by Matthew Quick When I was a young high school teacher, many of my students asked if we could perhaps have a beer together when they turned twenty-one, the legal drinking age here in The States. Three or four years into my teaching stint, I started bumping into former students at bars in and around Philadelphia. They try to use my first name, but can’t ever really pull it off. I ask about their lives and they give me carefully edited updates that feel like answers to test questions.I always said, “Sure,” thinking they’d graduate and forget all about me. It usually played out like this: a drink arrives unordered and the server points out a familiar face at the other end of the room. And then silence finally conquers all, at which point we hug awkwardly and part ways.There is that boundary between students and teachers. 27 and 19 is a big age difference, but like I said she seems more mature. Students frequently develop crushes on their teachers. If you truly like her, keep it a platonic friendship for at least a year and make sure it's not just a light student-teacher crush.
I don't think this is a close question, even as I acknowledge that it happens not infrequently, including among people I know and respect.But administrators, professors and students alike say that the issue of faculty-student dating is a complex one.Some say that the unequal power in a relationship between a student and a faculty member -- particularly one who is in a position to grade or make recommendations about the student he or she is dating -- is inherently exploitative.A survey of Westchester colleges and universities revealed that no formal policies addressing faculty-student dating are in place, but many schools said that a prohibition against such relationships is implicit in other policies regulating professional conduct."We view this kind of relationship as inappropriate," said James Bryan, Dean of Students at Manhattanville College.