#ItsBiggerthanKSU: Kennesaw State University Apologizes For Adviser’s Behavior, Adviser Reassigned

Kennesaw State University got some unwanted attention when a KSU student captured an exchange with an adviser on video and tweeted it out to his followers. The student was waiting in the adviser’s office, but was told she was busy. The adviser, Abby Dawson, comes out of the office and tells the student that he needs to fill out a form like everybody else and that sitting and waiting for an adviser to become available is harassment. Bruce says he isn’t harassing anyone and just needs to speak with an advisor, but is told if he doesn’t leave that campus security will be called. Bruce later tweeted that he had tried numerous times to make appointments with his adviser, but they were always booked. Therefore, he decided to go into the office and wait for an appointment. He never expected that his actions would be considered harassing. After an internal investigation, KSU has responded to the allegations and noted that sensitivity training will be given to all advisers working with students and that Abby Dawson has been reassigned until she can complete required training.

Alive 11 News reports that Kennesaw State University placed the adviser in question on leave on May 15 so that they could perform an internal investigation into what went wrong that day with Kevin Bruce. The investigation was complete, and it was decided that Abby Dawson, the adviser from the video, be reassigned until she goes through proper sensitivity training in how to better deal with students.

In the public statement released by KSU, the university notes that they have made very clear to advisers that “the behavior she demonstrated on the video will not be tolerated.” The university says they are taking measures to ensure that incidents like this do not happen again in the future, and that staff are better prepared to interact effectively with students.

“We have made it very clear to Ms. Dawson and her supervisors that the behavior she demonstrated on the video will not be tolerated; and while we have apologized to the student directly, we also want to publicly apologize for her behavior, which is not representative of KSU’s student-centered culture. While we in no way condone Ms. Dawson’s actions, we also acknowledge that we need to make some changes in our advising structure to provide more training and support for our staff so that they are better equipped to help our students navigate their college experience.”

As a result of the viral video, the university says that all advisers will now undergo sensitivity training, and that Abby Dawson will not be advising students until she successfully completes this training.

What do you think of KSU’s response to the video? Was their reaction appropriate, or do more steps need to be taken to ensure students receive proper advising when needed?

[Image Credit: Twitter]