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Every reasonable effort, however, should be made to preserve confidentiality, to provide information on a need-to-know basis, and to protect the privacy of the parties. For staff, immediate supervisors should keep all documentation related to a consensual relationship secure and separate from the official files that are maintained on the parties to the relationship.
However, when such relationships occur in educational or supervisory contexts, they can present serious ethical concerns and compromise the University’s academic and work environment, in part due to an inherent power differential between the parties.Anyone between the ages of 13 and 16 can consent to sex with a person who is no more than 4 years their senior.However, nobody under the age of 13 can legally consent to sex in New Mexico, regardless of the age of the partner. The minor’s spouse may legally have sex with the minor, although minors must be at least 16 years with parental consent or a family law judge approval to be married.The relationships can lead to charges of sexual harassment and exploitation, especially when the relationships end, or cause third parties to have concerns about undue advantage or restricted opportunities.For these reasons, consensual relationships in which one party, the “superior,” has a formal instructional, supervisory, evaluative, or advisory role over the other party, the “subordinate,” must be disclosed in order to manage the actual or perceived conflicts of interest caused by the relationships and to mitigate adverse effects on third parties.Though the primary responsibility for reporting consensual relationships rests with the superior, a subordinate may report a consensual relationship to the superior’s immediate supervisor.