Welcome to the Student Government Knowledge Community (SGKC)! As the cost of college tuition continues to rise, our institutions operate under an unprecedented amount of scrutiny. What are students gaining from their college experiences? How are colleges and universities building the next generation of leaders? Student governments vary widely in the level of influence they have on students, institutions and the communities at large. As alumni of student governments from across the country and student affairs practitioners, the SGKC believes in the power of student government to affect positive change on and off campus. We will build stronger Student Governments through a focus on improving internal processes and developing best practices that can be widely shared. Join the conversation!
In reflecting on my own experience working with the Student Government Association, I am reminded of an interaction between this body and a non-affiliated student in attendance at a recent meeting. The visiting student commented that the SGA could do more to promote their meetings to assure that students felt included and heard within the on-campus democratic process. One of the SGA members responded, accurately, that the meetings were marketed across campus using a number of methods, including social media and email, and that students should not expect personal invitations to attend. As the advisor to the group, I did not interrupt, but it did give me pause- what is the responsibility of the Student Government when it comes to convincing students to participate in the process? What obligation do they have in persuading other students to participate as active members of the campus community? Where does their duty end and individual commitment to democratic engagement begin? What is our role as higher educators to help define that line, and support students to making those connections?
This morning, NASPA director of policy research and advocacy, Teri Lyn Hinds, joined joined Sue Riseling, Executive Director of the International Association of College Law Enforcement Officers (IACLEA), David Bousquet, Immediate Past President of the IACLEA Board of Directors, Abigail Boyer, Interim Executive Director of the Clery Center, and Altmann Pannell, Director of Government and External Relations at IACLEA, at a briefing for Congressional staff on issues of campus public safety as part of IACLEA’s 10th annual Capitol Hill Day. Ms. Hinds spoke on briefly on a variety of topics including federal and state budgets and financial support for higher education, the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, and several issues related to campus safety. Her prepared remarks are available below.
In preparation for the 2019 NASPA Annual Conference, the Student Government Knowledge Community (GSKC) developed a program guide designed to draw attendees’ attention to programs, events, and other information of particular interest to attendees looking to engage with the topic of student government.
Collectively, student affairs professionals represent thousands of voices; working together we can make a powerful impression with policymakers on behalf of our students and our profession. Engaging with our representative democracy is essential to maintaining the health and function of our nation’s government, which is why NASPA invites you to take part in the National Student Affairs Day of Action on March 12, 2019. No matter your position, title, or area of expertise, as a student affairs professional there are a myriad of ways you can – and should – engage in public policy conversations for the benefit of you, your students, and your institution. Won’t you join #SAadvocates around the country on #NSADA19 to share your expertise and insight with policymakers?
The current call for public comment on the Department of Education’s proposed rule on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance, known more succinctly as Title IX, has occupied a lot of attention since it was opened on November 29, 2018. You may be following the discussions considering what the proposed rule would mean for you and the students with whom you work, and wondering how your individual perspective fits into the conversation If so, we encourage you to draft and submit your own comments by the January 28, 2019 deadline. In keeping with the civic engagement and advocacy goals and objectives of NASPA’s strategic plan, we actively encourage higher education professionals to add their expertise to the public comments submitted to the Department. We recognize, however, that many professionals may be sensitive to their institutional roles and responsibilities and hesitant to speak out on issues different from or even in contradiction of comments submitted by their employer. This post by NASPA director of policy research and advocacy, Teri Lyn Hinds, reviews why and how individuals can and should submit comments for consideration by the Department.
In late November, the Department of Education published a proposed rule on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance and opened a 60-day public comment period. While the Federal Register is not fully operational during the shutdown, public comments on the Title IX Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) are still due by January 28, and regulations.gov is functional and accepting comments. NASPA staff have developed several resources intended to help higher education leaders learn about and respond to the proposed rule. Prior to the winter break, we held several information sessions (recordings are available in the NASPA Online Learning Community) and published a 4-part blog series providing a preliminary analysis of the proposed rule. Today we released a series of Resource Guides that expand on many of the topics we highlighted in December with links to research and data that individuals and institutions can use to bolster their comments as needed.