New sexual harassment policy removes 'conflict' in relationships

BY SOOJUNG CHANG

DAILY NEWS EDITOR



Published May 4, 2003

Engineering junior Soutrik Pramanik said he often hears about female classmates having crushes on GSI's and professors. "They think they're charismatic ... and intelligent," Pramanik said, adding that often the small age difference between students and GSI's makes this type of attraction inevitable.

University officials agree with Pramanik that attraction between students and faculty is an ever-present reality, which has led them to draft a new policy specifically addressing consensual student-faculty relationships in detail.

This policy outlines disclosure procedures in the case that a consensual relationship develops between two parties involved in an advisory relationship. While the issue is part of the Univesrity's current sexual harassment policy the section on consensual faculty- student relationships has been pulled out into its own separate document.

"Not every student-faculty relationship equals harassment," Peterson said. "But they still need to be managed," she added.

Valerie Castle, the associate provost of academic affairs, said the new policy would encourage disclosure of relationships by providing clearer procedural guidelines.

The guide on faculty-student relationships was issued by the office of the Provost along with a revised document on sexual harassment. Both drafts include input from several senior administrators and are waiting review by the Senate Advisory.