Should Canadian universities impose an outright ban on student-professor relationships?

September 7, 2018

The former student who accused author Steven Galloway of sexual assault is calling on the University of British Columbia to ban student-teacher relationships. Global News reports that in an open letter to UBC President Santa Ono, the woman argues that university’s policies don’t go far enough to address the issue: “Students should not be put in the position of proving this obvious imbalance of power in sexual relations with professors on a case by case basis.” Critics warn that an outright ban is infantilizing to students, particularly women. Yet University of Oregon Psychology Professor Jennifer Freyd argues that “when you have powerful people working with subordinates, it’s almost always a bad idea to have sexuality acted on. People may be legally adults but their ability to freely say no can be constrained by the power dynamics.” Global News