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More on Relationship Attributes

Consensual Relationships

A “relationship” is any romantic, sexual, and/or emotionally intimate contact between or among individuals. Furthermore,

It may be of any duration, from a single incident or occurrence to a long-lasting partnership.

It may be either continuous or intermittent.

It is distinguishable from a friendship or acquaintanceship by its potential to move any person involved to abuse the power dynamics described above.

It is “consensual” if, at all times, the people involved are engaging in the relationship freely and voluntarily, without threat or coercion at any time.

Consistent with New York State law and University Policy 6.4, consent is affirmative and must be verified by all parties, not necessarily verbally.

Power Imbalance

Here are some examples where there can be a power imbalance between the individuals involved:

  1. providing instruction in a course or section, including grading, evaluating or advising the student
  2. evaluating the student outside of a course by, for example, grading qualifying exams or serving on defense committees
  3. supervising or advising the student on a project such as a thesis or independent research 
  4. formally mentoring the student
  5. co-authoring papers or working collaboratively on a project
  6. clinical supervision
  7. supervising any administrative assignment given to the student, either for compensation or without pay
  8. providing the student with a recommendation for admissions, employment, internship, clerkship, fellowship, prize, award or other honor
  9. participating in departmental or school decisions affecting the student on admissions, financial aid, teaching assignments or access to institutional resources available for academic purposes, such as travel funds or equipment purchase
  10. participating in any program or activity with respect to the student that judges performance, recognizes achievement, confers benefits, rewards work, or sanctions conduct

Last Updated: March 8, 2018 at 10:41 am