Harvard University has officially banned romantic and sexual relationships between undergraduate students and their teachers.
Faculty members are also prohibited from having relationships with graduate students who are under their supervision, The Guardian reports. In addition, graduate students are banned from engaging in relationships with undergraduates “if the graduate student is in a position to grade, evaluate, or supervise the undergraduate”.
A spokesperson for Harvard stated that the policy was instituted:
“…As part of the process of reviewing the university’s Title IX policy, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ committee on sexual misconduct had determined that the existing language on relationships of unequal status did not explicitly reflect the faculty’s expectations of what constituted an appropriate relationship between undergraduate students and faculty members. Therefore, the committee revised the policy to include a clear prohibition to better accord with these expectations.”
Alison Johnson, a professor at Harvard who chairs the committee on sexual misconduct, stated that the policy has been accepted without protest.
“Undergraduates come to college to learn from us…we’re not here to have sexual or romantic relationships with them,” she said.
Havard is not the first university to institute the policy. In previous years, the following universities banned student-faculty relationships: Arizona State University, University of Connecticut, and Yale University.