Recognizing Your Power As Faculty

It is important for faculty members to recognize the power that they have over their students (grading, thesis supervision and provision of references) and that students have a high regard for their teachers. It is therefore the responsibility of the faculty to observe proper decorum and maintain a professional relationship with students at all times. This also holds true for relations between senior faculty/junior faculty and faculty/staff.

Here are some things to remember when dealing with your students:

  • Be aware that students come from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds and thus have varied perceptions of behaviour. While there is nothing wrong with being friendly to students, interactions that are perceived as informal and personal may make some students feel uncomfortable, confused or anxious about the faculty’s intention.
  • Refrain from discussing with students about their sexual life, not unless it is part of class discussion in which case duly inform the students about it, or giving unsolicited advice on personal and intimate matters.
  • Be supportive of students who seek help for personal issues, however avoid taking on a counseling role. Refer them to the UP Diliman Gender Office or the Office of Counseling and Guidance for the proper counseling services.
  • Be aware that some students may not feel comfortable with physical touching and the showing of nude paintings/photographs. If physical touching and the showing of nude paintings/photographs are necessary for teaching as in physical education and art classes, duly inform the students about it before the start of classes.
  • Let your students know about your boundaries for interactions with them. If a student/staff crosses a boundary, let them know right away to avoid misunderstanding.