In an update a week after a “dehumanizing” incident on the Happy Bus involving Student Success Coach Adriaunna Chambers. She stated that University President, Dr. Karen Riley had effectively addressed her concerns, making her feel heard.
Chambers met with Dr. Riley on Monday, a week after the incident, and four days after she had posted a video to Instagram calling for specific and timely action. She said the meeting was focused on details and results.
“I was levelheaded and at peace with the situation, I was reassured that she’s going to be good for this place,” Chambers said. “When you talk to the university president, you hope you can feel relieved when you leave, and I did.”
Chambers said President Riley gave her the floor to discuss the situation. She focused on re-establishing the results she had requested in her video and in her meeting with David Wilmes, Chief Student Affairs officer. Chambers cited an “unsatisfying” apology from the Office for Inclusive Excellence.
Two other offices voiced their support for Chambers in separate statements posted on social media and sent throughout university communications.
Jamar Robinson, President of the Black Action Society (BAS), discussed the reason behind his organization’s letter of support.
“As a whole, we felt it was our duty. As the Black Action Society, one of our core principles is making sure students of color have a safe space to exist on a predominately white campus,” he said. “We wanted to make sure the student involved in the incident had our support not just privately, but publicly as well.”
Robinson mentioned ways he felt students could protect themselves from similar situations.
“In order to prevent situations like this one in the future, students can begin sharing their experiences. Doing this creates more awareness and opportunities for students to be educated by each other,“ he said. “This creates unity within the student body. As we’ve seen in the bus incident, students came together through social media to force a resolution–there is strength in numbers.”
The Student Government Association released multiple statements over the course of the past week. The comments referred to the incident, calling the conduct of the driver, “unacceptable,” and “inappropriate.”
Campus Outreach Vice President Robbi Austin said that the series of statements were released to make the campus community aware of the situation and to inform them of SRSGA’s actions related to the event.
Austin said, “It was the right thing to do.”
The most recent letter, sent through university communication emails on September 19, informed students and university stakeholders that the situation had been resolved and that preventative measures would be put in place to ensure incidents like this will not continue.
“We are sorry that this incident occurred, and, as an organization that advocates for SRU students, we will do everything we can to hold people accountable for maintaining a campus environment that is safe and welcoming to everyone.”
The Rocket reached out to Todd Campbell of Campbell Bus Lines, who was not available for comment as of Friday, Sept. 22.