posted 2012-04-07 16:29:40

New Sexual Harassment Policy Proposed at CUNY

Kimberly Devi Milner--Associate News Editor

The CUNY board of trustees plans to vote on a revised sexual harassment policy for the university that would forbid intimate relations between students and their professors come June. A draft of the policy was circulated throughout the CUNY community on March 6 by Chancellor Mathew Goldstein, who said the proposal was a response to a request from the John

Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty Senate.

According to the chancellor, the new provisions are similar to those at Yale and other universities, which began to adopt a zero-tolerance policy when the United States Supreme Court ruled that schools are financially responsible for cases of sexual harassment.

The current policy that “strongly discourages” amorous relations would ban relationships between professors and “students for whom they have professional responsibility.”

But sexual harassment among faculty and students “hasn’t been a burning issue on this campus,” said John T. Rose, Hunter’s Dean of Diversity and Compliance. Rose said he hadn’t encountered student complaints over the course of his tenure. “Actually, I’ve seen the opposite. I’ve dealt with faculty complaining that students who were interested in them wouldn’t get the hint.” The dean said he was satisfied with the new policy, and noted he had suggested there be more regulation on faculty-student relations at previous meetings with central administration. Hunter students, however, have varying thoughts on the matter. “Once class is done, things should be okay,” said Aaron Dolor, 21, a Bio-chemistry major. “You shouldn’t have laws that limit your romantic expression.” But senior Anicia Boiet noted the inherent power balance in the relationship. “If you’re giving the teacher extra credit, then you’re probably going to get some in return,” said the Psychology major. Individual CUNY colleges are currently submitting their comments on the policy.