2.18.16 | John O'Connor
Students and faculty gathered yesterday at the University of Guam for a community hearing on the proposed changes to the university’s policy on sexual misconduct. UOG President Robert Underwood presented the modified policy to dozens of stakeholders. Among the new policies is a prohibition of amorous relationships between employees and all undergraduate students.
“I have to say that only a handful of public universities do this so this is a little bit of a reach for the university but we think this is appropriate,” Underwood said.
According to Underwood, the average age of an undergraduate student about 10 years ago was 26 years old. The average age today is 22 years old. As students enter the university at younger ages, they may not know how to react when a person who is in a position of power over them attempts an amorous relationship.
“So we’re just outright banning it,” Underwood said.
The policy also bans relationships between staff and graduate students who are under their authority. It also incorporates a “yes means yes” provision in which individuals wishing to engage in sexual activity must first obtain affirmative consent.
University professor Ron McNinch had been advocating for the ban on relationships since August 2015, when it was revealed that an adverse action had been filed against another professor, Michael Elhert, after sexual harassment complaints were filed against him.