A Kennesaw State University academic advisor was caught on film accusing a student attempting to meet with his advisor of “harassing” her, because “sitting here until somebody is available is harassing them.”
Student Kevin Bruce posted the video, in which he is accused of harassment for sitting in the waiting room and threatened to have campus security called on him, on his Twitter Wednesday evening. According to an email exchange also posted by Bruce, he has been attempting to get answers as to which classes he should take from Abby Dawson, the woman in the video, since at least August of 2014. Repeated attempts at setting up meetings for advisement were either unsuccessful or abruptly cancelled.
According to Bruce, he went to the exercise science advising office in order to have an advisor fill out his transient form, and also for advisement on his courses. Bruce was attempting to meet with another advisor, Margaret Tilley. Tilley was busy, and Bruce states that he decided to sit in the waiting room until she was available. At that time, Dawson came out and accused Bruce of harassment. She then threatened to call campus security and stormed away. Bruce also states that he received no support from JC Bradbury, the head of the department, because despite the repeated cancellations, he did not have an appointment on the day in question.
Bruce has made it clear that he doesn’t feel there’s a racial issue at play, despite heavy social media speculation that the instance recorded was due to him being black, writing “Guys It’s not a racial issue. Every Race has the problem” on his Twitter Thursday morning.
Since Bruce’s video began to spread, #ItsBiggerThanKSU turned into a trending topic, inspiring other students to come forward. On Thursday morning, student Amber Wann shared an email exchange between Dawson and herself from March 23, in which Wann asked for clarification regarding corequisites and prerequisites and was told “I will not continue to answer the same question.”
According to Vocativ, only 15% of students at Kennesaw State University graduate in four years. While many variables may factor into this, it’s safe to speculate that poor advisory practices could play a part in the unimpressive graduation statistics.
Kennesaw State addressed the issue on Twitter Thursday morning, stating “We are aware of the video and situation. Thanks for sharing your concern with us. A formal complaint process has begun.”
Liz Finnegan is a soulless ginger with no political leanings. Pun enthusiast. Self-proclaimed “World’s Okayest Person.” Retro gaming contributor for The Escapist.