Administrative issues at KSU not uncommon

Kennesaw State University became a national trending topic over Kevin Bruce’s video showing a school advisor, later revealed as Abby Dawson, threatening to call security on Bruce for “harassment” while he waited to see an adviser at the Wellstar College of Health and Human Services.

Almost immediately, and rightfully so, the Internet went into a hysteric frenzy over the incident and, as of May 19, Bruce’s video had more than 8,000 retweets and 5,438 favorites.

While many speculated racial motives, which Bruce told local news stations he wasn’t entirely convinced of, KSU’s lack of immediate solid administrative action reveals a dangerous trend within secondary education that boils down to three words: “Formal complaint process.”

Of course, like most colleges and universities (including Georgia State), any news that goes viral about a school must be openly addressed by a team of public relations people — that’s just the way it works. And if you missed it, KSU did respond to an influx of questions via the college’s official Twitter page.

But how much of an impact do formal complaint processes actually have in these situations? To put it simply, unless you’re a fan of jumping through endless hoops — not much.[SR1]

[SR2] KSU outlines that if a student has a legitimate complaint against a faculty member, said complaint(s) should be “resolved at the lowest level possible” first.

By “lowest level,” they mean it is the student and faculty member’s responsibility to resolve the issue. But in this particular incident, how were either of them to work together when the advisor blatantly made verbal threats to call campus security?[SR3]

Furthermore, why were there no other staff members present to help facilitate an obviously heated ongoing issue?

Eventually the formal complaint process is cycled through department chairs, written complaints to the dean of the college, written complaints to the provost or vice president of academic affairs and, finally, handed over to the president of the university, which his or her decision is final.

As many of us know, this is the same process and approach many colleges and universities use to handle situations like this. How is this doing any good?

Respectfully, yes, as formal institutions with various offices to handle various issues going on within a university, there is a process. Many university students understand that. This method boils down to a cop-out approach to pass the buck of responsibility elsewhere.

To go through this endless process ultimately allows for more and more time to pass without any solid resolution. Why handle it now, when someone else will take care of it later, right?

Of course, there will be “further investigation[SR4] [CF5] ” into what happened. In fact, Dawson is on leave for two to three weeks while the school investigates, according to Channel 2. Other KSU students also gathered in their student center to show support of Bruce and ongoing issues.

As this formal complaint process is sifted through at KSU, many can’t help but wonder, Is this process actually beneficial to solve student-administrative issues or are we just passing the issue onto someone else to handle?