Clemson University is committed to providing a positive environment which includes ethical and professional conduct. The foundation of creating this type of environment consists of mutual trust, respect, confidence and professional ethics. Amorous relationships can undermine the University’s mission when persons in positions of authority abuse or appear to abuse their authority. Such unethical behavior may constitute a violation of the University’s Harassment Policy.
Amorous relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances can be inappropriate when they occur between a faculty member, officer, or supervisor of the University, and any student or subordinate employee for whom he or she has a professional responsibility. Those in positions of authority inherently carry the element of power in their relationships with students or subordinates. It is imperative that those with authority neither abuse, nor appear to abuse, this power entrusted to them.
Persons in positions of authority should be aware that any romantic involvement with a student or subordinate employee could make them liable for formal action if a complaint is initiated. Even when both parties have consented to such a relationship, it is the officer, supervisor, or faculty member who may be held accountable for unprofessional behavior. Difficulties can arise from third parties who may feel that they have been disadvantaged by such relationships.
Graduate assistants, resident assistants, tutors, and undergraduate teaching assistants who are also professionally responsible for students, would be wise to exercise special care in their relationships with students they instruct or evaluate.
Any questions concerning the University’s statement on amorous relationships and/or the Harassment Policy should be directed to the Office of Access and Equity located at 110 Holtzendorff Hall 656-3181 (voice) or 656-3553 (TDD). You may also visit the website at www.clemson.edu/access.
Contact Office of Access and Equity, 110 Holtenzendorff, 656-3181