A Kennesaw State University student recorded a short video of his unpleasant interactions with a woman named Abby Dawson, who may be the most unhelpful advisor in history.
The student, Kevin Bruce, was waiting in the advising offices of the Georgia university when Dawson accused him of harassing her and ordered him to leave. Bruce replied that he only wished to speak with an advisor, and wasn't harassing anyone. She responded: "Sitting here until somebody is available is harassing. Would you like for me to call campus security?"
We only see 30 seconds of the encounter, and it's of course possible that Bruce did something off-camera that made Dawson's accusation of harassment more credible. But the evidence of Bruce's prior email correspondence with her certainly suggest that she's an irritable and unhelpful administrator. Bruce later clarified on Twitter that he had hoped to avoid her by going to the office to speak with a different advisor since "he found her unhelpful in the past," according to The Huffington Post.
Bruce isn't the first student to complain about this particular administrator:
One student, Amber Wann, said she had difficulty getting into a couple classes she needed and was worried she would fall behind. When she asked if there was a way to avoid the waitlist, Dawson replied in an email, "I will not continue to answer the same question." Wann tweeted a screenshot of the exchange…
Another student, Austin Smith, tweeted about an encounter he had with Dawson during the advisory office's posted open hours. Smith said that he arrived about halfway through the time-slot, but Dawson told him they had finished early and were moving on to a workshop.
The surge in tuition prices over the last two decades is in no small part due to the fact that American universities have created vast armies of administrators to fill out purported "student services" and advising positions. Given how much students are paying for these extravagances, one would expect people like Dawson to be a little more customer-focused in the course of their jobs.
Also, is the definition of harassment now just "anything that bothers anyone" at university campuses?