The Rise and Fall of the Bathroom Bill: State Legislation Affecting Trans & Gender Non-Binary People
The tenuous nature of trans and gender non-binary students’ rights has remained in the spotlight for the last several years, with media attention focusing both on the discrimination faced by LGBTQIA students in education and the ways that those students are fighting back. NASPA has tracked consistent rollbacks from the current administration, which seem to correlate with an onslaught of discriminatory “bathroom bills” which started appearing at the state-level during the 2017 and 2018 legislative cycles. In 2019, only Indiana (IN HB 1525) has introduced a traditional ‘bathroom bill.’ Measures moving forward in 7 states primarily work to expand the rights of trans and gender non-binary individuals, while discriminatory measures in Tennessee, Georgia, and Texas target the LGBTQIA community through criminalizing trans and gender non-binary body exposure in public facilities, and under the guise of religious liberty.
April 1st NASPA Policy Update
Have you seen that sexual assault response legislation was signed into law in both South Dakota and Utah this past week? In this week's update you'll find NASPA publications, state and federal legislative updates, regulatory advancements, and links to sign-on letter templates and resources so you can get involved today!
Campus Free Speech: What #SAPros Need to Know About the Executive Order, State Legislation
Free speech on college campuses is once again taking center stage in national headlines following President Trump’s Executive Order on Improving Free Inquiry, Transparency, and Accountability at Colleges and Universities, signed Thursday, March 21, 2019. Most, if not all, colleges and universities are already complying with their responsibilities to protect students’ expressive rights, utilizing appropriate content-neutral time, place, and manner guidelines. However, the threat of as-yet-unknown action by federal agencies that award significant research grant funds to institutions may result in a restriction, rather than an expansion, of intellectual diversity on college campuses. So far in 2019, NASPA's policy and advocacy team are tracking 37 pieces of state legislation related to free speech, of which 26 bills in 15 states would require institutions to designate all outside areas of campus as traditional public forums or otherwise prohibit the designation of free speech zones. Some include additional restrictions related to institutions’ ability to disinvite speakers, assess fees for anticipated security related to possible protest activity, or prohibit campus leaders from speaking on “public policy controversies of the day”. Student affairs professionals are encouraged to reach out to legislators to express their concerns with legislation under consideration that would limit the time or ability of institutions to ensure campus safety.
March 25th NASPA Policy Update
Did you see what NASPA has to say about the Free Speech Executive Order released by President Trump from last week? What about our ask as a part of the Student Aid Alliance for student aid programs in FY'20 appropriations funding? In this week's update you'll find NASPA sign-on letters, state and federal legislative updates, regulatory advancements, and links to sign-on letter templates and resources so you can get involved today!
State Investment in Higher Ed: Free College and Promise Programs in 2019
State budgets represent the foundation of how our government invests in creating an informed and educated citizenry and workforce. Tuition prices in many states are often set by the state legislature and decisions about institutional funding allocations can work either to exacerbate or alleviate state-level educational opportunity gaps. As our national economy continues to recover, albeit slowly, from the 2008 recession, state budgets are shifting toward a greater investment in education. According to recent analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts, at least 15 states now cover college tuition for at least some students. The “free college” conversation continues, with 81 pieces of legislation across 29 states currently included on the Education Commission of the States’ State Policy Watchlist. The policies vary and almost none are truly open to all students for all institutions, but states are actively taking up the charge to address college costs and, in some cases, increase access for low-income and historically underrepresented groups. This post by NASPA director of policy research and advocacy, Teri Lyn Hinds, reviews some key terms and considerations of the policies for student affairs professionals as well as provides a brief overview of equity considerations in free college proposals. Student affairs professionals in states considering free college programs can reach out to their legislators to advocate for proposals that will better serve all students by offering concrete suggestions for improving the policies or even by providing examples of how the proposals would impact students they work with.