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

Federal Legislation

  • House passes four-bill appropriations package
  • House votes to protect the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, Politico reports
  • Department of Education unveils proposed accreditation rules
  • Administrative record details Title IX deliberations, Politico reports
  • Education Department will review anti-male bias at University of North Carolina
  • US House passes DREAM Act
  • Congresswoman Fudge introduces bill to address hazing
  • Senator Wyden unveils bill targeting tax benefits for college donations, Politico reports
  • U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issues statement on Title IX Anniversary

State & Local Government


  • Alabama legislature passes college “free speech” bill


  • California is getting closer to passing a ‘student-loan borrower bill of rights’


  • Idaho universities fall short of Title IX standards, report shows


  • Louisiana’s hazing laws could tighten again amid Louisiana State University fraternity issues


  • Massachusetts lawmakers seek compromise on sports betting bills


  • Michigan state house advances bills responding to Larry Nassar scandal


  • Montana legislators fail to override governor’s campus free speech veto

New Hampshire

  • New Hampshire state house committee passes school student anti-gender discrimination bill, despite warnings on impact of female sports

New Jersey

  • New Jersey anti-bullying measure, known as Mallory’s Law, passes state senate
  • New Jersey state senate committee unanimously passes student press, New Voices bill


  • Texas SB 38, addressing hazing to become law
  • Texas campus “free speech” bill to become law
  • Texas governor signs into law bills that opponents claim will hurt free speech and due process rights

Other News

  • Grant Opportunity: Strengthening college capacity to serve low-income students program
  • Critical look at UCLA’s failure to warn the public about gynecologist accused of sexual battery
  • College enrollment of students with disabilities may be affected by insurance regulations
  • Promoting physical activity to female college students study finds potential life-long benefits
  • How colleges have cracked down on romantic relationships between professors and students since #MeToo explored in article
  • Southern California student-led initiatives show promise for colleges grappling with homelessness
  • Disability diagnoses can be swayed by schools’ racial makeup
  • University of Illinois says if it adds men hockey program would still be in Title IX compliance
  • Federal judge dismisses University of North Dakota’s Title IX women’s hockey lawsuit
  • Female high school athletes in Connecticut file federal discrimination complaint over transgender competition
  • Higher Education ‘In Brief’ offers webinar- Title IX In Limbo: Practical Steps for Summer 2019

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.