1.A growing number of universities are banning romance between professors and students. Robin Wilson reports.
Paul Abramson a happily married, 57-year-old psychology professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, says he has never had a serious romantic relationship with one of his students.but he does not think universities have any business telling professors whom they can date what was done by UCLA’s Academic Senate in 2003.
Professor Abramson says the rules violate faculty members’ constitutional rights. “The right to romance,” as protected by the Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution. University rules that bar professor-student relationships are as dangerous as policies that dictate whether professors can believe in God or what they can say in the classroom, he argues.
The professor lays out his arguments in a book called Romance in the Ivory Tower: The Rights and Liberty of Conscience (MIT Press). Professor Abramson talked about the issues from his home outside Los Angeles.
When he was asked if he had dated a student he answered yes since he was only 26 when he joined UCLA but since he is now 57 and the average age of students being 22, dating students is irrelevant since he is more likely to conjure images of father or grandfather, than a potential romantic choice.
He said campuses have not been effective in stopping relationships between professors and undergraduates since love is a very powerful emotion and constitutional rights do not apply, it is not an issue about who is sleeping with whom. It’s an issue about where the power to make the choice resides.
He said, what the universities are supposed to do instead, if they want to limit their liability is “romance release”. Every professor and student would say they’d hold the university harmless if they fell in love.
The policies don’t target foolish behaviour like the devastating act done to Naomi Wolf, the feminist writer who published a piece in New York magazine several years ago in which she wrote about her self confidence when one of her professors put his hand on her thigh when she asked him to read her prose. These two weren’t romantically involved. She felt that being sexually harassed by a professor was humiliating, and undoubtedly so.
Lots of universities introduce such policies because students have accused professors of sexual harassment. Isn’t that valid?
A professor and a student get involved in a relationship; it goes great guns for eight months. They’re fabulously in love; they think they’ll get married and have kids. Then it somehow implodes. One or the other wants to continue the relationship and keeps pressuring the other. Eventually the one who wants out feels they’re being harassed and says, “Look you continue with this, and I’m going to sue you.” It is basically love gone awry that universities are afraid will turn into civil litigation.
2.Intended audience for the article is the university.
3.Good points learned from the article are
Ø Universities should not ban romance between professors and students
Ø If the relationship implodes none should pressurelize the other and should accept that it is love gone so that there is no worry that it will turn into into civil litigation.
No one should be involved in sexual acts if the two are not romantically involved.
4. The author is very qualified in making his statements and has no biasness.