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Syracuse University Enhances Protections for Undergraduate Students: Prohibits Sexual or Romantic Relationships with Employees
The Chancellor’s Executive Team has approved changes to the University’s policies governing consensual sexual or romantic relationships between students and University employees—including all faculty and staff. The changes, which reflect suggestions voted on and approved by the University Senate, prohibit such relationships between employees and undergraduate students. The changes also limit relationships between employees and graduate students with whom the employees have some teaching, supervisory, research, departmental, program or advisory connection.
“These changes are the result of a lot of hard work and excellent collaboration between many members of our campus community, particularly University senators,” says LaVonda Reed, associate provost for faculty affairs and professor of law. “I am grateful to Chancellor Syverud for his leadership, my colleagues in the senate and so many others for taking appropriate action to enhance protection of our students.”
This summer, the Office of Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services worked with the Office of Academic Affairs to revise the relevant language in Section 4.1 of the Faculty Manual, and in the University’s omnibus sexual misconduct policy, the Sexual Harassment, Assault and Abuse Prevention Policy.
These changes are designed to reduce harassment, abuses of power and conflicts of interest that can often arise in relationships between individuals who are in different positions of power within an institution. The University is legally required—and steadfastly committed—to provide a learning, living and working environment that is free from discrimination or harassment.
Sheila Johnson-Willis, associate vice president and chief equal opportunity and Title IX officer, says these policy changes will go a long way to build upon that commitment.
“Our top priority must always be the safety and well-being of our students,” says Johnson-Willis. “This is an important step to ensuring a safe, welcoming and empowering learning environment that supports their success in the classroom and in their overall University experience.”
These policy changes are not meant to apply to spouses or domestic partners.
Members of the campus community can direct questions or concerns to Sheila Johnson-Willis at EqualOpp@syr.edu or by calling 315.443.4018.
About Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private, international research university with distinctive academics, diversely unique offerings and an undeniable spirit. Located in the geographic heart of New York State, with a global footprint and nearly 150 years of history, Syracuse University offers a quintessential college experience. The scope of Syracuse University is a testament to its strengths: a pioneering history dating back to 1870; a choice of more than 200 majors and 100 minors offered through 13 schools and colleges; nearly 15,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students; more than a quarter of a million alumni in 160 countries; and a student population from all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. For more information, please visit http://syracuse.edu.