A new policy forbidding student-teacher relationships was created by the University Senate’s Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
The new policy, approved on Feb. 1, states student-teacher relationships pose a “conflict of interest” and “abuse of power.” The policy is temporary and the committee is working on a permanent policy to be set in place.
According to Tobin Klinger, UO spokesman, the previous relationship policy was a state board of education policy that was last updated in 1997. When the university gained independent governance in 2014, the state policy was migrated over.
“There was a lot of ambiguous language that made it very difficult to understand the policy and take it seriously,” said Sonja Boos, member of the Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
This temporary policy only stands for six months, leaving the committee until the summer to create a permanent policy, according to Boos.
The Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence is reaching out to students for input through town hall meetings in the coming months.
The committee itself has been talking about changing the policy for years, according to Boos.
President Schill requested the policy be replaced last Fall, which expedited the process.
Missy Matella, assistant general council, worked to create the temporary policy that the Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence later approved.
“I think that we are in this national debate, in this moment of reckoning, where the culture is really changing,” Boos said, “The university needs to be in line with other institutions.”
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