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Administrators at the Ivy League school recently updated the faculty handbook with a section that says faculty members are barred from having sexual relationships with undergraduates - even ones they aren't supervising.
The move addresses an issue all schools grapple with, but critics of the policy say it's too blunt an instrument to tackle potential conflicts of interest.
At most Canadian universities, there is a general understanding that sexual relationships between students and supervising faculty are frowned upon, though none seem to explicitly forbid them.
The University of Toronto's policy on conflict of interest, for example, requires faculty to disclose "any intimate personal relationship" from which a conflict could arise.
She spoke to the professor a few times, but was too shy to pursue anything further.
One night, however, when the professor was at her friend's house, she flirted with him on MSN Messenger. But she adds, "I regret it 100 per cent." Even though he didn't grade her work or supervise her in any way, she says the professor crossed a line because of his position as a superior, though not a direct one.
He invited her over and, a few glasses of vodka later, they had sex. "He should've considered me as one of his students.
I don't think he should've been putting himself out like that." And so she supports a new and potentially precedent-setting policy at Yale University, reported this week in the school's alumni magazine.
Dalhousie University in Halifax has a similar policy and, in a guide for faculty entitled "Instructor/Student Relationships," it suggests instructors "avoid romantic or sexual relationships with students." The faculty code of ethics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver only states that a professor should not put himself or herself in a position in which a conflict of interest could arise.
Brenda Taylor, director of human rights and equity at SFU, says that can include sexual relationships, but it's "highly unlikely" the school would adopt an all-out ban on relationships between students and faculty à la Yale.
"I think the issue is when you're in a supervisory position and when you're evaluating someone's work." The University of Western Ontario in London, Ont., is currently reviewing its rules on "relationships of an intimate nature" between faculty and students.