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Amorous Relationship Policy

Purpose

The College expects its employees – faculty, staff and others – to adhere to the highest standards of professional and personal conduct and to operate above reproach while performing their duties for the College. Employees have the opportunity to help create a positive educational environment that is built, in part, on trust, mutual respect and ethical behavior. All employees must avoid the appearance, perception and actuality of abuses of power and conflicts of interest when interacting with students, including those that could be associated with amorous relationships. This policy sets forth the expectations for amorous relationships between employees and students and between employees.

Scope

This policy applies to all College employees.

Policy

Amorous relationships present inherent risks that may or may not be visible to the participating individuals. Power dynamics can create distortions in the participants’ evaluation of the relationship and can contribute to perceived, actual or assumed conflicts of interest or abuses of power. Further, the inherent power differential present between employees and students could lead to a lack of effective student consent. Amorous relationships between employees and students can pose a risk to the academic and operational integrity of the College. Accordingly, the College seeks to foster an environment that limits risks to students, employees and the broader College community by prohibiting amorous relationships between employees and students. For purposes of this policy, an amorous relationship is a consensual romantic, intimate, sexual and/or dating relationship – excluding marital or civil union relationships. 

The College appreciates that in many instances, interaction between employees and students is supplemental to formal instruction and benefits the academic community by promoting the interchange of ideas, building mutual trust and respect, and facilitating communication. Such non-amorous interaction, to the extent that it enhances formal classroom instruction, is permitted.

The College also recognizes there may be situations where amorous relationships – including marital and civil union relationships – may exist between College employees. The College does not prohibit these relationships between employees, but it does prohibit the perceived, assumed or actual preferential treatment potentially present and inherent with relationships of this nature in the workplace. For this reason, no employees who are in an amorous relationship may participate in or assert any influence over – directly or indirectly – the terms or conditions of the other’s employment at the College. Terms and conditions of employment include, but are not limited to supervision, performance reviews, working conditions, job duties, compensation, benefits, promotions, awards, and discipline. 

All College employees are expected to adhere to this policy, including but not limited to faculty, staff and adjunct instructors. If an employee or a student becomes aware of a potential violation of this policy, they should make a report as soon as possible to the College’s Human Resources Department. Confirmed violations of this policy may result in discipline, up to and including termination of employment.

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