Kennesaw State University, taking note after a student posted a video that went viral of his encounter with an academic adviser, has placed that employee, Abby Dawson, on administrative leave.
Dawson, the school’s director of advising and internships in the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management, said the student, Kevin Bruce, was harassing her he refused to leave the office and stated he was waiting to speak with an adviser.
The video, which Bruce posted Wednesday night and has gained over 300,000 views on YouTube, shows Dawson walking past what looks like the front desk and approaching Bruce. She begins by accusing Bruce of harassment of another adviser, Margaret Tilley. Bruce responds, “I’m not harassing no one.”
Dawson shoots back, “You are.” Bruce answers, “I’m not.” Dawson: “I could call security. You could fill out a form just like everyone else does. Bruce: “Okay, I’m just waiting to talk to someone. I’m not harassing no one, though.” Dawson: “Sitting here until someone is available is harassing them.”
According to the Washington Post, Kennesaw State University’s provost, Ken Harmon, said, “Kennesaw State is dedicated to providing a positive academic experience for all students. We also have a responsibility to provide all students, faculty and staff with a fair and thorough review process.” The university said it would conduct a thorough investigation.
Bruce told WAGA in Atlanta that the incident happened because he was attempting to ask his exercise science department adviser a question, and she told him to come back in an hour. Instead of leaving and returning, he decided to wait. He said he had a previous encounter with Dawson that went badly, so he decided to record her this time. He asserted, “Abby Dawson has an attitude, that’s why I knew exactly when to record her… I waited for a second to see if she was going to call security, because there was no reason for her to call security.”
Someone who claimed she was Dawson’s mother contacted the Post and told them that her daughter would not comment until the investigation was over. The Post quoted several other tweets from students claiming that they had had issues with Dawson.