Dear 100 Hour Board,
How do I ask out one of my TAs? For context, there are 100 people in the class and zero opportunities to casually meet her. The TAs don't have reviews, they all sit together on the front row, she doesn't actually say anything in class to comment on later. All I really know is that she's cute and she seems to have a fun personality.
If you were the TA, how would you prefer to be asked out? Or would you prefer that one of the students not ask you out?
Also, I do remember something or other about TAs not dating students, so the date would ideally be after the semester is over.
Unfortunately, your TA can't date you until you aren't her student anymore. According to BYU's Sexual Misconduct Policy,
To avoid the possibility or appearance of quid pro quo sexual harassment, employees and students should avoid dating, romantic, or amorous relationships where a power differential exists. Examples of such relationships include, but are not limited to, a professor or teaching assistant involved in a relationship with his or her student, or a supervisor involved in a relationship with a subordinate employee. ... As a general rule, dating, romantic, or amorous relationships should not be entered into or continued while one individual in the relationship has the power to either reward or penalize the other in work or in school.
But after the semester ends, go for it! One of my past coworkers is now dating a girl who attended his lab, so it has happened! (Apparently they reconnected on LinkedIn the next semester, so if you're wondering which dating website to use, don't dismiss LinkedIn as a possibility.)
-guppy of doom
Though I am no longer a TA, I used to be one. And let me tell you, I would not have felt comfortable with any of my students asking me out. The very thought simply feels too weird. Perhaps this is because my relationships with students were almost all on a professional basis, though. Had I become friends with a male student, and he was older than me (...one of my quirks is that I don't like going on dates with guys younger than me), maybe I wouldn't be weirded out if he asked me out after the semester.
So, it's your call. But if you do decide to ask your TA out, you do need to wait until after this semester.
I have been the TA who some random unknown student asked out, and it was weird. He started a conversation with me, which seemed pretty normal at first, until suddenly he threw out all this information about me that he shouldn't have known because I had no idea who this guy was, and then he asked me out. This was shortly after I had started dating Q, though, so I had an easy out (in addition to what guppy says above about TAs not being allowed to date students).
That said though, I actually know a lot of people who have gone on dates with their former TAs and really enjoyed them, and even a TA who ended up marrying her former student. So if you really want to, just wait till the end of the semester and then go start a conversation with her after class one day. As long as you don't Facebook stalk this girl beforehand to find out all about her, and then bring up that information in your conversation like a creep, the worst that could happen is she says no, and possibly has a funny story to tell people. But I will say that the chances of her agreeing to go on a date with a total stranger are low, so maybe start small and don't jump straight into asking her on a date.
If you end up deciding to ask her out/ask for her number/initiate contact with her, just please don't be creepy about it, and respect her decision no matter what.
Maybe I’m the weird one in this instance, but I’ve never felt comfortable being asked out by people I don’t know very well. It's flattering to think my beauty is that inspirational, but I still wouldn't want to be asked out by someone I know nothing about.
So if I were the TA in question, I would want to be familiar with you on a one on one basis before I would be enthused about the possibility of a date. So go up and ask her casual questions about the class, and get some face time. At the very least establish an acquaintanceship so at the end of the semester when you can finally ask her out, she knows who you are and she knows there's something to your interest beyond the physical.