Relationship policy in process of revision

Graphic by Valerie De La O.

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At the end of the fall 2018 semester, new relationship policy 302 was proposed by human resources and is now being reviewed by Dixie State University’s general counsel to see if it should go into effect.

Relationship policy 302 states, “No employee or university representative may engage in any romantic relationship with an employee within their direct chain of supervision.”

The policy also says the relationship must immediately be disclosed to the DSU employee’s supervisor should it continue otherwise it may result in termination. This is just one of the possible staff-employee/student-employee scenarios the policy includes.

Other ways this policy comes into effect include when students are employed by the university. This new policy will require both parties to disclose their relationship, even if both parties are students. For example, a student living in on-campus housing wouldn’t be permitted to be in a relationship with their housing representative.

Travis Rosenberg, director of human resources and an author of the policy said: “By making a policy that draws very clear lines, we hope to be proactive in building an equitable environment rather than being reactive after an incident has occurred. Other schools in Utah and around the country currently have or are in the process of implementing similar policies.”

Rosenberg also said each policy goes through a five-year cycle, wherein the policy is implemented and then later reviewed in terms of how it affected campus and discussed in terms of how it can be improved in future policies. Meaning that this new policy, should it go through, will remain on campus for a minimum of five years.

The ultimate goal in proposing policy 302 is “to establish policy and procedure necessary to equitably address the inherent power dynamics of employment and educational relationships,”  said Alison Vicroy, assistant general counsel and an author of policy 302.

With the policy being relatively new, professors, staff and students have just begun hearing and seeing more about the policy.

Assistant history professor Jeremy Young said he sees good things coming from the new policy and its intentions for clarity about campus policies.

“I think it will prevent certain amounts of misbehavior and will make it easier for people to know what’s out of line and what’s not, and it will create a much more comfortable climate for people who are vulnerable on campus,” Young said.