By Diana Ali, Policy Analyst, July 12, 2018
Get excited! NASPA’s National Student Affairs Day of Action (NSADA) is less than a week away. Last week’s post, “Tools for #SAadvocates to Participate in the July 17th National Student Affairs Day of Action,” detailed three primary tools #SAadvocates can use to participate in our representative democracy this coming Tuesday: background briefs, position statements, and sample letters. Sample letters provide suggested language, talking points, and instructions that can be easily tailored to the specific issues an individual or institution wants to address. You might be wondering however, why send a letter, when a text or email is so much easier? Today’s post considers the value of letter writing campaigns and provides guidance in using this tool effectively in elevating the voice of student affairs professionals during the NSADA.
By Diana Ali, Policy Analyst, July 19, 2018
Though it’s only been a couple of days, initial reports from participants and observers indicate that NASPA Hill Days and the inaugural National Student Affairs Day of Action (NSADA) were resounding successes! Forty-five student affairs professionals, including three NASPA interns, representing 19 states, spanning our nation from Alaska to Ohio to Florida, participated in more than 50 meetings with Congressional Members and their staff on July 17, 2018. They were joined in their efforts by colleagues from around the country on social media who shared their own advocacy efforts with the #SAadvocates hashtag. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more about NASPA Hill Days and NSADA direct from the participants! In the meantime, for those who weren’t able to join us, please take a look at the recap below to catch up on what you missed.
By Matthew Choi, The Texas Tribune, July 11, 2018
A Texas law allowing students to bring guns into classrooms is facing a lawsuit challenging the law heads to federal appeals court. Two years ago University of Austin professors filed a lawsuit against the state arguing that the law infringed First Amendment rights to academic freedom given the “chilling effect” brought on when students bring guns into classrooms. A federal judge turned down the request by the professors to be able to prohibit firearms in their classrooms and dismissed the case last year. However, the suit has now gone to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where it will be hearing oral arguments this month.
By Andew Siddons and Kellie Mejdrich, Roll Call July 12, 2018
On July 11, the House Appropriations Committee approved a $177.1 billion fiscal 2019 bill to fund the departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services. It’s unclear if it will be brought to the floor for a vote. The bill would give the Education Department a $43 million boost, funding it at $71 billion in fiscal 2019, which begins October first. The proposal increases the budget for TRIO, career and technical initiatives, and early childhood education initiatives. The bill rejects the Trump administration's proposed cuts to several areas, including the Office for Civil Rights, Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, Impact Aid and after-school programs. One of the amendments added to the bill in committee included language to overturn the 1997 Flores agreement that separates undocumented children from their parents in detention while awaiting trial.
By Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed July 20, 2018
Inside Higher Ed has released its 2018 Survey of College and University Business Officers. Major findings are bulleted from Lederman’s article below:
By Annie Wu, Epoch Times July 23, 2018
Last month, the U.S. issued restrictions on granting visas to Chinese graduate students in high-tech fields. This has been a part of a strategy to limit intellectual property theft by the Trump Administration. However, the first public case has emerged of a top Chinese neuroscientist being denied a visa to attend a workshop organized by the U.S. National Science Foundation on July 23 and 24. Rao Yi is dean of the Peking University School of Life Sciences and actually lived and worked in the U.S. for over 20 years before returning to China in 2007 and later surrendering his U.S. citizenship.
Since the start of the 2018 State Legislative Session, the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has seen movement on 26 bills across 14 states. This summary includes changes observed concerning tracked legislation over the past few weeks. NJ S 705, which was enacted on 07/03/2018, will create a Transgender Equality Taskforce to assess legal and societal barriers to equality and provide recommendations to the New Jersey Legislature. HI HB 1489, which was enacted on 07/06/2018, works to prohibit and prevent discrimination on the basis of sex, including gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation, in any state educational program or activity or those that receive state financial assistance.
In-State Tuition for Undocumented Immigrants
Since the start of the 2018 State Legislative Session, NASPA’s Policy and Advocacy Team has seen movement on 26 bills across 14 states regarding in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. This summary includes changes observed concerning tracked legislation over the past few weeks. CA AB 2210, which was read a second time, amended, and re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations on 07/05/2018, would extend resident tuition to refugees and holders of certain special immigrant visas.
Guns on Campus:
Since the start of January, the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has seen movement on 36 bills across 16 states. This summary includes changes observed concerning tracked legislation over the past few weeks. KS HB 2042, which died in conference on 06/05/2018, would have removed restrictions on concealed carry on campuses.
-Primary Sponsor: Doris Matsui (D-CA) (Introduced 06/21/2018)
-Latest Action: House- 07/10/2018 Added four new co-sponsors
This bill supports institutions in fully implementing Title IX and sexual assault prevention and response policies in all areas of education.
-A Proposed Rule by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on 07/17/2018
-Comment period that ends on 09/17/2018
-U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security
Summary: “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to adjust fees charged by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to individuals and organizations. DHS proposes to raise the fee for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Form I-901, Fee Remittance for Certain F, J, and M Nonimmigrants, for nonimmigrants seeking to become academic (F visa) or vocational (M visa) students from $200 to $350. For most categories of individuals seeking to become exchange (J visa) visitors, DHS proposes to increase the fee from $180 to $220. For those seeking admission as J exchange visitors in the au pair, camp counselor, and summer work or travel program participant categories, DHS proposes to maintain the fee at $35. In addition to raising the student and exchange visitor fees, DHS proposes to increase the fee for submitting a school certification petition from $1,700 to $3,000. DHS proposes to maintain the fee for an initial school site visit at the current level of $655, but clarify that, with the effective date of the rule, DHS would exercise its current regulatory authority to charge the site visit fee not only when a certified school changes its physical location, but also when it adds a new physical location or campus. DHS proposes to establish and clarify two new fees: a $1,250 fee to submit a school recertification petition and a $675 fee to submit an appeal or motion following a denial or withdrawal of a school petition. Adjusting fees would ensure fee levels are sufficient to recover the full cost of activities of the program and would establish a fairer balance of the recovery of SEVP operational costs between beneficiary classes.”
-A Notice by the Education Department on 07/19/2018
-Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education (ED)
Summary: “In the Federal Register of February 14, 2018, the Department of Education (Department) published a final rule (the delay rule) delaying, until July 1, 2019, the effective date of selected provisions of the final regulations entitled Student Assistance General Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Family Education Loan Program, William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program (the 2016 final regulations), published in the Federal Register on November 1, 2016. This rule inadvertently omitted regulations from the list in the “dates” section of regulations for which the effective date is delayed. This document removes the regulations that we intended to delay from the text of the Code of Federal Regulations and specifies July 1, 2019 as their effective date.”
-A Notice by the Education Department on 07/19/2018
-Comment period ends on 08/20/2018
-Department of Education (ED)
Summary: “This provides notice of the re-establishment of the matching program between the U.S. Department of Education (Department) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). The purpose of the matching program is to assist the Department in facilitating borrowers who owe a balance on one or more student loans under title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), should they wish to do so, to more efficiently and effectively apply for a total and permanent disability (TPD) discharge of their student loans. The matching program also will assist the Department in allowing recipients of Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants under title IV of the HEA who are obligated to repay due to failure to complete their agreement to serve, should they wish to do so, to more efficiently and effectively apply for a TPD discharge of their agreement to serve.”
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