Kennesaw State University is looking into a video circulating online of a staff member threatening to call security on a student who said he was waiting to speak with an advisor.
Kevin Bruce, a student at Kennesaw State in Georgia, posted video Wednesday night of his interaction with Abby Dawson, Director of Advising and Internships in the Exercise Science and Sport Management department of the public university. Bruce tweeted at several local TV stations trying to bring attention to his video; his tweet had received more than 5,000 retweets by Thursday afternoon.
"I'm not harassing no one," Bruce is heard saying in the video. "You are," Dawson responds.
A moment later Bruce states, "I'm just waiting to talk to someone, I'm not harassing no one though."
"Sitting here until someone's available, is harassing them," Dawson replies. "That's not harassing them," Bruce slowly responds, to which she says, "It is. Would you like me to call campus security?"
Rude advisors at Kennesaw . Smh pic.twitter.com/ugcX4gnIsp
— KB (@IamKB_) May 14, 2015
Bruce tweeted later that other efforts to set up a meeting haven't worked out -- in one instance, his appointment was canceled. Bruce also said he has been trying to speak with another advisor and wanted to avoid a meeting with Dawson because he found her unhelpful in the past.
In a screenshot of an email Bruce posted to Twitter, Dawson responded to his questions about class schedules, "You will need to refer to the information I have given you previously. You have all the resources you need to quickly find the answer to this question."
Staff from the department where Dawson works did not respond to a request for comment. The Kennesaw State media affairs office said university officials "are working with a student to review his concerns regarding the behavior of an academic advisor in the WellStar College of Health and Human Services."
Bruce's video sparked the hashtag #ItsBiggerThanKSU, and several other students started tweeting about their own experiences with Dawson and the ESSM department, many posting screenshots of emails in their tweets.
One student, Amber Wann, said she had difficulty getting into a couple classes she needed and was worried she would fall behind. When she asked if there was a way to avoid the waitlist, Dawson replied in an email, "I will not continue to answer the same question." Wann tweeted a screenshot of the exchange:
— Amber Wann (@AmberWann) May 14, 2015
Another student, Austin Smith, tweeted about an encounter he had with Dawson during the advisory office's posted open hours. Smith said that he arrived about halfway through the time-slot, but Dawson told him they had finished early and were moving on to a workshop.
— Austin Smith (@_A_Smith) May 14, 2015
The Huffington Post reached out to the students tweeting about advising problems at Kennesaw State, but had not received any responses at the time of publication.
Several other students have used the hashtag to complain about the treatment they've received at the office.
UPDATE: May 15 -- On Friday afternoon, Kennesaw State University announced it had placed Abby Dawson, the academic advisor caught on camera, on "administrative leave pending a comprehensive investigation."
The school did not provide any further information.
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