Notes & Coffee: January 2-8

Hoping everyone enjoyed catching up on some much-needed rest during winter break and brought in the New Year healthy and happy! We are only one week into 2017 and there is already an abundance of trending student affairs and higher ed news to catch you up on. So get comfy, grab a mug of something steaming, and get yourself into the know with Notes & Coffee.

Free tuition Q&A: could New York’s plan spread across US? - Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to make the state’s public colleges free for hundreds of thousands of middle-class students is seen as one of the nation’s most ambitious efforts to tackle skyrocketing higher education debt. But many questions remain about how much it will cost, how it will affect one of the country’s largest public college systems and whether other states will follow suit. 

Supermajority requirement in the minority - Last week, The New York Times published an article detailing how, in 2015, a majority of two separate panels at Stanford University found that a student was raped by a football player, but the athlete was not held responsible because the university required a supermajority vote by the hearing panel to do so.

Make way for Latino star schools - Now that the dust is beginning to settle from the political tsunami created by the campaign vitriol, many folks in the education community are ready to challenge the subliminal messages of building the wall, deporting the immigrants, and removing the safety nets that support the Nation’s underserved Latino populations.   

Closing out a college - Virginia Intermont College graduated its final class in early May 2014, holding commencement on a clear Sunday afternoon. Despite the sun shining, one faculty member who spoke at the ceremony likened it to a funeral. The 130-year-old college in Southwestern Virginia had been on life support for years as financial troubles fueled accreditation issues. Yet faculty and students still describe a disorganized whirlwind once it finally became clear that spring that the college would be closing.

Budget cuts are taking the heaviest toll on colleges that serve the neediest students - When a state budget impasse drained money from public universities and colleges in Illinois beginning in 2015, some were forced to lay off hundreds of employees, shorten their semesters, even warn they might shut down. Enrollment plummeted. Credit ratings fell to junk status.

Historically black college stands firm on sending band to Trump inauguration, despite alumni anger - The Talladega College marching band will perform at President-elect Donald Trump’s inaugural parade Jan. 20 after all. Billy Hawkins, president of the historically black college in Alabama, confirmed the decision in a news release Thursday morning.

More Notes:  

Texas bill would regulate public college bathrooms

Addressing racist microaggressions

Ex-ITT students want to be creditors in bankruptcy case 

Report finds 'growing' demand for college program

Higher ed takes on fake news epidemic

NASPA Highlights:

Chris Mosier: breaking barriers - Chris Mosier is an athlete, coach, and educator, and the founder of TransAthlete.com a resource for students, athletes, coaches, and administrators to find information about trans athletics at various levels of sports. Mosier has always had athletic background, Playing baseball and basketball as a kid really helped him get into sports in high school. 

Celebrating Loving Day - The MultiRacial Knowledge Community (MRKC) has been in existence since 2010, stimulating education, developing knowledge and promoting resources and networking related to multiracial and transracial adoptees. The MRKC community consists of NASPA members who identify as mixed race, are part of mixed race families, those who were adopted creating an interracial family, and those who have an interest in any of these areas.

Give back, build community - #naspa17 community service project - As you mark your calendars to attend the #NASPA17 Annual Conference, consider adding the Community Service Project to your conference experience. This year’s conference attendees will have the opportunity to volunteer with the San Antonio Food Bank on Sunday, March 12th from 8 am to Noon. Volunteers can expect to work together to sort and/or pack produce, nonperishable foods, and household items, preparing them for distribution.