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 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 Appropriations

  • The infrastructure bill passed Congress
  • The reconciliation bill passed a procedure vote
  • Funding for students and colleges included in President Biden’s $1.75 trillion domestic spending bill that has moved forward in the House reports the American Council on Education (ACE)

Federal Education

  • Sexual violence on college campuses subject of Congressional letter to Education Secretary
  • Student loan discharge options and repayment plans simplification and expansion urged by Senators to the US Department of Education according to press release
  • College student success interventions information requested by US Department of Education
  • US colleges report fewer foreign gifts during Biden Administration, sparking concern from Republican Mike Gallagher reports Fox News
  • Title IX college religious exemption lawsuit brief filed by 19 Democratic state attorneys general

Federal Legislation

  • Colleges in states that limit vaccine requirements dealing with conflicting White House policies is examined by Higher Ed Dive
  • College student loan borrowers in bankruptcy policy being reconsidered by US Departments of Education and Justice according to The Washington Post
  • US Department of Education announces recognition status of nine accrediting agencies

Federal Health

  • COVID-19 vaccine mandates for companies of 100+ employees halted by US federal appeals court

Federal Legislation

  • COVID-19 vaccine mandate prohibiting bill, “No Vaccine Mandate Act” (HR 5811), introduced
  • COVID-19 vaccine side effects in writing bill, the “National Informed Consent Exemption (NICE) Act” (HR 5816), introduced
  • COVID-19 vaccine side effects liability bill, the “Mandating Responsibility Act” (HR 5824), introduced
  • COVID-19 vaccine mandate reversal bill, the “COVID–19 Individual Liberty Act of 2021” (HR 5829), introduced
  • Employee non-compete annulment for COVID-19 vaccine refusal bill, the “Employment Freedom for All Act” (HR 5851), introduced
  • Essential workers protections bill, the “Keeping Our COVID-19 Heroes Employed Act” (HR 5860), introduced
  • Education funds withholding bill (HR 5864) introduced
  • COVID-19 vaccine mandate prohibiting bill (S 3170) introduced
  • COVID-19 vaccine mandate for minors prohibiting bill, the “Parental Rights Protection Act” (S 3184), introduced
  • Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace protections bill, the “Ending the Monopoly of Power Over Workplace Harassment Through Education and Reporting (EMPOWER) Act” (HR 5842), reintroduced
  • College anti-harassment grant program bill, the “Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act”(HR 5342), adds 2 new cosponsors
  • College mental health services commission bill, the “Higher Education Mental Health Act” (HR 5654), adds a new cosponsor

State and Local Government


  • Tennessee transgender school sports law challenged in lawsuit


  • College students’ basic needs funding available from the US Department of Education


  • COVID-19 updates:
  • College off-campus crime at Ohio State University combated by new community patrol team
  • Colleges need more data to help students with children according to new study
  • College students with disabilities guide released by ACPA

Civil Rights

  • Sexual assault cases at Louisiana colleges going unreported according to advocates
  • ‘Inclusion of Transgender Girls and Women in Girls’ and Women’s Sports’ model state statute released by Women’s Sports Policy Working Group
  • Free speech focus of newly founded University of Austin reports Fox News
  • Free speech restraints topic of college professors’ lawsuit against University of Florida reports The Washington Post


  • College athletics restructuring proposal announced by NCAA
  • NCAA college sexual violence policy clarified with new published resources
  • NCAA NIL interim policy adopted

Health & Wellness

  • College students report pet separation anxiety according to study

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.