January 9, 2018
This is a hearing on “The Opioid Crisis: An Examination of How We Got Here and How We Move Forward.”
January 11, 2017, TBD
This is a nominations executive session of the Senate HELP Committee.
By Diana Ali, Policy Analyst, January 5, 2018
Rolling into the New Year, NASPA provides higher education policy updates at the state and federal levels on key issues for the month of December 2017.
By Tiffany Pennamon, January 4, 2018
Diverse Issues in Higher Education reports that community colleges have begun to hire chief diversity officers (CDOs) at increasing rates, referencing the recent publication Inclusive Directions: The Role of the Chief Diversity Officer in Community College Leadership, by Dr. Clyde W. Pickett, James A. Felton III, and Michael E. Smith. “Community colleges have long been places for diversity in terms of representation of students who enjoy open access to higher education,” the authors say. “However, having a central role, central office or central individual to provide guidance for this diverse population has been slow to develop.” Offering comprehensive diversity services for students is important especially for those in a community college program, which is often the first step for students entering the higher education pipeline.
By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, January 5, 2018
Constitutionally, most hate speech is protected until it becomes severe, pervasive, and repeated. Only after hate speech has been qualified as harassment can administrators intervene. However, outgoing general counsel at Mississippi Lee Tyner disagrees with the necessity for hate speech to advance to harassment in order for intervention to become possible. “Some people would say you can’t punish a one-off racial slur because it’s not pervasive,” Tyner said. “Effectively my position is to stop them from doing it again and again before it becomes pervasive.” Tyner’s perspective comes to rise during a time of increased campus protests and canceled guest speakers. It is certainly a hot-button issue. Currently, in Mississippi policy a student may be culpable if they behave in a way that, if repeated, could deny someone access to university resources or education. Tyner maintains that, “You’ve got to be able to cure the hostile environment before it’s created,” FIRE maintains a database of free speech and other policies at institutions around the country and gave a “green light” rating to Tyner’s policy, meaning it was legally sound and matched FIRE’s criteria for not restricting free expression.
By Michael Anft, January 7, 2017
For the past three years the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, or Nslve, a program run by Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy and Higher Education, have provided institutions with a measure on how many of their students are voting. Voting numbers serve as an indicator of student civic engagement. Over the course of the past three years, student-voting records have increased overall by three-percentage-points. However, in 2016 alone voting turnout dropped by 20 percent at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Data like this are indicators that a deeper dive into certain demographics may prove useful.
By Tal Kopan, January 8, 2018
Bipartisan Representatives in the House, Reps. Will Hurd from Texas and Pete Aguilar of California have been working together for weeks to develop legislation that would protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The plan aims to be "as narrow as possible," Hurd told CNN in a joint interview with Aguilar on Sunday night about the proposal. The bill would include a pathway to citizenship and increases border security but does not touch on the border wall. "This is a DACA and border security fix," Hurd said. "And if there's other elements that have to be included in a broader deal to get signed into law, this is a foundation for that conversation."
States are reconvening in the month of January. So far the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has seen movement on two bills, NY A 5422 and MO SB 690. NY A 5422 provides single-sex multiple occupancy bathroom and changing facilities in schools and public bathrooms in a move to ensure trans rights and was referred to Governmental Operations on 01/03/18. MO SB 690 is a discriminatory bathroom bill and Requires that all school shower rooms, locker rooms, and restrooms accessible for use by multiple students shall be designated for and used by male or female students only. The bill was introduced and first read on 01/03/2018.
Since the start of the new year the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA as observed movement on NY S 4075. This legislation relates to providing access to services and law enforcement in certain immigration related matters and was referred to the Senate Finance Committee on 01/03/2018.
Guns on Campus:
Since the start of January, the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has seen movement on MO HB 1936 and NY S 1754. MO HB 1936 Modifies provisions relating to the concealed carrying of firearms, and was introduced on 01/03/2018. NY S 1754 Allows rifles, shotguns, and firearms on college and university campuses and was referred to the Senate Codes Committee on 01/03/2018.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Henry C. “Hank,” Johnson Jr. (D-GA-4) (Introduced 12/20/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce
-Latest Action: 12/20/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
At the tail end of December, the Inclusive Campuses Act of 2017 was reintroduced to authorize the use of Title III funds to create on-campus resource centers for LGBTQIA students at minority-serving institutions such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
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