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


  • S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announces proposed rule regarding equal treatment of faith-based education institutions, provides updated school prayer guidance
  • Secretary DeVos announces new, proactive civil rights compliance center within Office for Civil Rights

Federal Legislation

  • Congressional Advisory Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics (CACIA) Act (HR 5528) introduced
  • Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act (HR 5603) introduced
  • Protecting Student Athletes From Concussions Act (HR 5611) introduced
  • Campus Fire Safety Education Act (HR 5647/S 3209) introduced
  • PHIT Act (HR 1679) adds a new cosponsor
  • Borrower Defense Institutional Accountability (HJ Res 76) resolution moves to the Senate

State & Local Government


  • Alabama student athletes competing by gender bill introduced


  • Arizona in-state tuition recipients bill introduced
  • Arizona athletic trainer licensure changes bill passes favorably out of committee


  • Florida state house committees hold hearing on allowing college athletes to be compensated


  • Hawaii out-of-state physicians treating sport team bill introduced

New Hampshire

  • New Hampshire bill would restrict participation in girls’ sports to those born as girls

New Jersey

  • New Jersey concussion return-to-classroom/return-to-play bills reintroduced

New York

  • New York college staff as mandatory reporters bills still under consideration
  • New York paying college athletes bill still under consideration


  • Utah Uniform Athletic Agents Act amendments bill introduced


  • Virginia bills address many higher ed issues


  • Washington amending rules for athletic agents bill before state senate
  • Washington state legislators seek to make state colleges more accessible

Funding News

  • Funding Opportunity: University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service

Education News

  • The 20 highest-paid private college presidents earned 15% more in 2017, Education Dive reports
  • College crime reporting errors places the Florida college at risk for nearly $9.8 million fine
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and School (ACICS) no longer seeking recognition from key education oversight group

Health & Wellness News

  • Smoking by students up where marijuana is legal, but binge drinking down, study shows
  • S. vaping-related deaths rise to 60, cases of illness to 2,668
  • University of Albany goes smoke and vape free

Civil Rights News

  • The Association of Title IX Administrators’ (ATIXA) president publishes opinion piece about the Office for Civil Rights’ expected Title IX guidance
  • Outcome of Title IX suit ‘will benefit Lock Haven’s women athletes for years to come,’ attorney says
  • Girls-only program halted by another college for fear of litigation according to The College Fix
  • Former player sues Penn State over football hazing allegations
  • Opinion article in The New York Times explores the impact of the recent rise in anti-Semitic acts on education
  • New Jersey public university sued for shutting down student protest against gun-free zones
  • Facial recognition technology on college campuses being addressed by advocacy groups, POLITICO reports

Other News

  • Compensation for college student athletes expected to be a hot topic at the NCAA’s annual convention, POLITICO reports
  • Women athletes still face barriers according to study
  • Concussion impact on academics among U.S. high school students study released by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine (AJPM)

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.
Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at | NIRSA Profile

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