Champaign, Ill. (WCIA) — Resolutions for University of Illinois sexual misconduct policies gained support from their Academic Senate, and student-faculty relationship policies are on their way to reform.
These changes and proposals come after multiple sexual harassment allegations against a number of named faculty members.
U of I formed two separate task forces to tackle nonconsensual sexual misconduct and consensual student-faculty relationship policies.
Task force leaders say even though there is a clear distinction between consensual and nonconsensual, the end goal is the same.
“I think what ties them together…is the university’s commitment to ensuring that students feel safe, that the students are well-served, and the faculty members’ responsibility to make sure that happens,” says U of I Law Professor Jamelle Sharpe.
A senate report says the changes they approved for sexual misconduct policies include releasing data of sexual misconduct reports from the past five years, along with loosening their definition of what they consider cases of sexual misconduct.
The proposed resolutions for consensual student-faculty relationships have been outlined in a report, but not presented to the Academic Senate.
The report calls for banning faculty relationships with undergraduates and puts restrictions on relationships with graduate students.
People behind these proposals only in rare cases will faculty members be allowed to maintain relationships with graduate students, and formal approval will be needed.
“In order to ensure that the students get the experience that they expect, and the experience that they deserve, it’s important for [universities]…all across the country to set the clear boundaries that mark the fundaments of the teacher-student relationship,” says Sharpe.