University student in Georgia accused of harassment for waiting for an appointment

An academic adviser at a Georgia university has been placed on leave after a video of her accusing a student of harassment — apparently for sitting in a room waiting for an appointment — went viral.

Academic advisor placed on leave after threatening to call security on student for waiting for an appointment

Academic adviser Abbey Dawson tells student Kevin Bruce to leave a human resources office at Kenneshaw State University, saying that waiting for an appointment is harassment. (Kevin Bruce/Twitter)

An academic adviser at a Georgia university has been placed on leave after a video of her accusing a student of harassment — apparently for sitting in a room waiting for an appointment — went viral.

Kevin Bruce, a student at Kennesaw State University (KSU) in Kennesaw, Ga., posted a short video on Wednesday of the adviser, who has been identified as Abbey Dawson, demanding Bruce leave the lobby of a human resources office, where he was hoping to speak with another academic adviser.

Dawson accuses Bruce of harassment and asks Bruce to leave. Bruce says he's simply waiting to speak to his adviser and that he isn't harassing anyone.

"Sitting here until somebody is available is harassing them," Dawson says, and then threatens to call campus security before walking away.

It's not clear whether there was any other discussion or confrontation before the start of the video, where Dawson approaches Bruce. However, there aren't any signs of commotion or chatter in the otherwise placid office waiting room.

Bruce told local news outlets that he had been trying unsuccessfully to schedule a meeting with one of his academic advisers for some time. When he went to the human resources office, he was told his adviser was unavailable.

Speaking to local news affiliate, Bruce said he didn't have anything else to do at the time, so decided to wait until someone was available to talk to him. He also posted an email exchange with Dawson, alleging that she and others at the faculty were being unhelpful when he was asking for academic advice.

Bruce posted the video to his Twitter account, and it's been viewed and re-tweeted thousands of times since then.

Since then, the conversation has bubbled over on Twitter with the hashtag #ItsBiggerThanKSU. Students complain about inattentive or uncaring university staff, and several claim to have had similar interactions with Dawson.

Some accused KSU of institutional racism (Bruce is black) and to a lesser degree of sexism on the part of Dawson. Bruce and others, however, said it was more about the staff's seeming unwillingness to take the time to help its students when they need it the most.

KSU confirmed on Friday that Dawson has been placed on academic leave while the incident is under investigation. 

"Kennesaw State is dedicated to providing a positive academic experience for all students," Ken Harmon, KSU's provost and vice president for academic affairs, said in the statement. "We also have a responsibility to provide all students, faculty and staff with a fair and thorough review process."


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