This incident occurrred at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia last week, but I read about it via the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation:
An academic adviser at a Georgia university has been placed on leave after a video of her accusing a student of harassment — apparently for sitting in a room waiting for an appointment — went viral.
Kevin Bruce, a student at Kennesaw State University (KSU) in Kennesaw, Ga., posted a short video on Wednesday of the adviser, who has been identified as Abbey Dawson, demanding Bruce leave the lobby of a human resources office, where he was hoping to speak with another academic adviser.
Dawson accuses Bruce of harassment and asks Bruce to leave. Bruce says he’s simply waiting to speak to his adviser and that he isn’t harassing anyone.
“Sitting here until somebody is available is harassing them,” Dawson says, and then threatens to call campus security before walking away.
It is worth noting that Bruce is African-American and some have accused KSU of institutional racism. But Bruce, to his credit, tweeted, “Guys it’s not a racial issue. Every race has this problem.”
Bruce is fortunate he captured this on his cell phone. If Bruce hadn’t then it is very likely that he, not Dawson, would have been subject to discipline. In this day and age, women need only utter the word “harassment” to put a man’s life to utter ruin.
When a student can be accused of harassment merely for wanting to talk to an academic adviser it tells the student, “If you want help, don’t ask. We’re not here to help.” It reinforces the indifference and inefficiency of public sector bureaucracies.
It also trivializes the meaning of the word harassment. Had Bruce been yelling or threatening to use violence then it would have been a different matter and calling in security would have been warranted. Clearly that’s not the case here. But when engaging in the every day business of life constitutes an act of harassment then what we have is an absence of common sense. When common sense is absent molehills turn into mountains.