Professor student dating relationships
I was naïve enough to be a bit shocked that girls my age would talk that way about such an exalted figure.
Lines in the debate have been drawn more clearly in recent years.If we think of the university as a purely professional realm, where services are exchanged for a fee among rational economic actors, then sexual relationships seem clearly out of bounds, as they are in most workplaces, especially between supervisors and subordinates.But if the academy is something more than that, if, as many of its members hope, it’s a place where deep and lasting collegial bonds are formed, where mentors and protégés can become close friends and where young lives are transformed by a galvanic encounter with knowledge and their own latent capabilities, how can we possibly stamp out the potential for desire to arise?Like a drunk person or a child, a student, by definition, cannot consent to a tryst with a faculty member.As Harvard’s policy puts it, “Even when both parties have consented at the outset to the development of a romantic or sexual relationship between individuals of different University status, it is the person in the position of greater authority who, by virtue of his or her special responsibility and the core educational mission [of the faculty of Arts and Sciences], will be held accountable for unprofessional behavior.” How did we get to the point of protecting young adults’ feelings by denying that their feelings count?
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In February, for example, Harvard announced that it was banning all consensual “romantic or sexual” relationships between faculty members and undergraduates, regardless of whether the student is enrolled in any of the professor’s classes or is even in the same department (although faculty can still date graduate students if they don’t supervise their work).