Teacher – Student Relationships

May 4, 2006 at 9:45 pm 6 comments

Is it objectionable for a grad student to chase after an undergrad? Or simply put, how do you see teacher-student relationships (at the university level)?

Someone I know did that, and many of the other grad students expressed disgust. Reason being: he hooked up with this girl while he was the TA for that class she was taking. Incidentally in the graduate handbook that we received on our first day:

no teacher shall have a romantic/sexual relationship with a student over whom he or she has direct supervisory responsibilities, regardless of whether the relationship is consensual. Teachers must avoid sexual relationships with their students, including those for whom they are likely to have future supervisory responsibility. Conversely, teachers must not directly supervise any student with whom they have a sexual relationship. Violations of or failure to correct violations of these conflict of interest principles by the teacher will be grounds for disciplinary action.

For purposes of this policy, “direct supervision” includes the following activities (on or off campus): course teaching, examining, grading, advising for a formal project such as a thesis or research, supervising required research or other academic activities, and recommending in an institutional capacity for employment fellowships or awards. “Teachers” includes, but is not limited to, ladder and non-ladder faculty as well as graduate and professional students and postdoctoral fellows and associates serving as teaching fellows or in similar institutional roles. “Students” refers to those enrolled in any and all educational and training programs of the University.

Another (similar) case: A professor (I must add that she is attractive, like her, or her) divorced from her fellow professor husband after he admitted to having a ‘consensual’ relationship with a female grad student. A friend now wants to chase her – the only problem is that she is in his PhD committee.

Reminds me of 神雕.

Outside of school context – a 27 yr old dating a 21 yr old would not look as funny, would it?

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Berkeley on iTunes U I am upset and disturbed…

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Peishan  |  May 4, 2006 at 10:14 pm

    JM Cotzee, an award winning writer (incidentally from the U of C), in his book “Disgrace”, wrote about a protaganist who was expelled for having a relationship w his student.

    actually, i think, if they start dating only after the class, it shouldn’t be such a big deal. erm, my uncle was my aunt’s ta. 😀 and i know a math phd student (who’s now graduated) who has recently married his ex-student. i can’t imagine a lovelier couple.

    Reply
  • 2. kite  |  May 4, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    Aiyah, it’s conflict of interest I think. There is also the suspicion over why they get together – whether each has some “benefits” to gain from the romantic relationship.

    So scandalous! And everyone love a good scandal. Haha.

    Anyhow, there’s nothing very wrong with falling in love lah. I’m sure they can work around the school’s restrictions, people who talk will only talk behind their backs – what you don’t know can’t hurt you right?

    Reply
  • 3. samuraibunny  |  May 5, 2006 at 2:36 am

    hello! i found your blog via flickr.

    anyhoo .. it’s not really the age-gap that’s weird with teacher-student relationships, especially at uni level. it’s more of a “guess who’s getting extra help with homework” kindof thing probably.

    but actually i really wanted to say that mark ryden’s stuff is really neat.

    Reply
  • 4. vivienne  |  May 5, 2006 at 1:34 pm

    TAs and student relationship probably isn’t half as bad as a PhD supervisor dating his student.

    Someone from my (now ex) building married his PhD student.

    Come on, 27 and 21 isn’t such a big deal! Especially when you appear to have the source to the fountain of everlasting 21! *wink*

    Reply
  • 5. -ben  |  May 5, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    I went on a date with one of my professors once. No biggie. Intelligence is always attractive.

    Reply
  • 6. xue  |  May 7, 2006 at 3:03 pm

    yeah, everyone’s pretty much said it. it’s not the age difference, but the teacher-student relationship. if they got together after he stopped teaching her (or vice versa), then it’s fine.

    Reply

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