By Diana Ali, Policy Analyst, June 28, 2018
Collectively, student affairs professionals represent thousands of voices; working together we can make a powerful noise 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 first ever National Student Affairs Day of Action (NSADA) this July 17. 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. We’ve made it easy for you to join #SAadvocates across the country by taking part in the NSADA and through providing a number of resources and tools for you to use in your participation!
By Sarice Greenstein, Assistant Director, Culture of Respect, July 5, 2018
“When I transitioned to working professionally with colleges and universities on improving their responses to campus sexual violence, I was nervous. I did not want to the perpetuate frequently-aired criticisms of the movement: an over-emphasis on moral outrage only about violence against privileged bodies and identities; an over-reliance on binary thinking about who commits sexual violence and who experiences it; and, an uncontested examination of the role of criminal justice system in preventing and responding to violence. Yet, over my two years working on Culture of Respect, NASPA’s initiative to help colleges and universities address sexual violence, I have found the work rewarding precisely because of the many opportunities there are to define and redefine what the campus sexual violence movement can accomplish. One of those rewarding moments, was attending SUNY Spectrum conference last month in Albany, NY….”
By Eric Kelderman, The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 27, 2018
The announcement that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy would be retiring prior to midterm elections created an uproar of uncertainty and confusion across the county. Since the announcements lawyers and analysts have expressed mixed concerns regarding what this could mean for higher education. Since the selection of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, the Supreme Court has already voted conservatively regarding several issues impacting higher education such as their recent decision to uphold Trump’s travel ban and to strike down mandatory membership fees for public-sector unions. Kennedy often voted conservatively on higher education issues, but was considered a moderate and often played the swing vote toward the latter half of his career. Kennedy acted as a key voter in the affirmative action ruling Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, free speech ruling Garcetti v. Ceballos, and a First Amendment ruling that denied recognition to a Christian student group that excluded gay students from membership.
By Mike Lillis and Rafael Bernal, The Hill, July 8, 2018
While a growing number of Democrats have indicated they would like to see U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) abolished, the administration is asking Congress for $8.3 billion in discretionary funding for ICE in 2019, an increase of $967 million. Democratic resistance poses an issues as spending bills require a level of consensus across party aisles. Republicans have been responding to Democrats by pointing out that should ICE be abolished, certain undocumented immigrants who commit violent crimes could pose a threat to the country if left unchecked.
By Andrew Kreighbaum, The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2018
The Department of Education was scheduled to start reshaping the role of private debt collection firms in handling student loans this month, but has put these plans on hold after a warning from a recent Senate spending package. The Department was planning on pulling defaulted borrower accounts from five private contractors and relocating the accounts to 11 smaller private companies. Higher education advocates noted that the immediate transfer of accounts would pose a threat on borrowers looking to rehabilitate loans and make progress on fixing their credit. The transfers could also result in thousands of lost jobs at the five major firms currently handling the accounts. While the Senate bill is not close to being enacted, the language it includes has caused the Department to take pause for the time being.
By Christopher Cadelago, Nancy Cook, Eliana Johnson, and Matthew Nussbaum, Politico, July 9, 2018
Multiple sources have now confirmed that President Trump has reached a decision to who he will nominate to the Supreme Court. The sources have not revealed who the pick will be, but sources have indicated earlier in the day that likely candidates include Judges Thomas Hardiman and Brett Kavanaugh. President Trump has indicated via Twitter that the selection will be announced tonight at 9pm.
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: Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) (Introduced 06/25/2018)
-Latest Action: Senate- 06/25/2018 Read twice and referred to Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
This bill encourages students to enter into public service careers by waiving federal loan interest for nurses, teachers, law enforcement, and other public service professionals. The measure would also expand public service loan forgiveness eligibility as well.
-Primary Sponsors: Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) (Introduced 06/19/2018)
-Latest Action: House- 06/27/2018 underwent two roll call votes and failed by recorded vote: 121-301
This is the compromise immigration bill that provides a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals. Unfortunately this legislation is stringent to a point that it further criminalizes undocumented individuals and lacks inclusivity. NASPA is officially against the passage of this legislation.
-A Proposed Rule by the Education Department on 07/03/2018
-Office of Postsecondary Education, Department of Education
Summary: “The Secretary delays, until July 1, 2020, the effective date of selected provisions of the final regulations entitled Program Integrity and Improvement published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2016 (the 2016 final regulations). The Secretary is delaying the effective date of selected provisions of the 2016 final regulations based on concerns recently raised by regulated parties and to ensure that there is adequate time to conduct negotiated rulemaking to reconsider selected provisions of 2016 final regulations and, as necessary, develop revised regulations.”
-A Notice by the Education Department on 07/09/2018
-Comment period the ends on 09/07/2018
-Federal Student Aid (FSA), Department of Education (ED)
Summary: “Institutions participating in the Federal Perkins Loan program use the assignment form to assign loans to the Department for collection without recompense, transferring the authority to collect on the loan. This request is for continued approval off the paper based assignment form and the electronic process. The electronic process will allow for batch processing as well as individual processing. The same information is being requested in both processing methods.”
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