UOG Proposes to Ban Romantic Relationships Between Students and Faculty in New Policy

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The University Community Hearing will be held next week Wednesday, February 17 at 4 pm in the Jesus and Eugenia Leon Guerrero Business and Public Administration building, Room 131. Written testimony may be submitted to the President’s Office in advance of the hearing or at the hearing.

Guam – The University of Guam has a Proposed Sexual Misconduct Policy. Although the policy is still in the works, PNC was given a first look at the draft.

UOG President Dr. Robert Underwood says, “This draft sexual misconduct policy came as a result of a comprehensive review of our current policies regarding sexual harassment and consensual sex. It was a five-member committee consisting of a UOG student, staff, administrator, faculty, and one outside attorney. After looking at a lot of different models around the country, they came up with this draft Sexual Misconduct Policy.”

This draft Sexual Misconduct Policy follows after a UOG Professor allegedly digitally-penetrated two of his students at an off-campus event on Halloween of the year 2014. He was recently indicted by Superior Court grand jury for Criminal Sexual Conduct and Official Misconduct last month.

UOG President Dr. Robert Underwood says there are three main changes. “There’s three main changes to it. The first change is the “Yes means Yes” affirmative consent primarily between students…meaning that students shouldn’t feel free to engage in sex unless they obtain affirmative consent,” he says.
 
The second change, which Underwood believes to be a strong statement, is banning amorous relationships between student, staff, and faculty. He explains, “The initiation of amorous relationships between staff and facutly and students. Those relationships under this draft will be banned at the undergraduate level. This is groundbreaking because very few public universities do that. I think there are less than 10 universities that do that.”
 
But what about at the graduate level?
 
Underwood says, “It does allow for consensual amorous relationships at the graduate level as long as there’s no supervisory relationship between a staff member, faculty member and a graduate student. In all instances, even if they’re just student workers and teachers assistant, these policies apply to them. We’re taking a very strong look at this. If you violate any of these provisions, something will happen. Beyond just a warning, something will happen.”
 
The third change is coming up with a set-in-stone protocol for reporting harassment. 
 
Underwood explains, “We’re going to have a protocol set up with the criminal justice system so people understand how things are reported, when they feel they should report it, and that the university wants to deal with what is basically Criminal Sexual Conduct within our system. That’s a police matter, that’s a court matter. There will be a series of training for students particularly incoming students. You will not be allowed to register unless you have completed this training and you know your rights and responsibilities.”
 
Underwood explains that they will be holding a hearing to allow anyone an opportunity to provide comment on the proposed Board policy on Sexual Misconduct next week before they present the draft policy to the UOG Board of Regents in March.