At McGall’s X-9000 startup demo show this year, one app stood out from the rest: OkProf. This mobile app aims to simplify the dating world for professors, guiding them as they struggle to navigate uncertain waters of the highly ambiguous moral guideline best summarized as “no sex with students.”
To sign up for OkProf, users must have a staff mcgall.ca email address. This way, professors will only be able to swipe right or left on other compatible faculty members or staff, but not students. Jedi Valentino, inventor of the app and a U3 Synergistic Leverage student, hopes this will assist profs in eliminating the confusion experienced when determining with whom they can and can’t have amorous relationships and “optimize the dating experience,” as the app description proclaims. This innovative use of technology to provide desperately-needed services to the McGall campus is what won the young thought leader $1.8 million in seed money from the Crobson Centre for Innovation, Disruption, and Revolutionizing.
“I know you’re not supposed to sleep with students. But what if they’re, like, really cute? Do they still count as a student?”
Valentino presented OkProf to a crowd of faculty, venture capital representatives, and journalists. Adorned in a black turtleneck, wire rim glasses, and white New Balance sneakers, they addressed the crowd. “Never again will professors have to struggle to determine whether it’s okay to pursue a sexual relationship with a student,” vociferated Valentino.
They continued, “OkProf streamlines this confusing, taxing process by preventing you from matching with someone who might actually be a non-optimal partner, despite the fact that they regularly make eye contact with you while asking a question in class. With this empowering innovation, ‘no students’ has never been simpler.” The announcement received wild applause from faculty members in the audience, elated that they would soon have technological guidance when determining who they can and cannot remove their pants around.
The app release comes at a time rife with allegations of misconduct by professors accidentally engaging in romantic relationships with students. According to Reading & Philosophizing professor and moral relativism expert Seth Slithle, identifying inappropriate relationships is quite a difficult task.
“I know you’re not supposed to sleep with students. But what if they’re, like, really cute? Do they still count as a student?” Slithle posed to The Weekly. “What if they keep coming to my office hours and talking to me about my research interests? Am I, a professor, really expected to have the self-control and critical thinking skills required to interpret such boldness as anything other than a blatant sexual advance? ‘No students’ is such an abstract standard.”
According to Valentino, this type of confusion is widespread among McGall faculty. “Obviously there’s a huge demand for a resource like this at McGall,” Valentino told The Weekly. “Developing this app is a public service really. Just because profs have PhDs does not mean they’re any more equipped to determine who is a student and who is not.”
Valentino told The Weekly that they are already working on a new app. “Strategically leveraging the major ethical confusion among professors regarding which research funding sources are acceptable could be a real game-changer, I think.”