'Please use deodorant': UH professor's message strikes controversial chord

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HOUSTON – A letter written by a University of Houston engineering professor that was supposed to be addressing new graduate students on possible issues of body odor has some UH students repulsed.

A KPRC2 viewer described the letter as disappointing, insensitive and outright racist.

The letter highlights body odor issues in class by singling out certain ethnicities by writing that "people from India use a lot of spices" and "Southeast Asian countries use a lot of garlic.”

The letter urges students to take showers and to use deodorant and mouthwash.

Student reaction on campus was mixed.

“Being Indian, I’m not offended. I know how those things smell, right, so, and being from a different country, we are representing our people here, so might as well leave a good impression on them and not smell bad,” said Harry Minosha.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate at all. He didn't have to go into detail about different cultures and what they eat. I personally think that's racist. It's very offensive,” Gisselle Gurra said.

“It's really bad, being an Indian myself. It's bad to really point that out in such a dramatic way,” said one student.