Consensual Relationships Policy

Case is a community that values an environment of inclusion, trust, and respect as beneficial for the working and learning environment of all its constituents. Romantic or sexual relationships may occur in a University environment given the numbers of people on a University campus. All relationships must be consensual; but, even though the relationship is consensual, it can raise serious concerns about the validity of the consent, conflicts of interest, and preferential treatment.

There are certain circumstances when romantic or sexual relationships are expressly prohibited, unless managed as described below:

  1. if between a supervisor and his/her supervised employee,
  2. if between a faculty member and his/her student (including without limitation graduate students),
  3. if between a supervising staff or student (including graduate student or teaching assistant) and his/her student, and/or
  4. if between a senior faculty member and a junior faculty member supervised by the senior faculty member.

The university considers sexual relationships between faculty (including teaching assistants and laboratory supervisors) and their students or between supervisors and their employees, even if deemed to be mutually consenting relationships, to be a basic violation of professional ethics and responsibility when one party has any professional responsibility for the other's academic or job performance or professional future. Because of the asymmetry of these relationships, "consent" may be difficult to assess, may be deemed not possible, and may be construed as coercive. Such relationships also may have the potential to result in claims of sexual harassment.

For more information, please review the Case Consensual Relationships policy.