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

Federal News

  • Higher Education Act (HEA) reauthorization Senate deal being worked on, Inside Higher Ed reports
  • U.S. Department of Education launches pilot at four universities for students to access financial aid refunds
  • U.S. Department of Education is leaning on mediation to clear backlog of sexual violence cases, Education Dive reports
  • Federal appeals court continues to reconsider rules on campus sex assault investigations
  • Title IX changes being imposed by U.S. Department of Education on University of Southern California (USC)
  • In an affirmative action case, the Trump Administration and student groups file briefs in support of appeal against Harvard, POLITICO reports
  • Tensions between Education Secretary DeVos and House Oversight Committee continue to rise, Inside Higher Ed reports
  • States, advocates push U.S. Department of Education to forgive loans of students with disabilities
  • Senate Democrats seek civil rights probe of federal student loan program, POLITICO reports
  • GI Bill enrollments to be halted at five universities
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) hold conference following recent full funding in FUTURE Act, POLITICO reports
  • Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) raises concerns about the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arizona

Federal Legislation

  • Student Apprenticeship Act (HR 5961) introduced
  • SAFE PLAY ACT (S 3347/HR 6007) introduced
  • Clery Compliance Officer Designation Act of 2020 (HR 6031) introduced
  • Public Service Appreciation Through Loan Forgiveness Act (HR 6087) introduced
  • Donna Shalala (D-FL) issues “Dear Colleague” letter seeking cosponsors for Congressional Advisory Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics “CACIA” Act (HR5528)

State & Local Government


  • Arizona college athlete royalties bill passes the state house and heads to state senate
  • Arizona interscholastic single-sex sports participation bill passes the state house


  • California law barring public employee express around union membership being challenged in court
  • California post-degree education fund for student athletes bill introduced


  • Colorado college athlete compensation and allow agents bill referred out of committee with minor amendments


  • Connecticut bill to allow intercollegiate student athlete royalties compensation has public hearing
  • Connecticut college freedom of expression policy bill has a hearing


  • Florida allowing college athletes to receive compensation bill passes state senate


  • Hawaii bill allowing college athletic compensation passes the state senate as amended and now heads to the state house


  • Idaho transgender/single-sex sports bill passes state house and goes to state senate


  • Massachusetts paying college athletes bill ordered for study, which could effectively kill the bill
  • Massachusetts college for students with intellectual disabilities bill ordered for study, which could effectively kill the bill
  • Massachusetts athletic recreation facilities emergency plans bill ordered for study, which could effectively kill the bill


  • Mississippi college athlete compensation bill dies in committee


  • Missouri allowing student athletes to collect royalties bill passes favorably out of committee
  • Missouri college comparison information bill receives favorable review by committee following public hearing

New Hampshire

  • New Hampshire bill allowing student athlete compensation awaits action by the full state house
  • New Hampshire college sexual assault awareness bill scheduled for floor vote


  • Oklahoma student athlete concussions and death database and review board bill passes state house

South Carolina

  • South Carolina gender specific interscholastic sports participation bill referred to committee


  • Utah college discriminatory harassment and expression bill approved by committee


  • Virginia athletic agents bill passed by state legislature and sent to governor
  • Virginia college student arbitration rules bill awaiting final approval by state senate


  • Washington amending rules for athletic agents bill passed by state legislature and sent to governor


  • Wisconsin suicide prevention hotline number on grade and college student IDs bill signed into law


  • S. Department of Justice funding opportunity: Expanding SANE Services to Victims of Sexual Assault on Campus

Education News

  • South Dakota considers banning university faculty union
  • Graduate students who withheld grades for higher pay have been fired

Civil Rights News

  • Title IX procedures that led to his expulsion were unfair, college student alleges
  • College accepts recommendation to fire faculty members and staff found guilty of sexual misconduct
  • Dating app ‘Tinder’ and ‘It’s On Us’ join forces to combat sexual assault on college campuses, POLITICO reports
  • Title IX complaint leads college to open several women-only programs to men
  • College student protestors assemble at university free speech conference
  • College volleyball players kneel during Israeli anthem

Other News

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) celebrates Brain Injury Awareness Month by sharing resources and information
  • New York Times looks at NCAA court case regarding athlete pay
  • Wall Street Journal reports on what impact looser college athlete endorsement rules might mean for female college athletics and athletes
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.