Alongside institutional policy, local, state, and federal legislation affects the practice of higher education professionals every day in their work to educate students. Our Policy and Advocacy focus area serves the need for timely information and analyses related to emerging policy, and offers resources to help you understand evolving higher ed law curated by our research and policy team.
Empowered by the work of NASPA’s Public Policy Division, and featuring numerous high-impact professional development opportunities such as NASPA Hill Days and the Certificate Program in Student Affairs Law and Policy, this focus area aims to educate higher ed pros about the legislative, compliance, and policy issues relevant in today’s higher ed landscape.
“On Wednesday night, eight people were murdered by a lone gunman at three different Asian businesses in the Atlanta region. Six of the eight victims were Asian women. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims, and we join them and our Asian American community in grief, anger, and mourning for their loss. We believe it is important to reaffirm our earlier statement about anti-Asian violence and xenophobia and to express our full solidarity with our Asian and Asian Pacific Islander Desi American community. What happened in Atlanta added to a year of escalating violence directed at Asians and Asian Americans across the U.S.”
“On March 9, 2021 the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed its defense of the Public Charge rule. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 introduced “public charge” as a way to lower the perceived risk of immigrants developing a dependency on the United States government for support. The policy was expanded through regulatory action under the Trump administration, which created unpredictability regarding access to public safety benefits for food and housing insecure immigrant students. NASPA applauds the Biden administration for expressing support for immigration policy reform, including issuance of Executive Order 14012, which instructed administrative agencies to review current guidance, resulting in this most recent decision.”
“This is a time that calls on leaders in higher education, industry, media, and government to name the racism and xenophobia that is so much a part of the American story. President Biden’s January 26 Executive Order to combat xenophobia against Asian Americans, especially in light of the pandemic, is a positive step and one that we must actively commit to enact.”
“Today we witnessed several significant markers: the transition of presidential administrations, the inauguration of the first woman and first Black and Asian person as vice president, and a shift in the majority party in the Senate. All of these transitions took place against a backdrop of fear that the violence we experienced at the U.S. Capitol two weeks ago would be repeated. And all of these transitions have significance for the work of student affairs educators and for NASPA.”
”Racialized violence in this country has deep, deep roots, and digging out requires a combination of strategies: organizing, protest, electoral engagement, accountability for those who commit violence, legislative and policy changes, and more. There are no easy answers or fixes. This work must not fall solely on the shoulders of people of color. White people must join as allies in condemning racial violence and as committed partners in action and organizing.”
“The long-awaited final rule is the first set of formal regulations issued by the Department on this topic. We appreciate the attention of the Secretary and staff of the Office of Civil Rights to these issues. Unfortunately, these final regulations will require colleges and universities to comply with and create processes that could ultimately be detrimental to students. There is much in the rule that concerns us upon our initial review, such as requirements for institutions to implement procedures that are overly judicial and adversarial in nature."
Statements and Comments on Recent Policy Matters NASPA Has Joined in the Last Year
Collective advocacy, the intentional leveraging of many voices on a single issue or set of issues, is a powerful and effective way to get lawmakers’ attention. Whether you join in to add your voice on issues that affect our students and their ability to access and complete their education, or organize a call-in or letter writing campaign to mobilize others, your voice is needed. The list below represents a sampling of current calls to action, though please note that calls for an institutional commitment or comment should be handled in cooperation with your campus government affairs or senior leadership team.
NASPA is a member of the Student Aid Alliance, which works to support student financial aid through the federal budget and appropriations process. You can reach out to Congress to join them with just a few quick minutes!