PILF: Professor I'd Like to Fuck
“Last week you were sipping bubbly with your semester long crush, now you’re taking a D- in chemistry and your whole life feels like one horrible decision.”
It’s the first day of class, the new professor walks in and you, being the observant little student you are, realize that your newest instructor is totally, one hundred percent bangin’.
Now, all of a sudden you don’t mind your 9 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays because you spend it staring at Professor Hot-Sauce instead of taking anthropology notes.
But, as much as you make googly eyes, use your imagination and give amorous smiles, you always leave class wondering, “what if I actually f***ed them?”
According to the University of New Hampshire’s Online Policy Manual (OLPM) you, as a college student, can. According to Topic Section V. Personnel Policies, Section D. Employee Relations there can be existing amorous relationships that occur, not only between faculty and staff at the University, but also between Faculty, Staff and students.
The policy manual defines amorous relationships as “any interpersonal relationship that involves sexual and/or romantic intimacy. Amorous relationships covered by this policy might exist between Faculty members, Staff members, Faculty and Staff, Staff and Students or Faculty and Students at UNH.” (UNH.V.D.6.2.1).
The one big topic that the policy manual discusses when it comes to relationships within the university’s community is something called an “uneven power dynamic.” This seems to be the main concern for administration. An uneven power dynamic is described as “the circumstance where one party has the professional responsibility to evaluate the other party’s academic and/or work performance and/or the responsibility to perform in a ‘check and balance’ (e.g. signing off on timesheet or expense payment) role relative to the other, or where there is a reasonably foreseeable possibility that one party could be called upon to participate in decisions affecting the other party’s employment or academic prospects.” (UNH.V.D.6.2.6). This means that one party in the relationship has some form of authority over the other, like the ability to change one’s grades or affect their job position.
This could easily create the opportunity for bad blood. Think about it, when it comes time to end your fantasy-fling with your professor, if they don’t feel the same way they are still in a position to be able to take it out on your GPA. Last week you were sipping bubbly with your semester long crush, now you’re taking a D- in chemistry and your whole life feels like one horrible decision.
But the university has your back. As a college student, you are over the age of 18. Meaning, you are a legally consenting adult as is your professor. The university realizes they cannot stop a relationship from going on between two consenting, of-age adults, so administration included steps to take within the policy manual to ensure your relationship doesn’t somehow blow up in your face, or destroy the university’s reputation.
“The parties involved in any consensual amorous relationship with an uneven power dynamic are immediately required to disclose the relationship to the proper authorities and cooperate fully in steps necessary to eliminate the dynamic.” (UNH.V.D.6.3.1).
For faculty, this means notifying their department chair/head, and for students this means notifying the Office of the Provost or the Affirmative Action and Equity Office. From here, steps to eliminate the power dynamic between the two parties will take place, which in most cases will mean Professor Hot-Pants will be reassigned and won’t be your professor anymore (sad face), but they can still be your professor of love!
However, before you run over to the Office of the Provost shouting your new-and-improved relationship status from the rooftops, you might want to make sure you and your boo are on the same page. The last thing the policy manual outlines in this section is that if the faculty member or staff member “refuses to cooperate with the reassignment of duties or other steps, or if s/he denies the existence of the relationship, the department chair/director or supervisor must report this to the relevant Dean or Vice President and the Affirmative Action and Equity Office.” (UNH.V.D.6.4.3). This could mean a sexual misconduct investigation and a major administrative shit-storm for you. So, you have the green-light. Invite your favorite professor over for some wine and a movie, but when it comes down to it, just don’t forget to cover your own ass.
(Also.. pics or it didn’t happen…)