College Student’s Confrontation With Adviser Goes Viral

Kevin Bruce, a student at Kennesaw State University, wanted to see an adviser. Then the school threatened to call the police on him

May 14, 2015 at 2:22 PM ET

Commencement day is supposed to be a time for celebration, but at a small Georgia college, it has turned into a day of controversy.

On Wednesday, a student at Kennesaw State University named Kevin Bruce recorded an uncomfortable encounter with a university adviser. Later in the evening, he uploaded the video on Twitter. It has now been retweeted over 4,000 times.

Bruce, through email, had been trying for some time to set up a meeting with an adviser. But according to him, whenever a session was scheduled, something always wound up “getting in the way.” Finally, Bruce decided to go down to the guidance office in person. Bruce says he told an assistant he was seeking a meeting and would be happy to wait until an adviser became available.

Then the school’s director of advising, Abby Dawson, confronts Bruce. In the video, she is hostile, and says, “Sitting here until someone is available is harassing.” She tells him if he doesn’t leave, she will call security.

After the video was posted, there was an outpouring of sympathy. Bruce is black, and Dawson is white. There were accusations of racism, and people began using the hashtag #ItsBiggerThanKSU, which stirred a surprising debate. Bruce responded on Twitter and said, “Guys it’s not a racial issue. Every race has this problem.”

Other students agreed, echoing Bruce’s complaints about getting time with advisers. According to U.S. News & World Report, only 15 percent of students at Kennesaw State graduate in four years. The school is 17 percent black and about 64 percent white.

Tammy DeMel, the University’s director of strategic communications, told Vocativ the school is “looking into” the incident, but still doesn’t have enough information to provide a comment. “It’s Commencement Day,” she said. “There’s a lot going on.”


Read More:

Waiting for Your College Advisor Can Apparently Lead to the Police Being Called on You (Complex)
KSU’s Adviser’s Behavior Spurs Racism Complaints (Atlanta Journal Constitution)