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 NIRSA 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.”

Full SAHEC Policy Pages

In this issue:

Government Updates


  • Senate clears first batch of FY2020 appropriations bills
  • Congress likely to extend work year, POLITICO reports


  • Title IX rule on campus sexual assault sent to White House, POLITICO reports
  • Higher education accreditation and distance learning regulations finalized by U.S. Dept. of Education
  • U.S. Dept. of Education’s foreign gift disclosure requirement opposed by colleges, POLITICO reports
  • Course length flexibility provided to colleges by U.S. Department of Education, POLITICO reports
  • Single-gender club sanctions policy at Harvard opposed by legislators and lawsuits
  • School and college sustainability green ribbon award nominees sought by U.S. Department of Education


  • Supreme Court hears DACA case

Federal Legislation

  • Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill advanced out of committee in the House
  • Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization in the Senate news
  • Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act (S 1608) reported out of committee
  • College athlete scholarship tax bill to be introduced
  • Earning Experience Act of 2019 (HR 4876) introduced
  • Basic Assistance for Students In College (BASIC) Act (HR 4968) introduced
  • Fast Track To and Through College Act (S 2736) introduced
  • Collegiate Freedom of Association Act (HR 3128) adds new cosponsors
  • Violence Against Women Act reauthorization talks stall, POLITICO reports

Other Federal News

  • Religious-based hate crimes reported on college campuses rise, POLITICO reports

State & Local Government


  • Colorado higher education committee advances three bills


  • Florida athletic trainer licensure bills pre-filed for 2020
  • Florida allowing college athletes to receive compensation bill pre-filed for 2020


  • Illinois allow student athletes to profit from endorsements bills introduced 8
  • Illinois athletic agents act bill introduced


  • Massachusetts athletic recreation facilities emergency plans bill scheduled for hearing
  • Massachusetts athletic training definition bills scheduled for a hearing
  • Massachusetts college counselors PTSD training bill passes state house and now goes to the state senate for consideration


  • Michigan college athlete royalties payment bill introduced
  • Michigan allowing student athletes to get agents bill introduced

North Carolina

  • North Carolina athlete scholarship students as North Carolina residents bill has passed both legislative chambers and awaits being sent to the governor


  • Ohio sales tax exemption for non-profit operated gyms/rec facilities bill amended
  • Ohio anti-bullying/hazing bill committee hearing held and approved by committee
  • Ohio college textbooks sales tax exemption bill introduced


  • Pennsylvania online college sexual harassment/violence reporting system bill still before committee
  • Pennsylvania sudden cardiac arrest/EKG information and testing bill referred to state house committee after passing the state senate
  • Pennsylvania has law that provides free higher education for National Guard families

South Carolina

  • South Carolina online college sexual harassment/violence reporting bill still before committee
  • South Carolina prohibiting colleges from disciplining good faith reporters of sexual misconduct bill still before committee


  • Washington State voters narrowly rejecting affirmative action on the ballot

Education and Schools News

  • College completion and matriculation data released
  • College affordability data updated by the Urban Institute
  • Full tuition cost projected to reach $100,000 by 2025 at University of Chicago and others
  • College costs rising due to reduced state funding and need for unrestricted revenue, study suggests
  • Campus housing development may decrease
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon leaves North American Interfraternity Conference, citing health and safety issues

Civil Rights News

  • Title IX alleged victim can use pseudonym to sue Princeton University, rules district court
  • Sexual assault plaintiffs from private colleges rights’ considered by court
  • Athlete’s Title IX lawsuit against University of Idaho survives court challenge, will proceed
  • University gym dress code policy under review after Title IX complaint raised
  • Crime and sexual assault reporting compliance at Texas State University under review by U.S. Department of Education
  • Popular Title IX training techniques ‘are at odds with the available science,’ Iowa State researchers find, as reported by The College Fix
  • Graduate student union votes to strike at Harvard University
  • Free speech group settles with University of Michigan, POLITICO reports
  • Free speech group supported in case against the University of Illinois, POLITICO reports

Sports News

  • NCAA says athletes may profit from name, image, and likeness
  • Gender disparity in team trainers and physicians for NCAA physicians, study shows
  • Look at soft-shell helmets being used in flag football to reduce concussions
  • Artificial turf concerns being raised in Las Vegas
  • Flag football partnership created between university and special needs programs

Full SAHEC Policy Pages

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 | NIRSA Profile

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