ACLU Considers Constitutionality of Sex ProposalThe VA chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union reflects on the legality of the proposed ban on student-faculty sexual relations by the Women's Concerns Committee. The ACLU states that while the University can legally discourage these relations, it cannot sanction them.
ACLU Considers Constitutionality of Sex Proposal
By GREG VOLKAR
Cavalier Daily Associate Editor
The Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union yesterday announced plans to alter the debate over the faculty-student relationships by raising questions about the policy's constitutionality.
â€œThese policies, by their very nature, are problematic,â€ ACLU spokesman Kent Willis said.
â€œThere is absolutely nothing wrong with the University discouraging relations between faculty and students,â€ he said. â€œIt just can't sanction those relationships.â€
â€œWhat are the sanctions? (The proposed policy) says you can't do it, but it doesn't say what will happen if you do," he said. â€œIf sanctions are involved, it crosses the constitutional line.â€
Faculty Senate members are expected to consider two different plans at their meeting April 22.
One plan, submitted by the Women's Concerns Committee, has spent weeks in the spotlight of the international media. An ad-hoc Faculty Senate group earlier this week introduced an alternative plan spelling out which relationships would prohibited.
â€œIn the alternative proposal, a violation of the guidelines could lead to disciplinary action, depending on the harmfulness and frequency of the violations,â€ Faculty Senate Chairman Robert Kretsinger said.
Despite the mention of discipline in alternative proposal, â€œneither sets out in detail any punishment,â€ Kretsinger said.
â€œThe main proposal would have the University policing the morality of 18,000 students and the faculty,â€ Engineering Prof. Thomas Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson and approximately 35 other faculty members presented the alternative proposal to the Faculty Senate. "The only relationships which the University should be concerned with are those which affect academic deportment,â€ he said.
Willis said the ACLU will propose the University take a different direction in its attempts to curb harassment in the classroom.
"It is likely that the position we'll take is, rather than tinkering with constitutionally protected rights to have a relationship with you want, (the University) should go to ways of preventing sexual harassmentâ€ in the classroom, he said.
â€œLanguage like that should be tailored by the University itself,â€ he said.
|Date Added||August 3, 2015|
|Date Modifed||December 25, 2017|
|Collection||Cavalier Daily: articles about gender discrimination|
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