By Stacy Heldman-Holguin, Month of April
In this post, Public Policy Division Region VI Representative, Stacy Heldman-Holguin, brings the student affairs perspective to the current public policy conversation. In this three-part series, you’ll learn more about what comprises public policy, why student affairs professionals should pay attention to policy issues and conversations, and how to get informed and become involved in policy conversations relevant to your field.
By Sarice Greenstein, April 25, 2017
NASPA is proud to share that 53 institutions have demonstrated their commitment to addressing campus sexual violence by joining the 2017 cohort of the Culture of Respect Collective.
By Department of Education Press Office, April 24, 2017
In response to the current suspension of the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT), Secretary DeVos has announced new flexibilities available to institutions for verification of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) information. Alternative options include:
By Kristin Tyndall, April 24, 2017
In the past 100 days we have seen a repeal of Obama era regulations regarding lender accountability and borrower protections, along with the repeal of important protections for transgender individuals. We have also seen a suspension of the Internal Revenue Service Data Retrieval Tool. We have not seen a replacement for any of these regulation repeals. We have also not yet seen any drastic financial cuts. President Trump and Secretary DeVos have yet to appoint a number of positions within the Department, including the Office of Civil Rights, so the future of the Department remains uncertain.
By Mary Fulton, Education Commission of the States, April 24, 2017
Guided pathways programming provides students with a streamlined process to complete a degree of program with road-mapping and assistance along the way. Education Commission of the States analyzes guided pathways legislation during the 2016 and 2017 state legislative sessions.
By Sara Garcia, April 26, 2017
The recent repeal of Obama era policy memos designed to protect student borrowers have left many experiencing student loan debt worried about receiving the relief they were once promised. However, the Center for American Progress reports that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has initiated a new Student Loan Servicing Market Monitoring Initiative, which will collect information on federal and private student loan servicers and use these data for the creation of more comprehensive borrower protections.
By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf, April 27, 2017
After a week of controversy, Ann Coulter announced that she would not be speaking at University of California, Berkeley, due to potential violent threats made against her. The incident is part of a larger free speech debate, in which advocates argue that Berkeley has a history of stifling conservative views. The university responded that they had good reason for refusing to host Coulter, and that it was an issue of student safety and security. Administrators noted that they offered to host Coulter May 2, based on the availability of a more secure hosting venue.
By Adam Harris, May 1, 2017
Congress has negotiated a spending bill for the 2017 fiscal year. This bill will increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and will reinstate year-round Pell. While appropriated funding for the Pell Grant will remain the same, the bill includes the addition of summer Pell funding. The bill also includes a $7.5 million increase in funding for institutional development programs aimed at supporting master’s degree programs at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
This past week, we have not seen movement regarding discriminatory “bathroom” legislation. So far, 16 states have introduced bathroom bills during the 2017-2018 state legislative sessions. WA HB 1011 is in the House and was reintroduced and retain in present status on 04/24/2017.
In the past few months, we have seen 11 states consider 18 pieces of anti-sanctuary legislation that would affect college campuses. 6 states have introduced sanctuary legislation that extends to college campuses. Of this legislation, 5 pieces (all in MS) have failed, and 19 are pending, with 3, NJ, CA, and IN having passed the 2nd chamber. IN SB 423 passed the House and was signed by the President of the Senate on 04/25/2017. TX SB 4 passed the house, with the latest status of “amendment fails of adoption” on 04/27/2017.
Guns on Campus:
Around 14 states are considering legislation concerning guns on campus. During the past week, we saw movement on OK HB 1550, which has now passed both the House and the Senate and was sent to the Governor on 04/25/2017.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Eleanor Norton (D-DC) (Introduced 04/14/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce
-Latest Action: 04/14/2017 Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce
Works to append the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to prohibit discrimination in the payment of wages on account of sex, race, or national origin. Relates to institutions of higher education in that the wage gap persists across educational levels. Legislation cites that in 2012, among students who graduated in 2007-2008, women working full time had paid off 33 percent of their student loan debt on average, while men working full time had paid off 44 percent of their debt.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) (Introduced 04/26/2017)
-Committees: House-Education and the Workforce
-Latest Action: 04/26/2017 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Aims to prevent harassment at institutions of higher education by requiring institutions receiving federal student aid to enact anti-harassment policies.