Yale Bans Sex Between Faculty and Students
Thanks to the tireless efforts of one man, Yale has banned sex between faculty and students.
After more than a quarter century of debate, Yale faculty members are now barred from sexual relationships with undergraduates—not just their own students, but any Yale undergrads.
The new policy, announced to faculty in November and incorporated into the updated faculty handbook in January, is “an idea whose time has come,” says Deputy Provost Charles Long, who has advocated the ban since 1983.
In his decades at Yale, Long has seen many faculty-student romances. Most turn out fine, he says, but others are destructive to students. “I think we have a responsibility to protect students from behavior that is damaging to them and to the objectives for their being here.”
Previously, the university had prohibited such relationships only when the faculty member had “direct pedagogical or supervisory responsibilities” over the student. That remains the rule for affairs between faculty and graduate or professional students, and between grad students and undergrads.
There’s not much doubt that a power relationship exists between faculty and students. And that, for all but the youngest faculty members and the oldest undergrads, there’s a certain creepiness brought on by the age disparity issue.
As a practical matter, though, such policies are next to impossible to enforce. As with bans on office romances, they run against the combination of proximity, compatibility, and human nature.
via Glenn Reynolds