Issue 4 | March 2020
Improper Relations between Students & Employees
Winston-Salem State University does not condone amorous relationships between students and employees. Members of the University community should avoid such liaisons as they may harm students and damage the integrity of the academic enterprise. Voluntary consent by the student in such a relationship is difficult to determine with certainty given the complex and subtle effects of that power differential. Relationships may well be less consensual than the individual whose position confers power believes, and the faculty or staff member bears a special burden of accountability in any such involvement.
However, in two types of situations, University prohibition and punishment of amorous relationships are deemed necessary: (1) when the employee is responsible for evaluating or supervising the student; or (2) when the student is a minor, as defined by North Carolina law.
This policy applies to all Winston-Salem State University employees (EHRA Faculty, EHRA Non-Faculty, and SHRA) and all consensual amorous relationships between individuals of the same sex or the opposite sex. Additionally, an employee is prohibited from evaluating or supervising any enrolled student that they are related to by blood, law, or marriage.
It is misconduct, subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, for an employee to evaluate or supervise any enrolled student of the institution with whom he or she has an amorous relationship or to whom he or she is related by blood, law or marriage.
It is misconduct, subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination, for a University employee to engage in sexual activity with any enrolled student of the University, other than his or her spouse, who is a minor below the age of 18 years.
A complaint alleging a violation of this Policy may be brought by any person who believes that a conflict exists or that he or she may be or may have been disadvantaged by the existence of a romantic and/or sexual relationship prohibited by this Policy. Complaints alleging a violation of this Policy are to be filed with the EEO Office and investigated by the EEO Officer or their designee.
For more information please see the WSSU Policy 101.6 - Improper Relations between Students and Employees Policy and the underlying UNC System Policy 300.4.1 Improper Relationships Between Students and Employees.
Disclaimer: Please note that the materials contained herein are provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Consult with a licensed attorney for legal advice concerning specific legal issues.