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
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,”
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
“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 we’ve had the policy, we haven’t had a case like that
happen,” Cutler said.