As a first-year member on the Government Affairs Committee, I’m beginning to realize the importance of this work to the members of NIRSA and to higher education in general. In today’s heightened political environment, policy changes are often made quickly and with little communication from policy decision makers.
We’ve seen this recently with issues surrounding Title IX . Policies affecting the LGBTQ community are another example at both the federal and state level (such as the so-called “bathroom bills” that were raised in several states). It is critical to the success of higher education and NIRSA to be proactive regarding these policies to ensure our voices are being heard.
It’s the responsibility of the Government Affairs Committee to proactively inform the Board of Directors of any major landscape shifts. This ensures that NIRSA is consistently positioned for the success of its members and institutions.
Just as importantly, though, it’s the committee’s responsibility to help provide resources and information about what’s happening in the state and federal political environment to the NIRSA membership. We want to make sure that everyone—on campuses across the US—stays informed.
Given the heightened political environment in the US, I’ve become more interested in state and federal legislation and the impact they have on our institutions. This is increasingly true when it comes to how these bills impact funding in higher education. It’s incredibly important to be informed and proactive in supporting higher education, while also exercising the right to have our voices heard—not only on funding, but on all policy legislation that impacts higher education.
As we continue to evolve, and as policy is developed, the Government Affairs Committee will work to keep you informed about key issues and legislation that impacts the work that we do and the critical role we all play on our campuses.
- For more information, contact NIRSA Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships Erin O’Sullivan.