No sex for the President
With apologies for the salacious title of this post.
When you and I were students, and when we were staying in some student residence or other, some of us (if we’re old enough) may have been subject to a regulation that prohibited the overnight stay in our rooms of a guest of the opposite sex (our gay friends, curiously, were less restricted). Well, you probably thought that this kind of rule has long been abandoned or that it certainly has become unenforceable. Think again. And don’t think students. Think university presidents.
The new President of the University of Alabama in the United States, Dr Gwendolyn Boyd, has the use of a presidential residence that comes with the job. But her contract contains the following stipulation:
‘For so long as Dr. Boyd is president and a single person, she shall not be allowed to cohabitate in the president’s residence with any person with whom she has a romantic relation.’
Well no, there is no such word as ‘cohabitate’, but we’ll let that pass for a moment. What we see here is a rule prohibiting a woman president from having romantic liaisons at home. She may have all sorts of other visitors, including family, and if she acquires one, a husband; but not someone about whom she has pre-nuptial romantic feelings. Leaving aside the extraordinary assault on her human rights, how on earth can a university impose such conditions (notwithstanding her own apparent tolerance of them) in this day and age? And how can they possibly believe they are legally entitled to do this? And aren’t they at all worried that they will be mocked for this? Whatever next?