We’ve all been there. You walk into your first lecture of the semester dreading the next four months of prepaid academic torture. The semester is already looking bleak when suddenly, you spot someone that would make all those pizza-filled, coffee-infused all-nighters worth it. AC223 has never looked this beautiful and Weboption has never been this entertaining; but alas, you are destined to bask in their intellectual glow from afar. One cannot possibly be allowed to date their professor, right?
Worry not star-crossed lover, because you are not alone. Many students (at least those being honest) have thought about the possibility of snagging a professor. When asked, the Registrar’s Office did not seem to have an answer about whether this was even allowed, but one very embarrassing encounter was not enough to stop this reporter. The truth was soon uncovered with help from the one place a student can always count on: Google.
With words like “ban” and “forbid” standing out, the results seemed daunting; however, victory came in the form of a list of policies found on the University of Toronto’s official website. That’s right, it’s still useful AFTER you get into the school.
According to the University of Toronto website, a professor-student sexual relationship is categorized under conflicts of interest and close personal relationships; however, there is no official rule prohibiting student-professor relationships at the University of Toronto. Yet, according to Dakshana Bascaramurty of The Globe and Mail, most Canadian universities frown upon sexual relationships between student and professor.
The policy, as stated by the office of the Vice Principal and Provost at U of T, is that any professor who is involved in a conflict of interest (the aforementioned sexual relationship with a student) must disclose this to their department chair immediately. The university will respect all rights to privacy of both parties involved, however, the chair is then required to “separate the interests.” There you have it, you can date a professor; however the university will take steps to ensure they are not your professor. So honorable mention to those who were looking for a GPA boost – you tried it. These policies also apply to Teaching Assistants or any other faculty member at the university.
So, no, it is not illegal (as long as you are over the age of consent) or against school policy to date your professor. The question does remain though: is it right? When asked, UTSC students Sienna Jang, Daisy Arko-Dadzie, and Christina Appleton saw nothing wrong with a professor-student relationship.
“I think it’s your own life, your preference,” said Jang. Arko-Dadzie and Appleton shared similar views saying that it is agreeable as long as both parties have the required “maturity” to make it work.
Their opinions are not without reservations however, as Appleton later states, “Unless they are like 20 years older, I don’t know how I feel about that.”
Other than Rubens Aina who admits he finds the idea “disturbing,” these same opinions seem to be common amongst the male students who were asked as well. When informed of the conflict of interest policy, third-year student Richard Fagbemigun and second-year student Ren Del Rosario both believe that two mature adults have the right to do as they wish and deserve total privacy in these matters; however, like Appleton, they both express concerns about age discrepancies.
“If you badly want a sugar daddy/ sugar mommy I’m pretty sure there’s other ways to go about that,” Fagbemigun laughs. Del Rosario clarifies, “I guess it’s just my personal belief, I think you should date someone your own age.”
In essence, if you have ever spent valuable time daydreaming about how life could be if you had a certain power-wielding beauty in your life, maybe 2017 is the time to finally give it a shot. Keep in mind that just because you shoot does not mean you will score with the aforementioned professor. So for those still willing to put themselves out there, good luck and may the odds be with you.