Syracuse University Pushes To Ban Relationships Between Undergraduate Students and Faculty

Syracuse University Senate discuss the presented recommendations during Wednesday’s Senate meeting in Maxwell Auditorium. (c) 2018 Courtney Rau


Listen here to find out more about Syracuse University’s push to ban student-faculty relationships. 

Audio Transcript: Teacher Script

By Courtney Rau SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Syracuse University’s Academic Freedom, Tenure and Professional Ethics Committee (AFTPE) is working with the Women’s Concerns Committee to fully prohibit intimate relationships between faculty and undergraduate students.

The push for change comes along with this year’s increased national attention to sexual assault, harassment and relationship violence.

At a University senate meeting in February, Chancellor Kent Syverud said that he is supportive of a review on the policy and that the Senate needs to focus “on the pressing issue of sexual abuse and harassment policies, especially as it relates to relationships between faculty and staff and undergraduates.”

The university’s faculty manual currently bans sexual relationships between faculty and undergraduate students but only if the faculty member advises, supervises or teaches the student.

However, the policy has not been updated since 2012.

The new Senate report, written by the AFTPE chair and political science professor Thomas Keck, urges the university to ban all sexual relationships between faculty and undergraduate students, regardless of whether the faculty member teaches, advises or supervises the student.

Syracuse University student Emily Green is in full support of the policy review. “The whole idea honestly just makes me uncomfortable to think that fellow students, people I have class with, could be having a personal relationship with professors,” Green said. “It’s just something I don’t think is okay.”

While many support this change, some may consider it unnecessary.

Syracuse student Juan Durano said people should be able to do what they want. “Well I can’t really imagine myself being in a relationship with a professor, but I mean other people can do what they want to do, I guess,” said Durano.

The policy review will be presented during Wednesday’s Senate meeting in Maxwell Auditorium.