The University of Harvard banned sexual and romantic relationships between students and professors. The Ivy League university has just revised an old policy that used to allow relationships between students and professors who did not share a class.
The policy reads that no Faculty of Arts and Science member shall request or accept sexual favors from, engage in or initiate a sexual or romantic relationship with any undergraduate student at Harvard College.
The policy continued to mention that graduate, undergraduate students, as well as faculty or staff members are completely prohibited from engaging in relationships with any graduate student who is enrolled in a course taught by that person or subject to that person’s academic supervision, before the said supervision has concluded.
This type of ban is nothing new among Universities, as Yale University and the University of Connecticut have adopted similar policies of late. In most cases, even though there is no ban instituted, most universities discourage sexual or romantic relationships between professors and students.
Alison Johnson, a history professor who led the panel that did the revision on the policy revealed to Bloomberg that undergrads come to school to learn from teachers and that:
We’re not here to have sexual or romantic relationships with them.
It is believed that the change to the policy was prompted by the fact that a year ago, the Department of Education announced that Harvard University was among several educational institutions that were being investigated for their responses to claims of harassment and sexual abuse.
One case in particular of a woman student reported who a rape caused uproar among Harvard students and the media. The undergraduate, who requested to remain unnamed, was shocked to find that the University allowed the student who assaulted her to remain a student at Harvard and on campus.
There were some voices that went so far as to claim that older Harvard policies actually favored the victim’s assailants. From 2005 to 2010, 8 cases of sexual misconduct were presented to the Ad Board and as a result only three offenders were required to withdraw from Harvard College, which only meant a leave of absence of up to six months. No students were permanently expelled.
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