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A storm has been brewing around campus, and it has nothing to do with the weather. It’s about an issue between a student and professor that has escalated at an accelerated rate, thanks to the Internet and social media world we live in.

Solution: Choose sanity

A storm has been brewing around campus, and it has nothing to do with the weather.

It’s about an issue between a student and professor that has escalated at an accelerated rate, thanks to the Internet and social media world we live in.  Last week, The Spectator ran an article about Dr. Frank J. Rybicki being arrested for battery charges, which were filed by Krista Bowman.

In only a few days, the article garnered national media attention with articles on the HuffPost College’s website, Inside Higher Ed, and TIME NewsFeed.  On The Spectator’s website alone, the article has collected over 26,000 views and nearly 80 comments, a record when compared to any other article in recent times. Comments range from the inane to the insane and it is becoming increasingly clear that no one is coming up with a definitive solution.

We have a solution.  The problem originally could have been solved between the two parties privately. That is what we are suggesting should happen now. Both parties should take action and apologize.  The consequences from the charges are heading in a direction of costing a professor his career and hurting a student’s social and academic life.

These people need their lives back.  The administration should do the right thing, not the most expedient, and reinstate Dr. Rybicki. The VSU community should stop treating Bowman as an outcast, and understand that people make mistakes—unfortunately, this mistake has gotten national attention. Remember, those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

The internet exposes and can skew everyone’s life. In this electronic world we live in, social media is all encompassing and we have to be cautious with how it is used and how quickly it helps news travel.

The other issue that this incident exposes is the changed relationship between the professor and students. We feel like the relationship between professor and student, the role of a student in a classroom, and what students owe to each other should become more defined. Our ultimate goal as a university is to establish an institution for learning, and that attention to  learning is what we all need to be focused on.

As the editorial staff of this newspaper, a vehicle for free speech, we ask for your opinions. Students, what do you feel your role is in a classroom and what do you feel like you owe your fellow students, if anything? Share your opinion by commenting online at www.vsuspectator.com or in the chatbox below, or by sending your opinions to Opinion Editor, Molly Duett at mkduett@valdosta.edu.

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  1. John Mikolajcik

    @ Hector,
    You are right she did nothing wrong. You sir are a genius when it comes to evaluating the issues at hand. She disrupted class on a daily basis with her laptop use and has now caused paying students to forfeit class time. You are right she has no reason to be disliked by students on campus. This article is right on the mark they should kiss and make up because this negative press is going to ruin her career in the media world because of an over reaction. Not only did she disrupt all of Rybicki’s classes but she has disrupted the lives of numerous students from the lowliest undergraduate to graduate students getting ready to present thesis papers. So you are right she did nothing to warrant any of this behavior and negative attention. Quit being a white knight and wake up.

  2. @Hector. The only thing fractured was her ego. What if each student who is now missing his/her professor files a civil suit against this student for interfering with their education? Think that would get her attention? It’s a possibility because she has proven that, at least in this country, you can do just about whatever you want without any regard to how it affects a person.

  3. Why hasn’t any actions by the University been taken for her actions and her disrupting the class while the professor was trying to teach HIS class????????????? She should be in some sort of trouble as well. We are adults!!!! Sounds to me that she has a lot of growing up to do before she heads into the real world!

  4. BecomingLikeMyParents

    Kiss and make up?
    For real?

    She had him ARRESTED!

    I question whether I would EVER consider anyone with an accreditation from this institution for anything, should she be allowed to graduate after this behaviour.

    Just my humble opinion.

  5. This editorial is way off the mark. You say that Krista Bowman has made a mistake but don’t explain why. She did nothing to warrant having her property touched and getting injured as a result. People need to understand you cannot touch people without their permission (this incident led to a fractured finger!)

  6. This is ridiculous. This Krista chick needs a metaphorical boot to the brain. If I was a VSU student I’d be livid at her for: (a) interrupting my education, (b) accusing an innocent person of a misdeed, (c) thinking the closing of a frakkin’ laptop can even be considered an offence and (d) displaying an unparalleled level of douchebaggery.

    Hope karma rewards her well.

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