Post-Election Round-Up: What Happened and What Does it Mean for Student Affairs?
No matter your political affiliation, there was much to celebrate in Tuesday’s midterms, which resulted in increasing diversity of our nation’s elected officials, seven state gubernatorial races (so far) flipping from Republican to Democrat, an increased Republican majority in the Senate, and a Democratic takeover in the House. If your interest in policy work is more issue-based, you may be searching for the answers to what this all means now that results are in. How does a night of history-making play out on the ground, and how will these state and federal results impact local higher education communities? This post by NASPA assistant director of policy research and advocacy Diana Ali will dig into some of the outcomes, including early indications of record voter turnout on college campuses, to provide insight into these questions.
Policy in Practice: Proactive Steps to Foster Inclusion, Diversity, and Free Speech
Institutions seeking ways to address the increasing divisiveness plaguing our nation’s political discourse are challenged with balancing strong respect for equity and inclusion with protecting free speech. Contrary to inclusion and diversity and freedom of expression being at odds, however, campus leaders can take proactive steps to establish both meaningful protections for those who have experienced past trauma and create spaces for open and honest discourse on fraught topics. For some institutions, re-examining institutional speech and expression policies to identify how they can be made less reliant on free speech zones while still allowing for appropriate planning for campus safety, may bring together campus leaders, students, and the community around a concrete task. Establishing a practice of deliberative dialogue across topics of passionately held different opinions allows for greater exploration and creates capacity for empathy and discussion. Providing resources for higher education professionals for use of safe spaces in pedagogically appropriate ways can help students with histories of trauma, from veterans to survivors of abuse, engage more fully with their educations. This post by NASPA director of policy research and advocacy Teri Lyn Hinds provides starting points and considerations for these approaches.
Influencing Policy into 2032: Preparing Campuses and Students to Respond to the 2020 Census
In an era of ubiquitous data and data collection, the notion of completing an official count of every person in the United States every ten years may seem outdated. The Census, however, is a vital component in the foundation of our national government. Understanding the importance of the Census and the role it plays in ensuring the health of our representative democracy is essential as we head into the final year of preparation for the 2020 Census. This post by NASPA director of policy research and advocacy, Teri Lyn Hinds, provides a brief history of the Census and how it relates to the United States House of Representatives and the distribution of federal funds before addressing how student affairs professionals can help ensure all members of the campus communities are counted in 2020.
Reflections on #RealCollege
Nearly 550 participants gathered at #RealCollege: A National Convening on Food and Housing Insecurity in September 2018 hosted by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice. #RealCollege provided an opportunity for practitioners, researchers, students, policymakers, and activists to discuss policies and programs to foster change across higher education in support of students with basic needs insecurity. These passionate, engaged, and collaborative people came together to discuss some of the many challenges students face and to take an honest look at the reality of college today, sharing insight into what has been successful and what is being discussed at a variety of institutions. In this post, NASPA director of strategic initiatives Amy Geist reflects on her experience at #RealCollege.
Crystal Balls and Casting Runes: Predictions for HEA Reauthorization in the 116th Congress
Despite the fact that it’s only October and there are still a couple of months left in the 115th Congress, it’s now clear that reauthorization of the Higher Education Act will continue to be delayed. Having been passed out of committee on a party-line vote last December, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act – a partisan reauthorization bill written by Republican leadership of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce – remains unlikely to be brought up for a full vote on the House floor. Similarly, several hearings and statements by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee leadership from both parties asserted that HEA reauthorization would be a priority in 2018, but for talks around a bipartisan bill collapsed in the late spring and early summer of 2018. The continued delay is unfortunate as there are much-needed updates to our nation’s signature higher education law, but it does provide the opportunity for a fresh start in both the House and Senate and the prospect of a more bi-partisan process for legislation in the 116th Congress. This post by NASPA director of policy research and advocacy Teri Lyn Hinds will discuss what the future of HEA might be in the 116th Congress as well as identify policy proposals NASPA will be working to promote with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to improve outcomes for students and student affairs professionals under the next reauthorization.
THE RISE OF GET OUT THE VOTE CAMPAIGNS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES
This midterm election is undoubtedly one of the most high stakes of its kind in recent history. The country as a whole is engaged in ways that we have not seen for quite some time. What role do young people play in that engagement? Potentially, a significant one. According to the census, only 23 percent of voters aged 18 to 34 participated in the 2014 midterms; however, research suggests these numbers are subject to change, especially through the support of heightened civic engagement efforts by the higher education community. Check out this post by Krista Saleet, Director of the Public Service Center at Cornell University and the Region II Representative on NASPA's Public Policy Division to learn more!
This post originally appeared on the NASPA Blog on October 4, 2018.