instead feel beaten down,
unsupported, and ultimately broken.
After yesterday’s fittings, I have reached the conclusion that
Pratt’s fashion department has no intention of assisting their
students. Rather, they are too preoccupied with furthering their own
reputations. During fittings, I witnessed the two Pratt Institute
faculty members in the room interacting with one another on
unrelated-to-senior-thesis business and offering only discouraging
remarks to those fitting. It may be ignorant of me to believe an
institution such as Pratt should be a primarily nurturing environment,
Time and time again, the faculty members at Pratt completely disregard
students’ mental health. I have witnessed many members of our
community struggling with depression (among other mental health
issues) and being ridiculed by faculty remembers. We feel like if we show signs of weakness, that the chair quite literally feeds off it. The
more vulnerable we make ourselves out to be, the more aggressive the
chair of the department seems to act. This is not right. A “feed on
the weak” mentality may be how the “real world” works, but it is by no
means something we should be taking out a quarter million dollar in
The department is, frankly, dealt with in a very unprofessional manner in front of students. Yesterday, [a professor] offhandedly asked a student, “Are you retarded?” This is not
the first instance of inappropriate candidness but it is the latest
that I have witnessed. She has called a student’s collection espousing
on her personal battle with depression as “bipolar” and has
arbitrarily asked a student during a presentation, “What’s your
opinion on gay marriage?” [this professor] may think [they are] being funny, but
there is a lack of respect and consideration in her words.
Many of us who are not favored by [this professor] and the senior thesis
professors feel as if we are treated as afterthoughts of the
department. Many of us are made to feel as if we don’t seem to deserve
the attention of the chair and our professors during class and
especially during critiques. We’re seen more as children
or dogs—second-class citizens. Some of us have gotten our right to
explain ourselves in critiques taken away and are instead made fun of
This is the most important time of year for the seniors as we prepare for the
fashion show. However, one senior thesis
professor missed class three times this semester; two of
those times were to help set up and take down an exhibit Pratt
underclassmen took part in. It’s inexcusable for a senior class to
lack a professor in order for the department to further itself. We
were not offered make-up time for the absences. This is the most important time of year for the seniors as we prepare for the
fashion show, but many seniors feel that they are being ignored in
favor of not only the underclassmen, but also Pratt’s reputation.
Every senior I’ve talked to is unhappy with this year but we are all
afraid of the backlash that may come of us discussing our situation.
We’re afraid to reach out to anyone because we don’t want to be
pinpointed as the person who “spoke out” and thus becoming an even bigger target to [this professor] and our professors.
I never reblog but when I do, they’re true…