by Michelle Moriarity

A revised policy for stringent regulation of consensual relationships and nepotism among supervisors and subordinates passed quickly Wednesday at a University Senate meeting.
However, despite a 102-11 vote by students and faculty members, senate officials do not expect total support of the policy, which requires students and faculty members in a romantic relationship to report the relationship to department administrators.
The policy revision is the 25th drafted by the sexual harassment board of the Faculty Senate this year.
The University Senate passed a version of this policy last May, but then-University President Nils Hasselmo sent the policy back to the senate for revision, citing difficulty in enforcing a clause banning relationships.
University President Mark Yudof and the Board of Regents must approve the policy before it becomes official.
Kent Bales, University senator and professor in the English department, said many University senators might prefer a stronger or weaker policy.
“There will be many people who are not happy with the policy,” Bales said.
Patricia Frazier, chairwoman of the Faculty Senate sexual harassment board, said the policy was approved by several University organizations.
“We’ve worked hard on it and we’ve consulted with a lot of people,” Frazier said.
Administrators must consult with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action to ensure “fair, reasonable and consistent implementation of the policy.” With the help of equal opportunity officials, administrators will restructure the association between the individuals to avoid favoritism and conflict.
The new policy reinforces protection of the interests of the subordinate individual in the relationship.
Ian Maitland, professor in the Carlson School of Management, suggested an amendment to the policy that would not require administrative consultation.
“I think (this) additional requirement would be an invasion of privacy,” Maitland said. “My amendment would return responsibility to where it belongs — to the faculty and staff.”
The revised policy states that the consultation is only a means of evaluating the severity of potential conflicts of interest and ensuring the necessary disclosure to administrative officials.