University to ban student-lecturer relationships

Romantic relationships between academic staff and students is about to be formally prohibited at the University of Hawaii (UH) in accordance with trends in the country.

University of Hawaii graduates.

Romantic relationships between academic staff and students is about to be formally prohibited at the University of Hawaii (UH) in accordance with trends in the country.

UH, one of the 50 universities across the country that is under investigation by the U.S. Education Department over its handling of sexual assault allegations, had a policy that discourages sexual relationships staff and students.

It has however not formally prohibited them.

But UH has in a written statement said plans are underway to “draft policy on consensual relationships that is consistent with policies at educational institutions across the country."

UH Manoa Women's Studies Chair and member of the panel, Meda Chesney-Lind, said the aim is to make the policy clearer.

"We're in the process, I think, of crafting a policy that's going to be a lot clearer and will avoid the kind of terrible problems that we've had over the years with students who felt coerced," she said.

She however said she hopes the old policy is changed to clearly prohibit romantic relationships between professors and students.

"We have to clean up our policies, we have to take these kinds of situations a lot more seriously, because obviously, other people in positions of authority have reviewed what's happening, especially on this campus, and concluded that we need to tighten things up."

Harvard University, Yale, Arizona State University and other large universities have all banned such relationships.

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