Non-Fraternization/Consensual Relationship

Policy Name:  Non-Fraternization/Consensual Relationship

Policy Number: HR-5000

Effective:  2020/09/02

Revised: Not applicable

Student Non-Fraternization Policy

Fraternization between Employees and students is strictly prohibited. 

The University expects Employees to maintain appropriate professional Relationships with students, and to be sensitive to the appearance of impropriety in their conduct with students. For this reason, Employees are prohibited from engaging in any of the following types of conduct, regardless of whether the conduct occurs on or off campus. 

Fraternization may include, but is not limited to:

  • Fostering, encouraging or participating in inappropriate emotionally or socially intimate Relationships with students in which the Relationship is outside the bounds of the reasonable professional Employee-student Relationship, and in which the relations could reasonably cause a student to view the Employee as more than a teacher, advisor, administrator, or other.
  • Engaging in any romantic or sexual Relationships with students including dating, flirting, sexual contact, inappropriate displays of affection, or sexually suggestive comments between Employees and students, regardless of who initiates the behavior, consensual or not.
  • Initiating or continuing communication with students for reasons unrelated to any University related purpose, including oral or written communication; telephone calls; electronic communication such as texting, IM/DM, email, social networking sites.  Electronic and online communication should be professional in content and tone.
  • Socializing with students on or off campus, or outside of class time for reasons unrelated to any University related purpose or job duties. 
  • Visiting with students.
  • Providing rides to students in private vehicles for reasons other than University related purposes, or loaning the use of private vehicle to a student.
  • Borrowing/lending money to students.
  • Inviting students to an Employee's home; unless for a University related reason and authorized in advance by the Vice-President.  An example may be a coach inviting the team for team building.  Under no circumstance should only one student be invited to an Employee’s home.
  • Providing housing to students.
  • Selling to or buying from students that is not part of a University sponsored fundraiser.
  • Involvement with a student, in any manner other than while carrying out the duties and responsibilities of one's job.

Relationship Policy

Some Relationships involve inherent conflicts of interest that cannot be eliminated.  Interactions that go beyond the normal scope of business, such as romantic and/or sexual Relationships, may disrupt and undermine the essential purpose of the institution as an unfettered learning environment and place of work. 

Individuals should be aware that dating, intimate, romantic and/or sexual Relationships between individuals of unequal power, even when consensual, may result in claims of sexual harassment because the voluntariness of the consent is questionable when a power differential exits. For this reason, Relationships of this type are prohibited.

Listed below are various Relationships governed by this Policy.

Relationships with Undergraduate Students

  • No Employee shall have or pursue a Relationship with any Undergraduate Student, regardless of age, and whether the student is under direct supervision, advising, authority, or classroom instruction of the Employee.
  • In addition, Graduate and Professional Students are prohibited from pursuing or entering into a Relationship with any Undergraduate Student when the Graduate or Professional Student has a supervisory relationship with and is responsible for supervising, advising, evaluating, or instructing, academically or otherwise, the Undergraduate Student.

Relationships with Graduate or Professional Students

  • No Employee shall have or pursue a Relationship with Graduate or Professional Students whom the Employee is responsible for teaching, advising, grading, evaluating, or otherwise supervising.

Relationships with other Employees

  • No Employee shall have or pursue a Relationship with any other Employee over whom they have authority, or for whom they are responsible for hiring, promoting, disciplining, evaluating, directing, or otherwise supervising.
  • If such a Relationship preexisted the passage of this Policy, both Employees must report the Relationship to their next-level Supervisors. The individuals may not remain in a professional supervisory Relationship, nor may the individuals, with respect to one another:
  • Working in the same department, unit, or lab can be problematic, but may be acceptable under some circumstances.  The next-level Supervisor, in consultation with applicable department Vice President and the Office of Human Resources, will evaluate these situations on a case-by-case basis. Some outcomes may include the removal of any reporting or similar Relationship between the Supervisor and the subordinate Employee, or separate the individuals by reassignment, if possible.
  • If two Employees engage in a romantic or sexual Relationship but neither is a subordinate of the other as outlined above, they should be mindful of their professional duties and be responsible for assuring that their Relationship does not produce problems with regards to favoritism, bias, ethics, job performance, or conflict of interest within the guidelines of this Policy.  Should the Relationship dissolve, the Employees must refrain from behavior that is harassing, could cause conflict or affect performance of duties. 

Reporting Procedures

Duty to Report

Any person with knowledge or suspicion of a violation of this Non-Fraternization/Consensual Relationship Policy must report the conduct to the Office of Human Resources, or to anonymously and confidentially report activities that may constitute wrongful conduct, you may contact the EthicsPoint call center by dialing, toll-free, 844-254-3069 or,

Protection from Retaliation

The University prohibits retaliation against any individual who makes a good faith report or who cooperates in inquiries or investigations related to the investigation of such a report. Anyone who believes that they have been retaliated against for participating in the complaint process in any capacity should report the matter promptly by the same means as explained above.


Violations of this Policy may result in sanctions and corrective actions up to and including termination and/or suspension. Sanctions and corrective actions will be imposed in accordance with relevant policies and procedures and other requirements set forth in any applicable Staff, Faculty, or Student Handbooks, or with other University policies and procedures.  


Employee: Any person employed by the University in any capacity, full or part-time, whether faculty, adjunct faculty, administrator, staff, coaches. For purposes of this Policy, Employee also includes independent contractors and volunteers, including volunteer coaches.

Graduate or Professional Student: Any student who has already received at least a Bachelor’s degree from a college or university and is now enrolled in one of the University’s Graduate Programs. 

Relationship: For the purposes of this Policy, a Relationship is defined as a romantic, intimate, dating or sexual in nature.

Supervisor: Any individual who has authority, control, or supervision over another individual, or the responsibility to hire, promote, discipline, evaluate, assign, or direct the other individual at the University. 

Undergraduate Student: A student who has not yet received an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree from a college or university and is enrolled in any course at the University. This includes high school students taking courses as dual enrollees.

University: Holy Family University.

New Relationships

Relationship Description Permissible
Employee and Undergraduate Student The Employee does have direct supervision, evaluation, authority or classroom instruction No
The Employee does not have direct supervision, evaluation, authority or classroom instruction No
Graduate/Professional Student and Undergraduate Student The Graduate/Professional Student does have a supervisory relationship, evaluating, interviewing, etc. No
The Graduate/Professional Student does not have a supervisory relationship, evaluating, interviewing, etc. Yes
Employee and Graduate/Professional Student The Employee is responsible for teaching, advising, grading, evaluating etc. No
The Employee is not responsible for teaching, advising, grading, evaluating etc. Yes
Employee and Employee The Employee is responsible for hiring, promoting, disciplining, evaluating, directing, or otherwise supervising No
The Employee is not responsible for hiring, promoting, disciplining, evaluating, directing, or otherwise supervising Yes
Employee & Undergraduate or Graduate/Professional Student Employee must report relationship to Supervisor and may not have any supervisory relationship with the Student (Relationship Preexists Policy)
Employee and Employee Both Employees must report the relationship to their Supervisors and neither Employee may have a supervisory relationship with the other (Relationship Preexists Policy)