Kennesaw State
The Kennesaw State University's social sciences building in Kennesaw, Georgia. On Thursday, college officials responded to a brewing controversy over an employee's threat to arrest black student Kevin Bruce for waiting in the advising office to see a counselor, who hadn't yet arrived in the office. Wiki Commons

Kennesaw State University student Kevin Bruce was willing to wait to see his college adviser this week, even if that meant sitting for an uncomfortably long time in the waiting room before meeting with the professor. But an employee seemed threatened by his patience and threatened to call campus police, claiming that Bruce's waiting there amounted to harassment. Bruce, who is African-American, recorded a video of the white university employee’s threats and tweeted it to his followers Wednesday night.

By Thursday morning, Bruce’s video had gone viral – it had been retweeted more than 5,500 times by Thursday afternoon -- and prompted school officials to respond to allegations of racism at the college. “We are aware of the video and situation,” read a tweet from the official Twitter account for Kennesaw State University, a four-year public school in Georgia. “Thanks for sharing your concern with us. A formal complaint process has begun.”

On Thursday afternoon, the university tweeted more statements in response to the brewing controversy. "Kennesaw State officials take seriously all student concerns & are dedicated to promoting a positive academic advising experience," officials wrote, adding they were "working with a student to review his concerns regarding the behavior of an academic adviser."

The controversy spawned the trending hashtag #ItsBiggerThanKSU, where Twitter users reacted and shared their own experiences of racism on majority-white college campuses across the U.S. "I would sue the school lowkey, claiming negligence & emotional abuse!" one Twitter user wrote. "If my child were even thinking about attending in the fall, I'd tell them that they needed to think ANOTHER thought! #ItsBiggerThanKSU," another user wrote.

Tammy DeMel, the university’s spokeswoman, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that school administrators were trying to figure out what led to Bruce’s exchange with the employee. “We’re just trying to put the rest of the context around” the video, DeMel said. The investigation was not expected to move quickly, as Kennesaw State’s commencement ceremony was held on Thursday.