Students sometimes nurse crushes on their teachers, and teachers sometimes lust after their pupils; these are facts of life so commonplace as to have become the ultimate cliché: a porn motif.
It has unique properties that only occur, or occur most frequently, in a campus setting.
A scenario that has been raising concern on college campuses might go something like this: He is a middle-aged English professor, an expert on Henry James, who appears worldly and sophisticated in his tweed jacket while lecturing to his class. The appropriateness of faculty-student dating is being discussed on campuses throughout Westchester, echoing a nationwide debate about whether such relationships should be tolerated, regulated or banned altogether.
She is an 18-year-old freshman, starry eyed and entranced by her teacher's apparent brilliance and sensitivity. Faculty members at the University of Virginia recently voted to prohibit sexual relationships between professors and the students they supervise.
The recent decision of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal in the case of Fariba Mahmoodi, a student who accused her professor of sexual harassment, has once again focussed attention on a controversial issue. Mahmoodi complained to the tribunal that Donald Dutton, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, and UBC as his employer, had sexually harassed her.
The tribunal agreed, awarding her a total of ,000 including ,000 for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect, and ,200 for counseling expenses.