NIRSA’s Government Affairs Committee stays up-to-date on the latest federal and state policy and legislative news through a variety of scanning tools. One particular resource they use is the bi-weekly Policy Pages provided by Active Policy Solutions. (For more on this partnership, along with other SAHEC associations, have with Active Policy Solutions, see below.)

The policy issues included in the Policy Pages document are highlights of a point in time. They are by no means exhaustive and change continually – so matters discussed in the last issue normally will not carry over to the next unless there is some updated action to be discussed.

The Committee encourages NIRSA members to keep themselves informed on federal and state policy issues affecting their work as professionals on campuses. These issues could be specific to higher education, physical activity, or NIRSA’s strategic value areas. If you have an issue that is of concern to your campus, reach out the Government Affairs Committee.

Policy Page documents will be stored, as a resource for NRISA members, in the NIRSA Connect Community library. You can find them within the “Member Benefits” folder in a subfolder titled “Federal and State Policy Pages.”


In this issue:

Government Updates

Education

  • Department of Education’s Title IX higher education sexual assault Rule release now projected for September release
  • Secretary DeVos builds on “Rethink Higher Education” agenda by expanding Federal Work-Study (FWS) opportunities for students through innovative experimental sites
  • Higher education group opposes President Trump proposal to further cut PELL grants, POLITICO reports

Federal Legislation

  • Equality Act (HR5) to ensure the non-discrimination of the LGBTQ community passes in the House
  • “Dreamer” bill advances, Politico reports
  • Survivor Outreach and Support on Campus Act or the “SOS Campus Act (S. 1483) introduced
  • Beyond the Box for Higher Education Act (H.R. 2563/S. 1338) introduced
  • Advancing International and Foreign Language Education Act (H.R. 2562) introduced
  • Simplifying Financial Aid for Students Act (S. 1346) reintroduced
  • Tax bill to treat certain scholarships as earned income for purposes of the ‘kiddie tax’ (S. 1667) introduced
  • Respond, Innovate, Succeed, and Empower (RISE) Act (S. 1585) introduced
  • Student Borrower Bankruptcy Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 2648/S. 1414) introduced
  • Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2019 (S. 1492/H.R. 2757) introduced
  • Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act (S. 1489/H.R. 2728) introduced
  • Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act (S. 1496) introduced
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Student Loan Integrity & Transparency Act (H.R. 2833) introduced
  • Equal Campus Access Act (S. 1168) adds 9 new cosponsors

Other Federal News

  • Overtime US Department of Labor proposed Rule opposed by the Attorneys General in 15 states
  • Secretary DeVos makes changes aimed at improving the College Scorecard to provide meaningful information to students on education options and outcomes
  • College “Green Ribbon” sustainability awardees announced by the U.S. Department of Education

State & Local Government

Alabama

Alabama state house passes campus free speech bill

California

  • Los Angeles County votes to ban travel to Alabama over abortion law
  • California state senate passes bill requiring public universities to offer abortion pill on campus

Colorado

  • Colorado secretary of state bans employees from trips to Alabama in protest of new pro-life law

Florida

  • Florida college campuses continue to dispute the protection of early voting despite court ruling

Missouri

  • Missouri campus carry legislation stalled

Ohio

  • Ohio State University finds team doctor sexually abused 177 students

Oregon

  • Oregon state house passes campus safety bill known as ‘Kaylee’s Law’ to define the role of campus security officers

Texas

  • Texas legislators to introduce bill to address the lost transfer college credits in order to reduce transfer student’s costs
  • Texas state house approves bill addressing free speech rights on college campuses
  • Texas state house approves anti-hazing bill

Utah

  • Utah regents consider one official to oversee all Title IX hearings for all state colleges

West Virginia

  • West Virginia legislature passes anti-hazing bill with changes

Education News

  • Students for Free Expression group wants to ‘depolarize’ campuses nationwide
  • Delayed notification regarding outbreak of adenovirus on a Maryland college campus article raises concerns over college’s delay
  • College Board adopts ‘adversity index’ in new attempt to make the SAT more relevant to college admissions
  • New Pell Institute study finds ‘critical’ gap in college success between low- & high-income students
  • College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) releases annual report on professionals in higher education
  • Gates Foundation to study value of higher education certificates and degrees, POLITICO reports

Health and Wellness News

  • Journal article on stakeholder evaluations of the effect of university decisions regarding athletics

Civil Rights News

  • Michigan colleges can suspend students accused of sexual assault according to a federal court ruling

Safety News

  • Rubber playground surfaces may contain high lead levels, study suggests

Sports News

  • NCAA tables possibility of overseeing esports
  • USA Cheer releases new high school safety rules

About NIRSA’s partnership with Active Policy Solutions

As an association, NIRSA strives to monitor and track policy and legislative issues with the potential to impact our members or the campus communities they serve. These issues are wide ranging and may pertain to higher education, employment law, physical fitness, or our strategic values areas.

NIRSA has joined with a subset of SAHEC members (ACUHO-I, ACPA, ASCA, NASPA, and NIRSA) in hiring Active Policy Solutions to assist with monitoring, tracking, analyzing, and determining appropriate action on issues relevant to our associations. Through our partnership with SAHEC, NIRSA continues to monitor policy, legislation, and advocacy work that affects both the higher education and physical activity space. Active Policy Solutions provides government relations and advocacy support to NIRSA and the Association’s SAHEC partners.

  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships Erin O’Sullivan.
  • Want to share with your colleagues how this proposed legislation might impact your campus? Pitch us your ideas.
Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at |

Erin O'Sullivan is currently the Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at NIRSA.