Monday, April 5, 2010

Parents send their kids to Yale?

New rule forbids romantic relationships between students and faculty

The rationale behind this new rule?

"Parents don’t send their kids to Yale to sleep with their professors. Why don’t we say that?"

Since when did Yale University make a habit of admitting juveniles?

I have no issue with a rule forbidding romantic relationships between students and faculty. Given the power disparity between these two groups such a rule is only common sense. What I do have an issue with is the rationale behind it.

College students are not children.

Yale University is not band camp.

In my lifetime I have seen the definition of childhood creep ever upwards, and I'm only 37. Back when I was 18 or 19, a person that age was expected to be an adult. Not an adult in the same way that a 40-something with a mortgage and 3 kids is, but an adult nonetheless. Today a person that age is expected to be an infant, and is treated accordingly not only by our culture but by our institutions.

I was out on my own at the age of 20, and that actually made me something of a late bloomer in 1993. Today people well into their twenties, who should be making their way out into the world under their own steam, are instead still living with their parents as if high school never ended.

This new rule at Yale is nothing more than another manifestation of the perpetual adolescence that has been foisted upon the younger adults of this country.

I work at a University where our students aren't simply presumed to be infants, but legally classified as such. Would you believe that by default a 25 year old is classified as a dependant of his or her parents as far as financial aid is concerned?

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