By Teri Lyn Hinds, May 11, 2017
Engaging with our representative democracy is essential to maintaining the health and function of our nation’s government. Whether you’re just getting started on your journey to becoming an engaged participant or looking for a resource to share with those who are starting theirs, this post from NASPA Director of Policy Research and Advocacy Teri Lyn Hinds will lay out some specific suggestions for learning and engaging in local, state, and national policy conversations. Student affairs professionals are sometimes hesitant to engage in active advocacy because of uncertainty about where their role as campus employee ends and their rights as a citizen begins. While we can’t offer legal advice or guidance, we have provided some tips and suggestions for engaging politically as an institutional employee.
By Andrew Kreighbaum, May 09, 2017
During the Obama Administration, a tightening of regulations against predatory institutions led to the development of an interagency task force within the Department of Education. This was one of the first things to go with the launch of the new administration in January 2017. Oversight advocates see the dissolution of the taskforce as an opportunity for more active regulation at the state level.
By Michael Stratford, May 09, 2017
While Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rescinded memos regarding borrower protections on April 11, 2017, a document filed with the Government Accountability Office this same day shows that the Education Department plans to move ahead with significant revisions to Obama-era requirements, such as past performance disclosure, and the department’s procurement process.
By Tara García Mathewson, May 11, 2017
Executive Vice President of Student Veterans of America, James Schmeling, says that the dialogue around veterans on campus is based on unreliable data. Due to the transitional nature of student veterans, college completion data become lost in the shuffle. Data analysis shows that student veterans actually have higher rates of success than students overall, but still have specific needs based on trending characteristics such as those best suited for first generation college students.
By Adam Harris, May 15, 2017
The 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act issued a federal ban on tracking educational and employment outcomes of college students, and now a group of senators are pushing against this ban in a concerted effort to improve student data. This bipartisan effort has met pushback from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities expressing potential privacy concerns.
This past week, we have not seen movement regarding discriminatory “bathroom” legislation. So far, 16 states have introduced bathroom bills during the 2017-2018 state legislative sessions.
In the past few months, we have seen 11 states consider 18 pieces of anti-sanctuary legislation that would affect college campuses. 6 states have introduced sanctuary legislation that extends to college campuses. Of this legislation, 6 pieces have failed, and 16 are pending, and 3 have been enacted. PA HB 14 was reported as committed on 05/09/2017. PA SB 273 was taken under second consideration on 05/10/2017.
Guns on Campus:
Around 14 states are considering legislation concerning guns on campus. During the past week, we saw movement on CA AB 424, which was read a third time and amended on 05/11/2017 and GA HB 280 which was enacted with an effected date of 07/01/2017.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. David Roe (R-TN) (Introduced 05/03/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce; Judiciary
-Latest Action: 05/11/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice
Resolution put forth by the House that comes to two conclusions (from bill text):
1. Free speech zones and restrictive speech codes are inherently at odds with the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution; and
2. Institutions of higher education should facilitate and recommit themselves to protecting the free and open exchange of ideas
Questions or Feedback? Reach out to the Policy & Advocacy Team! Feel free to email Teri Lyn Hinds (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Diana Ali (email@example.com)!