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Isis: Staff-Student Relationships: Where Permissive Policy Goes Wrong

Text reading "Staff-Student Relationships", imprinted on a pink background overlaid by anatomical drawings of brains and hearts
Art by Ayna Li Taira

Published: December 17, 2020, The Isis Magazine

Authors: Kalli Dockrill and Margot Harvey

It Happens Here Oxford, the SU Campaign dedicated to preventing sexual abuse and supporting its survivors, circulated a motion in May 2020 proposing a ban on romantic or sexual relationships between college staff members and students over whom they held teaching or pastoral responsibility. The motion, thus far, has been heard in ten JCRs. In some it was met with peer resistance. Ella Street, an It Happens Here committee member, notes that Regent’s Park’s JCR “definitely [engaged in] more discussion around the motion than I anticipated.” Yet in more JCRs it was passed smoothly. One Women’s Representative emphasised the “highly positive and constructive” experience of presenting and passing the motion, noting that “a strong student backing for communication with college [was] reassuring”.


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