What will you commit to doing on July 17, 2018 to advocate for students and the student affairs profession? Add your voice to #SAadvocates across the country for the 2018 National Student Affairs Day of Action!
The National Student Affairs Day of Action coincides with the 2018 National Hill Days and is designed to help student affairs practitioners develop their skills and master approaches to promote and participate in advocacy and activism on a city, state and national level. NASPA Hill Days and National Student Affairs Day of Action provide a range of options for student affairs professionals who want to get involved, including an in-person event in Washington, D.C., online live briefings throughout the spring, and suggestions for engaging with policymakers in participants’ own communities. Each resource will provide specific information for engaging in legislative advocacy and educate practitioners on current and emerging federal and state legislation and policies affecting higher education within the United States.
National Student Affairs Day of Action: July 17, 2018
Hone your skills to implement efforts within your home states to support your institution’s, your own, and your students’ civic learning and democratic engagement. The National Student Affairs Day of Action will encourage student affairs professionals to engage in advocacy at the local, state, and/or federal level on issues within the NASPA Public Policy Agenda.
Title IX and campus sexual assault response and prevention
Since the start of the Trump administration, advocates have tried to predict upcoming changes to the Department of Education (ED) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and Title IX guidance and protections regarding both protections for trans individuals and in the area of campus responsibilities for sexual assault prevention and response. Participants interested in these topics may have opportunities to engage with ED staff members and members of Congress to affirm the needs to secure equal protections for trans individuals and to inform OCR guidance to campuses on sexual assault prevention and response.
Higher Education Act reauthorization
NASPA is committed to efforts that influence policies to facilitate the ability of students and families to make informed choices and those that increase college affordability, increase access and availability of financial aid, and decrease student indebtedness, particularly for students from backgrounds that have had fewer resources to support college preparation and access. As Congress engages in hearings and drafting legislation for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, participants can be influential in sharing the stories of their students and the need to ensure they have both the information and the resources to be successful in their postsecondary endeavors.
Immigration and international students
In announcing the rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for undocumented immigrants, President Trump called on Congress to pass legislation that would protect undocumented immigrants that arrived as children, but it’s unclear whether or what legislation may eventually pass or on what timeline. At the same time, changes to visa processing and requirements will have lasting impacts on international students studying in the US. Helping policymakers to see the direct human impacts these policy changes have for our students may lead to policies that both protect US interests and recognize the essential contributions of immigrants and international to our national economy.
Free speech and intellectual diversity on college campuses
NASPA recognizes the central role that student affairs professionals play in fostering democratic campuses that bring together and give voice to diverse people, thoughts, opinions, and points of view. Ensuring that all have the opportunity to speak must be balanced with an understanding of the historic and structural inequalities embedded in our policies. The very real presence of historical, social, and political power dynamics can neither be ignored nor become the sole consideration in navigating controversial topics and issues on campus. Policymakers sometimes have a distorted view of how these dynamics play out on campus, so participant conversations can shed light on actual campus policies and practices to reassure lawmakers that freedom of speech is alive and well on college campuses.
Materials to support letter writing campaigns on select state-level issues and a series of live briefings covering current legislation and regulatory opportunities to engage around will be provided throughout the spring. Check out the National Student Affairs Day of Action Resources page to learn how you can get involved!
Let other #SAadvocates know what you’re planning for the National Student Affairs Day of Action on social media! Share ideas, find others to partner with, and help raise the visibility of our voices with elected officials to make an even bigger impact on issues #SAadvocates for!
2018 NASPA Hill Days: July 16-17, 2018
Did you apply to join us in Washington? Notifications to all applicants were sent in mid-March, 2018 and we’ll be providing more information on registration and hotel reservations in early April, 2018 by email. Attendees at the inaugural in-person 2018 NASPA Hill Days event will work in teams with other participants to identify talking points on key issues, practice successful approaches for meeting with legislators, and meet with members of their Congressional delegations in Washington, D.C.
The 2018 NASPA Hill Days offers training and practice in civic engagement for student affairs professionals at all levels from new professionals to Vice Presidents. This two-day event in our nation’s capital will engage institutional representatives, including Vice Presidents of Student Affairs and senior level professionals and new professionals working in student affairs. Direct training on in-person legislative advocacy from national experts in higher education will precede a day of scheduled small meetings with attendees’ Congressional delegations in the House and Senate. Participants will be able to choose a track that offers either foundational or advanced training on Congressional activism around issue areas in alignment with the NASPA Public Policy Agenda.
Pre-event Live Briefings: Monthly from February through July
Whether advocating from home or joining us in DC in July, the NASPA Hill Days Live Briefing Series will introduce student affairs professionals to the most effective and appropriate ways to engage with legislators and policymakers on topics related to higher education. These live briefings are free and open to both NASPA members and non-members who are hoping to learn more about policymaking and legislative engagement. Briefings will include background on relevant federal and/or state policy conversations and how the issue affects students and/or student affairs professionals on campus.
Please register below for the following dates (or to access the recordings of past briefings):
All briefings will be recorded and archives will be made available through the NASPA Online Learning Community. The policy live briefings will take place monthly between February and July 2018 from 2-3pm EST, leading up to the NASPA Hill Days and National Student Affairs Day of Action events.
Please note that many of the issues discussed in the 2018 Hill Days Live Briefing Series are changing rapidly so be sure to connect to resources from the NASPA Policy and Advocacy website for the latest updates! NASPA Policy and Advocacy staff regularly post on policy issues to the Research & Policy Institute blog. You can sign up to receive a weekly digest of all RPI blog posts or subscribe to the Monthly Policy Update email through your NASPA member portal. Updated talking points and sample language that can be used to reach out to federal and/or state policymakers will be provided on the National Student Affairs Day of Action Resources page in late June for each briefing topic, drawing specific connections to current legislation or regulatory issues under consideration by policymakers.
As a result of participating in the NASPA Hill Days and/or the National Student Affairs Day of Action, individuals will be able to:
articulate the benefits and goals of meeting with elected officials as a member of the higher education community to pursue policy and legislative outcomes on behalf of the field;
identify the primary policy goals and legislative issues of NASPA’s Public Policy Division, and how those goals are advanced through Hill Day meetings with legislators;
identify the purpose and components of effective meetings with legislative officials;
plan an effective agenda for an in-person advocacy meeting with elected officials at the state and national level;
practice and participate in meetings around higher education policy with elected officials;
articulate the important role that higher education officials play in supporting specific policy making and legislative efforts at the national and state levels;
express the benefits of creating and maintaining relationships with government officials in a variety of institutions, in addition to those elected to office; and
identify the role that NASPA plays in public policy making on behalf of its members.