Friday, March 02, 2007

I just took a look at the IU code of student rights and found one sentence of the part discussing "amorous or sexual relationships between faculty members and students" interesting. In class Wednesday, we discussed whether or not there is a bias to side with the accuser or the accused. In the IU code (Part I, Section B, 5C) it states:

"Voluntary consent by the student in such a relationship is suspect, given the fundamentally asymmetric nature of the relationship."

This statement makes it seem as though the University would sympathize more with the accuser, based on the degree of control and authority professors have over students.
Do you feel that this is fair? Should Universities judge charges of sexual harassment against professors based on this assumption?


Blogger Jeremy Byers said...

I do think that this a fair assumption because of exactly what they are saying in the provisions. The professors do have a degree of control and authority over their students therefore i think they have to suspect any relations and sympathize with the accuser because of these stipulations. Now obviously there has to be fair evidence of these infractions before any accusations can be called for, in order for there to be an assumption at all.

12:20 PM  
Blogger mel said...

I think it depends on the situation. IU and many other state universities are such large schools that perhaps a relationship could go on between a student and a professor or AI who would normally never cross paths in any way throughout the time that both are at the university. I think the university's comment about the asymmetric relationship would be fair in a situation where for example, the student is majoring in the department that the teacher works in. However, in a relationship such as the one I mentioned before where the two might not even come into professional contact (where one might be an apparrel merchanidising student and the professor works in HPER or something) I don't think the university can make the assumption that the relationship is asymmetrical because the professor would have little power over the student.

3:25 PM  

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