Oct 272003
Authors: Natalie Plowman

Romantic relationships between students and professors have been

an issue and topic of discussion for years. CSU has a policy

regarding consensual relationships of this sort, as do other

university campuses across the nation.

“It’s an approach that many companies have taken, to discourage

consensual relationships (involving employees). There are problems

that can arise … depending on how that relationship goes,” said

Laurence Pendleton, associate general council for CSU.

Appendix two, found in the academic faculty and administrative

professional manual addresses consensual relationships. This can be

found at www.colostate.edu/Orgs/FacultyCouncil/appendic.htm.

“It’s more of a strongly worded policy regarding (relationships)

but without an outright ban,” Pendleton said.

The policy informs faculty and students that it is inappropriate

to have a romantic or sexual relationship if one person holds a

“direct supervisory or evaluative role over the other party,”

according to the Web site.

Pendleton said this appendix is basically “informing people of

the risk involved in those types of relationships.” The policy is

more of a warning of what potentially could happen if one takes

part in this type of relationship, and the possible risks involved

– for example, if the relationship’s circumstances changes.

The University of California at Berkeley put a policy into

effect this year banning romantic or sexual relationships.

“It just went into effect,” said Abby Lunardini, spokesperson

for President Robert Dynes of UC-Berkeley. “We have not had much

feedback yet. Basically, the change that was made was a system-wide

policy change.”

Lunardini gave a hypothetical relationship situation that would

be seen as violation of the policy. If there were a student having

a relationship with the dean of English department, it would be

off-limits because that dean has a position of authority over that


“The support for the policy was fairly unanimous. There were

obviously some objections but there weren’t many of them,”

Lunardini said.

Though the policy has just been put into effect, there are high

hopes for what it could achieve.

“I think that this hopefully would be a model to say ‘this is

what’s appropriate,'” Lunardini said.

CSU’s policy regarding consensual relationships is not a

specific ban on relationships but more of cautionary piece of

advice. It says to be wary about what negative outcomes are

possible by pursuing this type of relationship.

“I think it makes sense,” said freshman Tessa Harvey, and equine

science major. “But at the same time, I’ve heard of it working

out,” she said in reference to a relationship between a student and


But Harvey does not see the policy as having a large effect on

her life.

“I don’t think I could see myself dating a professor,” Harvey


These types of relationships are not prohibited, said Roselyn

Cutler, associate director of the Office of Equal Opportunity on


The consensual relationship policy has been in effect at CSU

since 1998.

“Since we’ve had the policy, we haven’t had a case like that

happen,” Cutler said.




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