Kennesaw State University in Georgia has landed in hot water over a viral video that shows one of the school’s advisers threatening to call security on a student sitting outside her office hoping to meet an adviser.
KSU student Kevin Bruce posted a video on Wednesday night of him waiting outside the office of Abby Dawson, who works as KSU’s director of advising and internships in the school’s Exercise Science and Sports Management department. In the video, which lasts only 30 seconds, Dawson is shown approaching Bruce and accusing him of harassment.
Rude advisors at Kennesaw . Smh pic.twitter.com/ugcX4gnIsp
— KB (@IamKB_) May 14, 2015
“I’m just waiting to talk to someone, I’m not harassing no one though,” Bruce says in the video.
“Sitting here until someone is available is harassing them,” Dawson responds. When Bruce suggests otherwise, she goes off to call campus security.
She insisted that if Bruce wanted to see an adviser, he should fill out a form and submit it.
However, Bruce says his decision to wait in the office was caused by his failure to obtain a meeting through normal means. He says he has sought an in-person meeting with an adviser for some time, but has been hindered by repeated cancellations. During his confrontation with Dawson, Bruce says he was hoping to have a meeting with another adviser, Margaret Tilley.
Bruce’s protest quickly sparked an outpouring of complaints from others on Twitter, both at KSU and elsewhere. Some posted accounts and screenshots of their own interactions with Dawson to bolster the narrative that she was hostile and unhelpful:
— Austin Smith (@_A_Smith) May 14, 2015
Some have tried to frame the incident in racial terms, arguing that Dawson’s actions reflect a wider problem of schools being dismissive of black students, but Bruce himself isn’t pushing that narrative:
Guys It's not a racial issue . Every Race has this problem .
— KB (@IamKB_) May 14, 2015
Making the video more uncomfortable for KSU is how it plays with the school’s graduation stats. According to CollegeFactual, less than 15 percent of its students finish their degrees on time, and only 41.5 percent graduate at all, both below the national average, and a phenomenon that could be directly related to subpar advising.
KSU released a short statement Friday saying it was reviewing the incident.
“Kennesaw State University officials take seriously all student concerns and are dedicated to promoting a positive academic advising experience for all students,” the school said.
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