709- Consensual Relationship
Spelman College encourages the development of collegial and professional relationships among all members of the College community and is committed to a learning and work environment of civility and mutual respect. Romantic and/or sexual attention, interaction, or relationships between certain categories of individuals undermine the fundamental educational purpose of the College and disrupt the workplace and academic environment.
The faculty-student relationship is one of trust in the College and the faculty member has the professional responsibility for being a mentor, educator, and evaluator. Faculty-student and staff-student romantic and/or sexual attention, interaction, or relationships, even consensual ones interfere with a student’s pursuit of learning and the integrity of the College environment.
This policy applies to all administrators, faculty, and staff of Spelman College. Nothing in this policy replaces the policies on prohibited discrimination, unlawful harassment, and retaliation, or other policies that may be triggered by conduct or relationships covered by this policy.
Consensual Relationship-interaction with students for a romantic and/or sexual relationship, including but not limited to, dating, pursuing dates, and relationships of a sexual nature in which both parties have given their consent.
Employee-as used in this policy, the term employee includes all who are employed by the College, including but not limited to, all categories of administrators, faculty, and staff. This policy also covers individuals who are under contract such as independent contractors, consultants or temporaries with the College.
Student-refers to anyone currently registered for courses at the College (including those students who are cross-registered from other institutions), or completing a special project, lab(s) or senior project(s).
Among employees and students:
Consensual relationships between employees and students are inconsistent with the mission of the College. This type of behavior risks damaging the student’s educational experience, gives the appearance of favoritism and impropriety, harms morale and risks the reputation of the College. Employees are strongly advised to exercise their best professional judgment concerning students. The College thus prohibits consensual relationships between employees and students.
If a teaching, mentoring, or supervisory relationship exists between individuals with a current or prior consensual relationship, the relationship must be disclosed to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs or the Vice President for Student Affairs, and alternative teaching arrangements will be implemented.
The College prohibits employees from supervising, evaluating, or determining the terms and/or conditions of employment of anyone with whom they have or had a sexual relationship. When a current or past sexual relationship exists between any employees in a supervisory relationship, immediate steps must be taken to terminate the supervisory arrangement, and alternative means of supervision will be implemented. The supervisor must disclose this relationship to the Director of Human Resources. Either party may request alternative means of supervision.
All employees should understand having a consensual relationship with students and/or with individuals whom they have supervisory responsibilities is a violation of this policy and may lead to disciplinary action by the College, up to and including dismissal and/or potential legal action by complainants.
See also Employment of Relatives, Unlawful Harassment
Policy No. 709 Effective Date: 5/16/2011