Robin Lloyd, 40 years old
Faculty are scheduled to vote on new rules this spring, completing a process that began well before the dean of UC's top law school left amid a sex scandal last fall. The policy would make UC the latest school to ban the classroom courtships, joining such schools as the University of Michigan, the University of Iowa and Yale. Although UC doesn't have a no-dating decree — faculty recommended drafting a policy in but it was not made formal — there has always been an unwritten rule that getting involved with students is a bad idea, says Gayle Binion, chair of UC's Academic Senate and a political science professor at UC Santa Barbara. Still, Binion says it's a good idea to get it in writing. Faculty have been working on a dating policy since late , she said. The proposed policy would make it a breach of the code of conduct for a faculty member to engage in a "romantic or sexual relationship" with a student for whom he or she has, or should expect to have, academic responsibility. Nationally, universities have taken different approaches to the question of professor-student relationships.
College dating is the set of behaviors and phenomena centered on the seeking out and the maintenance of romantic relationships in a university setting. It has unique properties that only occur, or occur most frequently, in a campus setting. Such phenomena as hooking up and lavaliering dating university professor widely prominent among university and college students. Hooking up is a worldwide phenomenon that involves two individuals having a sexual encounter without interest in commitment.
While relationships between students and professors aren't unheard of, they can be a source for all kinds of problems. A professor is in a position of authority over a student, whether or not he or she is that student's teacher or supervisor, which makes any dating arrangement tricky at best. Ultimately, if the two are consenting adults there's no scenario where it's OK for a high school teacher to date a current student , there's not much anyone can do to prevent them from pursuing a romantic relationship.
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This piece is part of our Formative Years series , where writers reflect on their college experience. Like so many wide-eyed college kids before me, I had a crush on my professor. I slept with him, repeatedly, over the course of several years. It all began 10 years this week. I was 17, and he At first it was innocent enough. I bummed a smoke off him at morning lecture break.
I have been teaching for the last seven years. They are lucky enough to have been accepted by my school in the first place — yes, you have heard of it, and yes, it is that good. And that wide-eyed appreciation looks better on no one than an year-old brunette with perfect breasts and a tight sweater. The first time she walked into my classroom, I knew that I could have her. I found her honest interest in me adorable, and her fumbling little attempts to seduce me the first day or so of class to be as endearing as they were effective. She could have never spoken to me and still held me just as captivated. By the time I kissed her in my office last week, I knew that I had waited three weeks too many. I could tell that she had been thinking about me every day, torturing herself with questions about whether or not I would do anything.
In some ways, sex between students and their professors is part of the mythology of academia. It turns up regularly in film and literature. The scenario typically involves a young female student seduced by her older and more knowledgeable teacher. Historically, male professors have considered a campus full of available young women a perk of academia. Attitudes began to change in the s and s, with the rise of feminism and an increasing number of female scholars in academia. Real policy changes did not occur until the late s and s, when courts said schools could be held liable in sexual harassment cases. Since then, many universities have begun to address student-professor dating. University fraternization rules are sometimes vague.