5.36 Consensual Relationship policy

Relationships between a faculty member and a student, a student and a professional staff member, or a supervisor and employee are considered professional, whereby the initiation of a sexual or romantic relationship is against college policy. Anyone who engages in a sexual relationship where a degree of power or authority exists must understand that the degree to which such a relationship is truly mutually consensual can be questioned. Codes of ethics for most professional associations forbid the initiation of sexual or romantic relationships where professional/client, teacher/student, or supervisor/employee relationships exist.

The power differential inherent in faculty/student, staff/student, and supervisor/employee relationships compromises the subordinate's ability to freely decide. The respect and trust accorded a professor by a student, as well as the power exercised by the professor in giving praise or blame, grades, recommendations for further study and future employment, greatly diminish the student's actual freedom of choice should sexual favors be included among the professor's demands or requests. The same is true with respect to a supervisor and employee.

Faculty and staff members (including student employees) involved in a pre-existing romantic or sexual relationship with a student or employee for whom the faculty or staff member has a supervisory or academic responsibility or who is otherwise under the direction of the faculty or staff member must promptly report the relationship to their supervisor. Upon receiving notice, the College will make alternative staffing arrangements and such other additional arrangements as are necessary under the circumstances.