Rules against professors dating students
Clicking on “Human Resources Policies” and then “Sexual Harassment” of SHSU’s Human Resources web page, will reveal what seems to be the only protection professors and students may have against an unwanted sexual relationship.Here’s the definition:”Conduct involving unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favor and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when: a.The bill would also make rules to prevent sexual assault on campus, for example, by educating professors and students on sexual assault and domestic violence.The University of Hawaii system has 10 campuses statewide that enroll 57,000 students.It’s a misunderstanding most of the time, said Human Resources. So, unless it is sexual harassment, it is legal for professors to date their students. “Some people just have the same compassion for things,” he said about how students and professors could fall in love and marry.”I’m so happy,” said another professor about her marriage to a student.The professor, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she and the student began to date about eight months after the student was in her class.
Last year, the university adopted interim rules to crack down on sexual assault, but the rules don’t explicitly address consensual relationships between students and professors.
“The problem with the policy is that says, ‘it’s not a good idea.’ It may sound strong, but you can drive a truck through that loophole.” Chesney-Lind, who sat on a committee to draft new rules for consensual relationships, said romantic relationships between students and professors do happen, and they’re a “big problem” at the flagship Manoa campus.
“It just creates an odd environment that certainly isn’t conducive towards the learning environment,” she said, adding that student-professor relationships may start out consensually, but can lead to sexual harassment when students feel pressured to keep grades up.
What if, say for example, a cheerleading coach has sex with members of the team?
According to Human Resources at SHSU, as long as the individuals involved are all consenting to the act, there has been no broken policy.