The University of Southern Queensland has had a “bonk ban’’ between teachers and students in place since last year.
The University of Southern Queensland has had a “bonk ban’’ between teachers and students in place since last year.

Student-teacher bonk ban at University of Southern Qld

THE University of Southern Queensland has had a "bonk ban'' between teachers and students in place since last year.

The issue of sexual relations between teachers and students was thrust into the spotlight with Universities Australia releasing a set of proposed principles it wants universities to adopt due to power imbalances it creates in the learning environment.

UA wants universities to make sure if teachers do enter a relationship with students, including PhD supervisors and candidates, it should be reported to university authorities and alternative supervisors or teachers found for the student.

USQ Director of Student Success and Wellbeing Dr Christie White said a similar principle had been a part of USQ's code of conduct since last year.

"We updated the conflict of interest and staff code of conduct last year, to recognise these relationships may emerge but if they do, supervisors need to declare that to the university and provisions are then put in place so the student is receiving alternative supervising arrangements," Dr White said.

"We are completely familiar that unexpected relationships may emerge, (but these principles are for the) safety and wellbeing of all concerned.

"The policy and principles released by UA acknowledge that but puts in place steps that enable everyone success moving forward in their employment and student journeys."

The new principles from UA follow the release of a Human Rights Commission report last year into sexual harassment and assault on campuses.

USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said there was no greater priority than student safety.

"USQ has, and will continue to, take action on the Australian Human Rights Commission recommendations made to all universities."

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