Our network

KSU students blame poor advising services, not racism in viral video | News

Title (Max 100 Characters)

KSU students blame poor advising services, not racism in viral video
News


Kennesaw State University placed academic adviser Abby Dawson on administrative leave on Friday after a video of her interaction with a student caused a controversy on social media. The student, Kevin Bruce, released the video on Thursday showing the encounter he had with Dawson at the WellStar College of Health and Human Services advising offices.

The video was retweeted over 7,000 times and the hashtag, #ItsBiggerThanKSU, was trending nationally.

Kennesaw State administrators said in a statement an investigation is pending and could take up to two weeks to complete.

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

Olivia Graham, a junior KSU student, says she has always had awesome interactions with her own adviser, but she has had issues with other advisers in the past.

"I once sought help from a woman who, as I was explaining my situation, wasn't willing to listen to me", says Graham. "She was so rude and frustrating. It's discouraging to me that advisers, whose job it is to advise, can treat a student like that for just needing to get answers to a few quick questions."

Other students, like sophomore Erik Gijlstra, say the advising services at KSU are not as unhelpful as some students described on Twitter and Facebook.

"I still have overwhelming faith in the effort KSU makes to assist students," says Gijlstra. "It has been easy to get hold of an adviser even without an official appointment. I have the option to call, sign up online, and walk in and use a sign-in sheet. All three of these methods have worked for me, and every time I was greeted with polite service."

Gijlstra also says there is not enough information yet about the incident to make any decisions and believes a thorough investigation will provide closure for the incident.

"I stand by the advisors and staff that have helped make my first year at KSU a smooth one," says Gijlstra. "On a scale that's much bigger than me however, I wish there was a little more forethought put into movements like #ItsBiggerThanKSU. Judgment is not something that should be passed at the drop of a hat."

However, Thalia Christian, a student at KSU and a friend of Kevin Bruce, says many of the students want to see Ms. Dawson receive consequences for her actions.

"I personally think she should be fired because I mean again you have alumni and people going here now saying that she is just not wanting to do her job," says Christian.

Eli Goodstein is a student at the University of Southern California and a summer 2015 USA TODAY Collegiate Correspondent.

News