CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — If that car parked in Harvard Yard is a rockin’, school officials may soon come a knockin’, because hanky-panky between students and faculty at the elite university has officially been banned.
Specifically, the school adopted a new policy this week that prohibits romantic relationships between undergraduates and professors. The previous policy only did so between professors and the students they taught.
Harvard released a statement saying a specially appointed committee “determined that the existing language on relationships of unequal status did not explicitly reflect the faculty’s expectations of what constituted an appropriate relationship between undergraduate students and faculty members … therefore, the committee revised the policy to include a clear prohibition to better accord with these expectations.”
The action comes nearly a year after the U.S. Department of Education announced it was investigating 55 colleges and universities, including Harvard, for violations pertaining to Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination on college campuses.
Harvard responded at the time by saying it had appointed its first ever Title IX officer, and that the school’s president “recently announced the creation of a university-wide task force — composed of faculty, students and staff — that will recommend how we can better prevent sexual misconduct at Harvard.”
The new policy is the result of “a formal process to review Harvard University’s Title IX policy,” the school said.