Report: Many Universities Allow Sexual Relationships Between Professors and Students

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A recently released report suggests that many American universities allow for sexual relationships between students and professors.

According to a report from The College Fix, several prominent American universities allow for sexual relationships between students and their professors.

Take, for example, the policy at Columbia University. Although the policy cautions faculty against sexual relationships with students, it does not outright prohibit them.

No staff member at Columbia should participate in supervision, employment actions, evaluation, advising or mentoring any Columbia University student with whom that staff member has or has had a consensual romantic or sexual relationship, except in unusual circumstances, where explicit authorization has been obtained from the Vice President of Human Resources in consultation with Office of the General Counsel.

The report suggests that Columbia’s policy is not unusual. Both Penn State and Rutgers have installed a similar policy that says faculty members “should” avoid relationships with students.

These policies are especially troublesome for those that worry about both the power dynamic and age difference between an undergraduate student and a university faculty member.

On the other hand, universities like Harvard explicitly prohibit these types of relationships for undergraduate students and their professors. However, the policy allows faculty and graduate students to date, as long as the faculty member in question is not in a supervisory position over the student.

The Policy prohibits all sexual and romantic relationships between faculty and undergraduates in the College. Relationships between faculty and graduate students or DCE students are prohibited only when there is a supervisory element. For example, a faculty member may not have a sexual or romantic relationship with a graduate student who works in his or her lab, or who is his or her dissertation advisee.

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