The policies and procedures of Hocking College are established to preserve the academic mission of the College. Sexual harassment and improper relationships with students by those with supervisory authority over that student undermines that mission. Faculty members have substantial authority over student’s grades, progress and future employment.
Accordingly, amorous or sexual relationships between students and faculty members necessarily involve a disparity in power. Such a disparity in power makes coercion possible, even where there is no explicit or intended threat, because considerations of the instructors’ authority may influence a student’s consent to a relationship. Additionally, the termination or initiation of such relationships may lead to sexual harassment or be characterized by conduct that may be perceived as sexual harassment.
Similarly, College employees other than members of the faculty may also be in positions of power, authority, or trust relative to students. These involvements may include student evaluations, disciplinary sanctions, and recommendations, employment, finances (including, but not limited to financial aid), judgments related to academic status, enrollment or matriculation. Thus, amorous or sexual relationships with students by staff are subject to the same dangers as faculty relationships.
In addition to the dangers inherent in inappropriate relationships between faculty/staff and students, sexual harassment is also contrary to the standards of the College’s community. Sexual harassment diminishes an individual’s dignity and interferes with equal access to educational opportunities at the College.
Because of these very real dangers to the academic mission of the College, improper relationships with students and sexual harassment of students by faculty and/or staff members will be treated as major violations of College policy, as further described in this policy. Such conduct will subject faculty and staff to disciplinary action up to and including suspension and/or dismissal.