January 8, 2014 - submitted by S, United Kingdom

Q. Dear Oracle,
During my free time in between classes at university, I usually sit in the computer lab in the department pertaining to my field of study.
Yesterday a professor made a remark about my weight for the second time (the first time being in a full classroom). Although this time he was more subtle, his remark still really bothered me. I can't help but think that I should spend my time elsewhere to avoid running into the professor. Would I be right in doing so? And, should I respond to the professor or just be silent if it happens again?
Thank you in advance,
S


The Oracle replies:

I can understand why you are trying to avoid your professor, but it's not right to avoid him. His behaviour is totally unacceptable. You need to address the situation to resolve it. I don't think you should stay silent. The way I see it, you have two choices, you either go to the headteacher or you respond to it. Whether you say it privately now or publicly the next time it happens is up to you. Maybe even take a friend with you if you decide to confront the situation but either way, you say loudly, clearly and assertively that you find his comments offensive, inappropriate and unprofessional. Tell him you will not tolerate it and won't hesitate to report him if he continues to make personal comments.
In the meantime, it may be worth speaking to people who were in that full classroom to see if they'd be willing to confirm what happened if you take further action.
Personally though I'd be going straight to the top. I know that might make classes awkward but that's his problem, not yours.