Whether intentionally or by slip-of-the-tongue, best friends do not always keep secrets.
In addition, the people who are your best friends today may not be your best friends tomorrow.
Cronin describes dating as a “lost social script.” Students, she says, don’t know where to begin or what to say.
Her assignment delineates specific boundaries so students know what to expect.
Both you and your professor will need to read the college rules and tread carefully.
Since we live in an instant-gratification society, many college students and professors do not follow the rules and engage in this forbidden relationship anyway.
A scenario that has been raising concern on college campuses might go something like this: He is a middle-aged English professor, an expert on Henry James, who appears worldly and sophisticated in his tweed jacket while lecturing to his class. The appropriateness of faculty-student dating is being discussed on campuses throughout Westchester, echoing a nationwide debate about whether such relationships should be tolerated, regulated or banned altogether.
She is an 18-year-old freshman, starry eyed and entranced by her teacher's apparent brilliance and sensitivity. Faculty members at the University of Virginia recently voted to prohibit sexual relationships between professors and the students they supervise.
Most college handbooks for employed faculty clearly state that dating students is not allowed, and is grounds for immediate discharge.She now teaches a philosophy class for freshmen and sophomores that includes discussions of personal ethical and moral choices, and the optional dating assignment is part of the syllabus.“The idea behind the hookup culture is that these are our ‘crazy’ and ‘independent’ years, and dating is too serious or committed,” says Meaghan Kelliher, a sophomore who took Cronin’s class and went on a “Cronin date.” She says the assignment showed her that dating could be “exploratory” rather than a serious commitment.But the student-teacher relationship can change dramatically in college.This can be good, but it can also lead to some ethical confusion when romance enters the picture."While it isn't specifically addressed in our regulations, I do think that we would find a faculty-student relationship ruled out tacitly by our other policies, particularly with respect to sexual harassment and notions of professional conduct," he said.A Gray Area Representatives from the State University of New York at Purchase, Marymount College, Sarah Lawrence College, Pace University, Westchester Community College, Iona College and Mercy College also said that such relationships were discouraged by the administration though not specifically addressed in college policies. This is a generation that has grown up with relatively low expectations in the realm of happily every after.Theirs is a world where most embrace group activities, punctuated with the periodic hookup, and communicate largely in digital bursts of 140-250 characters instead of in person.But administrators, professors and students alike say that the issue of faculty-student dating is a complex one.Some say that the unequal power in a relationship between a student and a faculty member -- particularly one who is in a position to grade or make recommendations about the student he or she is dating -- is inherently exploitative.Should you decide to date your professor while he or she is your instructor with academic authority, it’s got to be hush-hush.That means you cannot confide about the relationship with anybody, including your best friends.Another factor is that many colleges foster a culture of closeness between professors and students, with everyone operating on a first-name basis and in a relatively informal social structure.