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


  • Catch-all end-of-year legislative spending package includes variety of provisions


  • Congress passes HBCU funding, FAFSA simplification, POLITICO reports
  • House Committee on Education and Labor passed Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization bill cost estimate released, POLITICO reports
  • College anti-Semitism executive order signed by President, POLITICO reports
  • U.S. Department of Justice takes interest in college free speech case, POLITICO reports
  • New student loan cancellation eligibility calculation method introduced by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) continues to look into NCAA and athletes’ health, POLITICO reports
  • NCAA president and Senate working group address NCAA issues, POLITICO reports
  • NCAA president open to federal discussion of college athlete model, compensation
  • College admission group settles with Justice Department by changing ethics policies to allow competition

Federal Legislation

  • Title IX Rule pre-empting bill (HR 5388) introduced
  • Higher Education tax-return bill (HR 5368) introduced
  • Congressional Advisory Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics (CACIA) Act  (HR 5528) introduced
  • Partnerships for Affordability and Student Success (PASS) Act (S 3028) introduced
  • Federal sports betting bill to protect college athletes being drafted

State & Local Government


  • California sorority and fraternity (hazing) activity reporting bill scheduled for hearing in January


  • Florida hairstyle discrimination bill pre-filed for 2020


  • Girls flag football to be official high school sport in Georgia in 2020


  • Michigan athletic trainer bill before state house for vote


  • Missouri sex at birth athletic competition state constitution amending calling legislation pre-filed for 2020
  • Missouri allowing student athletes collect royalties bills pre-filed for 2020
  • Missouri sports official harassment and barring from athletic contest bills pre-filed for 2020

New Jersey

  • New Jersey college sexual assault commission bill passes legislature

New York

  • New York travel insurance coverage for intercollegiate sports bill sent to the governor
  • New York high school and college hazing bill introduced


  • Ohio college expenses deduction bill pre-filed for the 2020 session


  • Texas harassment at colleges and universities law takes effect January 1, 2020

South Carolina

  • South Carolina college athlete payment/royalties bill pre-filed for 2020


  • Wisconsin campus free speech bill considered in assembly committee hearing
  • Wisconsin athletic official anti-harassment bill drafted

Funding News

  • Federal funding opportunity: Office on Violence Against Women FY 2020 Grants to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking on Campus Program
  • Federal funding opportunity: Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE): Student Support Services (SSS) Program CFDA Number 84.042A

Education News

  • Students Higher education outlook rating upgraded stable by Moody’s
  • Higher education viewed as very important by fewer Americans in Gallup poll
  • The rate of return of a college education increases by 12-14% when accounting for the consumption value of college, study shows
  • Public university affordability issues highlighted in report
  • Higher education enrollment data released and shows a dip in enrollment
  • University donor scrutiny increased to vet new gifts, redirect old ones according to article

Health/Wellness News

  • Teen survey on drinking, smoking, and vaping released

Civil Rights News

  • Campus Social media posting of Temple University student describing neighborhood as a ghetto taken down
  • Fraternity suspended for anti-Semitism at IU Bloomington
  • Campus free speech at issue with presentation on white supremacy by student
  • College nondiscrimination policy now includes that based on “caste”
  • College athletes disciplined for sexual misconduct found to have transferred to other teams, USA TODAY reports
  • Athlete’s transcript being changed to remove sexual misconduct subject of USA Today investigation
  • Sexual assault reporting at University of New Mexico no longer under review after three years
  • College administrator attacked by father over dismissal of daughter’s sexual assault claim
  • Collegiate sexual assault data reveals higher rates of cases involving athletes, USA Today reports
  • Title IX obligations for colleges could be narrowed by court ruling
  • Disability discrimination investigation of University of Pittsburgh based on student with dairy allergy opened by U.S. Department of Education

Other News

  • NCAA policies on athlete compensation, wellness discussed at Intercollegiate Athletics Forum
  • Collegiate sports restructuring to be examined by Knight Commission
  • Violent athlete ban advocated for in absence of NCAA action

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.