SALA Constitution


ARTICLE I: Name and Objectives

Section 1. The Association shall be known as The South Asian Literary Association (hereafter referred to as the Association and abbreviated as SALA).

Section 2. SALA shall be a non-profit, non-political, and non-religious literary organization, with its base of operations in the United States of America, but with an international reach.

Section 3. The principal aims and objectives of the Association shall be:
(1) To generate and foster scholarly interest in South Asian languages and literatures of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and other countries of the South Asian region and in literatures of South Asians in diaspora.
(2) To promote and disseminate the scholarly activities of its members through its publications and its annual conference.
(3) To maintain an affiliation with the Modern Language Association of America as an Allied Organization and to abide by the MLA policies, rules, and regulations pertaining to that relation.
(4) To actively seek the support and patronage of academic institutions and libraries (both public and private) and individuals interested in South Asian languages and literatures.
(5) To recognize the importance and achievements of a scholar, writer, or combination of both by presenting a Distinguished Achievement Award at the annual SALA conference. Reasonable flexibility will be given to the Executive Committee to give special recognition to additional scholar(s) or writer(s) of special distinction.
(6) To mentor graduate students and junior faculty members as they enter the academy. To encourage excellence in scholarship among graduate students, SALA will offer up to three prizes for “Best Graduate Student Paper,” selected by the Conference Co-chairs in consultation with the Vice President. The Conference Co-chairs will invite submissions of completed presentation/article length papers for this prize from graduate students whose abstracts have been accepted for presentation at the annual SALA conference. The prize shall consist of a certificate, a modest cash prize, and the waiving of the following year’s membership fee, and will be awarded at the SALA Awards Ceremony.

ARTICLE II: Membership

Section 1. Membership in the Association shall be open to all individuals and libraries/institutions/organizations interested in South Asian culture, language, and literature, and who subscribe to its aims and objectives.

Section 2. No member or group of members of the Association shall initiate or continue any activity or activities in the name of the Association without the prior approval of the Executive Committee of SALA. Unsanctioned activity or communication will be dealt with according to the Code of Conduct [amendment made 01/03/2017 in Philadelphia, PA].

Section 3. All efforts and services of the members toward any of the SALA activities and goals shall be considered voluntary. No compensation shall be made to any member or officer or member of the Executive Committee for the labor and time donated. However, compensation shall be made only for the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by any member for the Association’s activities, in accordance with Article VI, Section 2.

Section 4. No financial commitment may be made on behalf of SALA by any Executive Committee member or officer without the prior approval of the Treasurer, who will consult with the President or the Vice-President when the President is not available. [Amendment adopted at on 12/27/2009 in Philadelphia.]

ARTICLE III: Membership Dues

Section 1. The membership dues in the Association shall be:
Student or Part-time Faculty: $35
Instructor, Independent Scholar, Retired Faculty, or Assistant Professor: $45
Associate Professor: $55
Full Professor: $65
Life Membership: $350 (until September 30, 2011); $400 (October 1, 2011 to December 31, 2017). After 2017 no new Lifetime Memberships will be accepted [adopted in NYC on 1/8/2018].
Library Subscriptions for SAR: $70
[These dues apply to the 2011 membership year; the dues structure has been amended several times.]

Section 2. The membership dues shall be for the calendar year (January 1 – December 31.)

Section 3. The membership dues shall include subscriptions to SALA publications: Newsletter and South Asian Review.

Section 4. Any change in the dues structure shall be made by the Executive Committee with a consensus and shall be made effective immediately after the Business Meeting, unless otherwise indicated.

ARTICLE IV: Officers of the Association and the Executive Committee

Section 1. The Officers of the Association include an elected President, a Vice President, a Secretary, and an appointed Treasurer. The President and the Treasurer shall be considered the two “Key Executives” for the sake of banking [adopted 1/7/2019 in Chicago, IL]. All Officers of the Association serve on the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee also includes the Editor(s) of the Newsletter, the Editors of the journal, a Website Manager, an Advisor [until 2020], the ex-officio Past President, co-Chairs of the Annual Convention, one at-large non-US citizen/permanent resident Councilor, one South Asia-based Councilor, and one graduate student.  [The position of Advisor will be eliminated from January 2020 onwards.  This was agreed to on 1/6/2019 in Chicago.]  [The changes to the number of councilors and the adding of the non-US and the South Asia based councilors, and the Treasurer appointment process was adopted on 01/03/2017 in Philadelphia, PA, and the language was amended at the General Business meeting in NYC on 1/8/2018.] The Graduate Student Councilor is responsible to represent graduate students on the executive committee and to lead the Graduate Student Caucus at the annual conference [wording added in NYC on 1/8/2018].

Section 2. With the exception of the Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, Website Manager, South Asian Review Editors, and Advisor, no elected officer or councilor shall hold the office for more than two consecutive terms; each term shall comprise two years; and thus a total of four years. The editor(s) of the newsletter is/are appointed to a three-year term by the Executive Committee [agreed to on 1/6/2019 in Chicago]. The Editor of the journal is appointed to a five-year term by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may allow a second term. No more than two terms will be allowed for the chief Editor. The Editor circulates to the Executive Committee a detailed written report prior to the annual Executive Committee meeting, including the journal’s financial status, its subscription list, plans for future issues, and the quality of the relationship with Taylor and Francis. Potential editors will negotiate financial support from their institution. The host institution does not assert ownership over the journal or bank account. All funds received from Taylor and Francis will be strictly designated for the production of the South Asian Review, and deposited in a separate SALA account dedicated to the journal.” [This wording was approved at the General Business Meeting in NYC on 1/8/2018.] The Advisor shall serve a three-year term [this time frame was adopted January 5, 2016 in Austin; but see Sec. 1]. The Treasurer shall be appointed after a vetting process, and shall serve a 3-year term.

Section 3. The elections shall take place during the SALA business meeting. The election shall be by a simple majority vote of the present membership. All members shall have a right to vote and to contest for the election of any office for which they meet the required conditions. Associate and honorary members shall not have such a right.

Section 4. The Past President shall be responsible to solicit nominees for the upcoming year’s elections, and then present to the Executive Committee a slate of candidates for the upcoming openings. The Past President will check qualifications, where applicable, as noted in the Constitution. [This amendment was adopted on 01/03/2017 in Philadelphia, PA.] Nominations shall not be accepted from the floor during the business meeting [this amendment was adopted on 1/8/2018 in New York, NY].

Section 5. A person running for the SALA Executive Committee must have been a SALA member of continuous standing for at least one year. Officers must have been members for at least three consecutive years.  The President and Treasurer must be U.S citizens or Resident Aliens of the U.S.A. [adopted on 12/27/2018 in Philadelphia, PA, and amended on 1/7/2019 in Chicago, IL].

ARTICLE V: Duties and Responsibilities of the Officers

Section 1. President: The President of SALA shall preside over the general body and Executive Committee meetings; present an agenda in consultation with the Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Association, preferably two weeks before the Conference; and try to seek a consensus on major issues affecting the operation of the Association. Consensus shall be the norm, not an exception, in all its deliberations. In the event that a consensus does not appear possible, the issue shall be put to a vote by the President and a simple majority shall prevail. A three-fourth majority of the membership shall force the President to bring any matter to a vote. The outgoing President shall be requested to serve as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee for a period of at least two years, following the completion of his or her term of office. Above all, the President shall be responsible and accountable for the overall image, name, and prestige of the Association.

Section 2. Past President: The outgoing President shall serve as an ex-officio voting member of the Executive Committee following the completion of his or her term of office. The Past President shall be responsible to solicit nominees for the upcoming year’s elections, and then present to the Executive Committee a slate of possible candidates for the upcoming openings. Nominees shall present a bio, brief CV, and a Statement of Purpose for the position by December 1 before the conference, to be included in the newsletter. Elections for the positions will take place at the General Business meeting of the conference. [This amendment was adopted on 01/03/2017 in Philadelphia, PA.]

Section 3. Vice President: The Vice President shall assist the President with the logistical details of leading the Association, running the annual conference, assisting with the Association’s publications and web presence, and will perform other duties as necessary. He or she will also assist conference co-chairs in preparing the annual conference program. The Vice President shall also chair the committee with the conference co-chairs, which decides the “Best Graduate Student Paper” prizes. [The Vice President’s roles and responsibilities were proposed by the Executive Committee and approved by the membership December 2002; the graduate prize amendment was ratified in Chicago, December 2007.] The Vice-President serves as the organization’s Complaints Officer, regarding the adopted Code of Conduct (see Appendix) [adopted in NYC on 1/8/2018.]

Section 4. Secretary: The Secretary shall be responsible for conducting all the important correspondence with the members, non-members, the MLA, and any other organizations in the country and abroad. He or she shall pass on any valuable information pertaining to the members’ achievements and any professional announcements to the editor of the Newsletter for publication. He or she shall assist the President in conducting the annual business meeting and prepare minutes for the General Business and Executive Committee meetings. [The separation of the office of Secretary-Treasurer was proposed by the Executive Committee and approved by the membership at the December 2002 Business Meeting.]

Section 5. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible for collecting annual membership dues; keeping the account of expenditure and revenues and related files up to date; maintaining a savings or checking account in a local bank of his/her town in the name of SALA; and shall inform the individual members about the nonpayment of their dues. He/she shall present the annual report relating to the financial state of the Association and make proper recommendations about its amelioration. The Treasurer will provide the Secretary and Taylor & Francis a list of members [adopted 1/6/2019 in Chicago, IL]. The Treasurer is responsible for collecting conference registration and dinner dues and for making payments to conference hotels, publishers, and other vendors. Any nominees shall go through a rigorous vetting process by the President, VP, and former Treasurer, before a new 3-year term begins, before being announced to the general membership. [This amendment was adopted on 01/03/2017 in Philadelphia, PA.]

Section 6. Editor of the Newsletter: The newsletter may have one editor or two co-editors with equal responsibilities, and each with a vote [adopted at General Business Meeting in NYC on 1/8/2018.] The editor of SALA’s Newsletter shall compose the text, collect all the relevant information about the members’ achievements, and have the Newsletter printed at her or his campus. The editor shall strive to seek full financial support from the affiliated institutions for the cost of printing. Two half-yearly issues shall be published (the Summer edition online, and the Winter edition online and in print) and furnished to paid members as well as to the members of the audience in the SALA-sponsored sessions at the MLA convention, in order to invite them to join the Association. The Newsletter shall also announce the topics for sessions to be held at the MLA meeting.

Section 7. Editor of South Asian Review: (See Article IV, Sec. 2, for the appointment of the Editor of SAR). Carefully revised versions of the papers, most of which may have been presented at the SALA/MLA sessions and at the annual conference, shall be considered for publication after they have been critically reviewed by two readers, who shall be selected by the editor. SAR, being a refereed journal, shall maintain the highest scholarly standards for its publications. It shall follow the MLA Handbook for its bibliographical style. The editor shall periodically recommend the nominees to serve on the Editorial Board and on the Board of Consultants and Advisors to the Executive Committee of the Association. The appointed members of the Boards will be regularly consulted by the Editor and shall endeavor to meet to offer their input regarding the journal’s reception in the academy. To facilitate editorial work, the Editor may appoint Associate Editors, one of which may be called the “Managing Editor,” in consultation with the Executive Committee. The journal shall also be listed in prominent directories of periodicals, e.g., the MLA Directory of Periodicals, Ulrich’s International Periodical Directory, and others and indexed in appropriate forums. Unless decided otherwise by the Executive Committee, the journal will be published four times a year. Taylor & Francis shall be responsible for mailing the journal to the SALA members, contributors, and other subscribers. [Changes in this section were adopted on 1/6/2019 in Chicago, IL.]

Section 8. Executive Council: The six members of the Council shall hold the office for a term of two years, but not more than two consecutive terms. Their nominations shall be sent to the Past President before December 1 of the upcoming meeting. Their nominations shall be checked for eligibility, presented to the members, and then elected by a simple majority, on the basis of staggered term in order to retain continuity of service and experience, and to avoid a gap in the transitional process. Councilors shall review, deliberate, and vote on all the issues and policies affecting the operation of the Association. One of the six councilors shall be a graduate student [adopted in Vancouver, January 7, 2015]; one shall be a non-US-based member; and, one shall be a South Asian-based member. The other councilor positions are “at large” members of the Council. [This amendment was adopted in Philadelphia in 2017.]

Section 9. Web Manager: The Web Manager will create and maintain a website for the Association. He or she will actively update the site to maintain the accuracy of its information. He or she will ensure an attractive and professional design which will reflect the scholarly nature of the Association. The Web Manager will publish the Conference Abstracts on the SALA website. The Web Manager is a voting member of the executive committee. [Voting power was adopted in Chicago on 1/9/2014.]

Section 10. The SALA Advisor: He or she will serve a 3-year term. This appointment is ex-officio and non-voting. [The term limit of this position was adopted on 1/8/2011 in Los Angeles and then amended in Austin, January 5.] He or she may advise the officers and Executive Committee on all aspects of the organization, from organizing the annual conference to maintaining the solvency of the Association via fundraising. [The position of Advisor will be eliminated from January 2020 onwards.  This was agreed to on 1/6/2019 in Chicago.]

Section 11. Conference Co-chairs: The Conference Co-chairs (up to three per year) [amendment approved in Austin, 1/5/2016] will be appointed by the Executive Committee itself in advance of the General Business Meeting. The Secretary will advertise that any interested parties should contact the Secretary for details about the responsibilities of the co-chair position. Once that person has understood and agreed to the responsibilities, the Committee will check this person’s qualifications to be Co-Chair and then appoint the best qualified candidate. If there are more than three interested persons, the Executive Committee will start a list for coming years. If no one expresses interest, the Executive Committee will solicit responsible people for the position. A person does not need to be at the current year’s conference to co-chair the next year’s conference, but the person must be a SALA member. [This procedure was adopted on 1/8/2011 in Los Angeles.] Co-chair teams may be chosen up to two years in advance, and may include up to three members. [Amendment approved in Austin, January 5, 2016.] The Co-Chairs are voting members of the executive committee during their term. [This amendment was adopted on 01/03/2017 in Philadelphia, PA.]

ARTICLE VI: Meetings

Section 1. The Association shall hold its annual general body/business meetings during the same week as the MLA conventions. Such meeting shall be presided over by the President of the Association. Members present shall constitute the required quorum. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert’s Rules of Order. Executive committee business shall be executed throughout the year via email.  Every email sent to the Executive Committee listserv will be moderated by either the Secretary or Vice-President.  Any contentious email that would not be posted due to inflammatory subject matter or tone should be agreed upon by the four officers [adopted 1/6/2019 in Chicago].

Section 2. The Association shall attempt to have at least two scholarly sessions during each MLA convention, by virtue of being an Allied Organization. One of these sessions shall be a “guaranteed” session, and the other shall be a “non-guaranteed” session, plus a possible third “non-guaranteed collaborative” session with a Group. As of 12/27/2009, nobody may read at a SALA MLA panel for two consecutive years. The Secretary must keep track of readers and relay this info to the chairs for the following years. [This policy was adopted on 12/27/2009 in Philadelphia.] The moderator of a SALA-sponsored MLA panel may choose to read in the session and then help choose a different moderator. The moderator will coordinate the panel and work closely with the Secretary who must submit the session information to the MLA. In cases where there is an exception, the deliberations will be opened to the Executive Committee Officers. [This amendment was adopted on 1/8/2011 in Los Angeles, with amendments to reflect MLA practice on 1/9/2014 in Chicago. Moderator duties were amended on 01/05/2016 in Austin and again on 01/02/2017 in Philadelphia.]

ARTICLE VII: Amendment of the Constitution

Section 1. Any amendment, addition, or deletion of this Constitution shall first be approved by three-fourths of the members of the Executive Committee and then by a majority of the members of the general membership present at the General Business Meeting [adopted 1/6/2019 in Chicago, to conform to actual practice].

Section 2. A prior notice regarding the above shall be emailed to the members in advance of the meeting [adopted 1/6/2019 in Chicago].

Adopted with amendments:  December 29, 1993, MLA, Toronto, December 2007 (Chicago), December 2009 (Philadelphia), January 2011 (Los Angeles), January 2014 (Chicago), January 2015 (Vancouver), January 2016 (Austin), January 2017 (Philadelphia), January 2018 (New York), January 2019 (Chicago)

Appendix A

Code of Conduct for SALA

This Code of Conduct offers guidelines for individuals who are members of the South Asian Literary Association (SALA), including members in elected leadership position, in terms of our behavior with one another within the organization. SALA brings together individuals of various backgrounds, identities, and academic ranks who are interested in South Asian literature and culture; diversity is our strength. We therefore have a responsibility to ensure that SALA offers a safe and friendly space in which scholars can work together in various professional capacities, free from discrimination, harassment, and intimidation. Given the passion and commitment that drives the work of many in SALA, we have a greater responsibility than larger bodies like the Modern Language Association (MLA), to whom we are affiliated, to make SALA conferences, meetings, and digital discussions free from gender, sexual, racial, ethnic, national, professional, and any other form of discrimination, intimidation, or violence (whether verbal or physical).

(1) Principles
As a group affiliated with Modern Language Association (MLA), SALA subscribes to the MLA “Statement of Professional Ethics” as listed on their website:

In particular, as pertains to the preamble above, this Code of Conduct emphasizes point 3 of the statement (reprinted below), stating that freedom from discrimination and harassment is central to the scholarly mission of free inquiry:

“As a community valuing free inquiry, we must be able to rely on the integrity and the good judgment of our members. For this reason, we should not

  • exploit or discriminate against others on grounds such as race, ethnicity, national origin, religious creed, age, gender, sexual preference, or disability
  • sexually harass students, colleagues, or staff members
  • use language that is prejudicial or gratuitously derogatory
  • make capricious or arbitrary decisions affecting working conditions, professional status, or academic freedom
  • misuse confidential information
  • plagiarize the work of others2
  • practice deceit or fraud on the academic community or the public”

We believe that gossip and backbiting are also detrimental to the health of the organization and affirm that these forms of verbal negativity are also strongly discouraged and denounced.

(2) Violation of Principles
SALA has neither the authority nor the resources to investigate or prove, in legal terms, any allegations of violations of these principles. In any dispute, an individual bringing forward charges against any member of SALA (henceforth, “the complainant”) must decide for themselves whether they wish to take legal recourse.

However, we believe, SALA does equally have the ethical and legal right to censure, suspend, or expel members in order to safeguard its members. Without the power to take action, our articulation of principles does little.

SALA also takes seriously the possibility of fraudulent claims of violence and intimidation of its members. Any of the members found to have brought complaints against another wrongfully, in the judgment of the elected Executive Committee and/or its appointed committees, can themselves be considered for suspension or expulsion.

(3) To whom this applies
This Code of Conduct applies only when the accused is a current or former member of SALA, including members of elected leadership. The complainant, of course, may or may not be a member of SALA (for example, a relative, friend, partner, colleague, or member of the hotel staff).

If an accused person quits SALA to avoid the process, the SALA leaders involved (see below) ought to decide whether it is in the best interests of SALA to continue the process.

(4) The Process (explanation)
Several ideas underline this process, some of which sit in tension with one another, but none of which can erase the other.

  • In cases of physical violence or sexual assault, our first response is to believe the complainant and prevent the accused from being in the same spaces as them or other SALA members. Studies have shown that lack of this space makes most survivors hold back information that, since evidence is usually scarce, proves violence or lack of consent.
  • The accused has the right to due process. While our first move is to believe survivors (hence the automatic suspension) we know that many factors are involved in complaints, including race, religion, caste, and gender. Suspension is without premise of guilt because it is simply a way to be careful and give space to survivors and victims. Any innocent accused who understands the complexity of the process and supports the SALA Code of Conduct will not mind being suspended.
  • A written testimony from the complainant must be part of the process; it cannot go on without their wishes. To violate this would be to go against the desire of the person we desire to aid.
  • SALA leaders involved in the process do not have to prove wrongdoing without a reasonable doubt, as in a court of law. Evidence that wrongdoing probably occurred is sufficient to censure, suspend, or expel.

(5) The Process (details)
This process covers all instances in which the complainant believes a SALA member has broken one or more of the codes listed in the “principles” section.

  • Any complaint must be submitted in writing, with a physical signature unless impossible, and submitted to a member of the Executive Committee whom the complainant trusts. Any additional evidence should also be submitted at that time (but can also be added later, in a timely fashion).
  • In order to maintain utmost confidentiality, that Executive Committee member should consult with the Complaints Officer (elected for that purpose by the SALA membership as part of annual elections) to continue the process.
    1. In the case of a complaint of sexual assault or physical violence, the accused must be immediately suspended from SALA activities, without presumption of guilt, pending the end of the process.
  • The SALA leaders should then inform the accused, who has the right to see the complaint against them. The accused at that point can either agree with the complainant’s version of events, or write their own version of events, and submit it with a signature, unless impossible.
  • In the case of a response from the accused, the complainant can submit a written response as well.
  • The SALA leaders at this point can decide to make judicious inquiries regarding the matter, and come to a judgment about the complainant. They may also decide to include other elected leaders in SALA if necessary to make a judgment. There are three potential outcomes to this process.
    1. The complaint is plausible, and, depending on the nature of the offense, the accused ought to be censured, suspended for a further time, or expelled. Apologies on behalf of the accused, or attempts at reconciliation, must be made in conjunction with the wishes of the complainant. This may or may not affect the results of the SALA review.
    2. The complaint is not completely proved but the process suggests a strong probability of misdoing. Depending on the nature of the offense, the accused can be censured, suspended for a further time, or expelled.
    3. The complaint is not completely proved, but the process suggests that the complainant did not issue the complaint with fraudulent or malicious intent. In such a case, both parties may retain their memberships in good standing.
    4. The complaint is fraudulent, the accused should be reinstated as a SALA member in good standing, and the SALA leadership should continue censuring, suspending, or expelling the complainant if they are a member of SALA.
  •  Appeals
    1. After the completion of the process, the accused has 30 days to appeal the decision.
    2. The accused should write a detailed narrative of the decision and the reason for appeal, sign it unless impossible, and forward it to the Appeal Officer (elected for that purpose by the SALA membership as part of annual elections) and/or a SALA Executive Committee member that they trust.
    3. The Appeals Officer and the SALA Exec member will now have access to all the material gathered during the complaints process, and have the authority to gather more information, and to add SALA leaders onto their committee if need be.
    4. Within 30-45 days of receipt of the appeal, the Appeals Officer should let the accused know of their decision. The Appeals group can:
    5. Confirm the findings of the original investigation
    6. Reject its findings
  • Take action in accordance with their findings
    1. The Appeals Committee decision will be final.

This Code of Conduct and the process of maintaining it depends, ultimately, on the idea that SALA elected leadership is fully committed to the principles described, is trusted by the membership in its ability to carry out such difficult processes, and is able to judge situations with attention to nuance. 


MLA Statement

Relevant section from preamble (tying scholarly and professional work with behavior)

3. As a community valuing free inquiry, we must be able to rely on the integrity and the good judgment of our members. For this reason, we should not

  • exploit or discriminate against others on grounds such as race, ethnicity, national origin, religious creed, age, gender, sexual preference, or disability
  • sexually harass students, colleagues, or staff members
  • use language that is prejudicial or gratuitously derogatory
  • make capricious or arbitrary decisions affecting working conditions, professional status, or academic freedom
  • misuse confidential information
  • plagiarize the work of others2
  • practice deceit or fraud on the academic community or the public

Organization of American Historians

A Code of Ethics on Sexual Harassment: Guidelines of the Organization of American Historians

  1. A. Sexual harassment within academe is unethical, unprofessional, and threatening to academic freedom. In the context, the term “sexual harassment” may be used to describe a wide range of behaviors. It includes, but is not limited to, the following: generalized sexist remarks or behavior, whether in or out of the classroom; requests for sexual favors; sexual advances, whether sanction free, linked to reward, or accompanied by threat of retaliation; the use of authority to emphasize . the sexuality or sexual identity of a student in a manner which prevents or impairs that student’s full enjoyment of educational benefits, climates or opportunities; and sexual assaults. Such behaviors are unacceptable because they are forms of unprofessional conduct which seriously undermine the atmosphere of trust essential to the academic enterprise.
  2. The potential for sexual harassment is not limited to incidents involving members of the profession and students. Use of asymmetric power by members of the profession resulting in sexual harassment of colleagues or staff is also unethical and unprofessional.
  3. Further, it is unprofessional behavior to condone sexual harassment or to disregard complaints of sexual harassment from students, staff or colleagues. Such actions allow a climate of sexual harassment to exist and seriously undermine the atmosphere of trust essential to the academic enterprise.
  4. In addition to sexual harassment, amorous relationships that might be. appropriate in other circumstances are inappropriate and should be avoided when they occur between members of the profession and any student for whom he or she has a professional responsibility. Implicit in the idea of professionalism is the recognition by those in positions of authority that in their relationships with students there is always an element of power. It is incumbent upon members of the profession not to abuse, nor seem to abuse, the power with which they are entrusted, since relationships between members of the profession and students are always fundamentally asymmetric in nature. Such relationships may have the effect of undermining the atmosphere of trust among students and faculty on which the educational process depends.

III. The Organization of American Historians encourages chairs of departments of history to pass these guidelines on to the members of their departments. It suggests, moreover, that department chairs urge their respective universities to enforce existing federal regulations prohibiting sexual harassment and to take whatever measures are necessary to publicize grievance procedures available to students, faculty, or staff who have been subjects of sexual harassment.

Vassar College Policy on Sexual Violence and Gender-Based Misconduct

Part I :

“Members of the Vassar College community, guests, and visitors have the right to be free from sexual violence. Vassar College believes in a zero tolerance policy for gender-based sexual misconduct, and the college is committed to fostering a community that promotes the prompt reporting of sexual misconduct and timely and fair resolution of sexual misconduct complaints. The expectations of our community regarding sexual misconduct can be summarized as follows: In order for individuals to engage in sexual activity of any type with each other, there must be clear, knowing, and voluntary consent prior to and during sexual activity. This policy has been developed to reaffirm these principles and to provide recourse for those individuals whose rights have been violated. This policy is intended to define community expectations and to establish a mechanism for determining when those expectations have been violated.”