The University of Connecticut is considering a new policy that punishes teachers who have sexual relationships with students. The policy is being considered after professor Richard Miller, 66, was accused of sexual contact with children, sex with UConn students, visiting freshmen dorms and providing drugs to students. Yikes.
While clearly Richard Miller’s behavior was highly inappropriate, especially the “sexual contact with children” part, I have to wonder if this policy is completely fair. While sexually harassing students or promising good grades for sexual favors is obviously poor conduct for any professor, most college aged students are consenting adults.
I don’t necessarily “get” relationships where two people are in completely different times in their lives, like an eighteen-year-old dating someone in their forties, it isn’t necessarily illegal or wrong. It’s also totally possible for that kind of relationship to work out.
The policy would ban any relationships between faculty and undergrads, and relationships between faculty and grad students with whom they have a direct relationship (teachers, advisors, etc.). Although it’s totally necessary for the University of Connecticut to protect its students, it seems possible that they could end up punishing two people for having an innocent relationship.
Hmm. I don’t know about this one. What do y’all think? Is dating your teachers always them taking advantage and exploiting their position of power? Or do we need to look at it on a case by case basis?