By Kevin Kruger, NASPA President, September 5, 2017
Today, the Trump administration announced their decision to revoke the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections after a six-month wind-down. We are deeply concerned about the impact this decision has on the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children. Many of these young people are enrolled at our colleges and universities or have dreams of entering higher education to create new opportunities for their future. We remain troubled about today’s decision and the inconsistent messages about the administration's support for our Nation’s “Dreamers.”
By Teri Lyn Hinds, Director of Policy Research and Advocacy, September 8, 2017
As classes start at institutions around the country, excitement and anticipation undoubtedly abound. United States veterans and military-connected students may find extra reasons to look forward to their futures following the summer passage of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, also known as the "Forever GI Bill". In this post, NASPA Director of Policy Research and Advocacy,Teri Lyn Hinds, previews some of the key features of the Colmery GI Bill and advocate for the contributions veteran students make to campuses around the country.
By Culture of Respect, September 12, 2017
As colleges and universities work to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus, limited data are available that speak to what these efforts look like on a national level. Culture of Respect’s signature program—the Collective—offers a glimpse into this picture with data on what the 52-institution cohort is doing to support student survivors, establish clear policies, institute comprehensive prevention programming, collect and disclose data, work with diverse campus stakeholders, and engage in ongoing self-assessment. This report chronicles the myriad ways in which Collective institutions are meeting federal guidelines from the Clery Act and Title IX guidance, and to what extent they are implementing practices and programs recommended by Culture of Respect and other experts in the field. The strengths and opportunities apparent in each of these areas reflect trends relevant to the field of higher education, as institutions continue to improve and expand their efforts to address campus sexual violence.
By the American Council on Education and 77 other associations including NASPA, September 12, 2017
This letter urges Congress to come up with a bi-partisan solution to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program prior to its 6-month expiration date.
By Daniel Engber, September 12, 2017
Campus protests and a resulting decline in school enrollment is now being referred to as the “Mizzou Effect” in reference to significant declines in enrollment at the University of Missouri following a string of race-conscious student protests in 2015. This reference relates to other labels placed on anti-oppressive movement-building that have been claimed to be associated with negative outcomes. For example the “Ferguson Effect” has been used to explain a spike in murder rates and the “Kaepernick Effect” to poor television ratings for the NFL. There is no substantive evidence that the Ferguson protests or Colin Kaepernick’s choice to take a knee during the national anthem actually connect to either of these outcomes, and there is evidence that suggests otherwise. Since protests at the University of Missouri, the freshmen class has declined by 23 percent, however, the state of Missouri has also experienced large state budget cuts forcing the administration to downsize while increasing tuition. Further, while some evidence shows that the “Mizzou Effect” may be relevant at Mizzou, other campuses have not experienced a correlated decline. For instance, California’s Claremont McKenna College has not experience an enrollment drop, and Middlebury College even points to a Reverse Mizzou Effect. Anti-oppression advocates hope that a broader discussion of this issue will lead to better data availability overall.
By Alanna Vagianos, September 15, 2017
On September 7, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced a plan to rescind Title IX guidelines which will likely include the 2011 Obama-Era Dear Colleague Letter. She did not include information on process, or a timeline, but advocates have been scrambling to predict upcoming movement in an effort to stay on top of procedures in dealing with possible outcomes. This past week, 29 US Senators sent Betsy DeVos an open letter urging her to maintain the existing guidance. “The current guidance is critical to ensuring that schools understand and take seriously their responsibilities under the law, and we urge you to leave the current guidance in place,” the letter reads. “Rescinding the guidance would be a step in the wrong direction in addressing the national epidemic of campus sexual assault.”
By Megan McClean Coval, September 15, 2017
Last week the House conducted roll call votes on amendments to the Labor-HHS-Education spending package in the Appropriations bill. The bill is scheduled to cut almost $2.4 billion from the Education Department’s budget, though does not intend the level of significant cuts as proposed by the Trump Administration. Regardless, the Pell program is under attack. While the maximum Pell Grant award has increased, the 2018 Appropriations bill considers cutting upwards of $3.3 billion from Pell Grant reserve funds. While a recalibration of the $8.5 billion Pell surplus makes sense, in an attempt to balance the budget, the reserve acts as protection to students and taxpayers should the Pell program hit a funding shortfall as it has in the past. The passage of year-round Pell opened up new opportunities for low-income students, but opening up future funding instability means that the program may not end up helping students in the way it was intended.
By Reuters, September 18, 2017
The Trump administration has stated that it will be ending DACA because Obama overstepped constitutional authority by creating the program in the first place without going through Congress. However, the several lawsuits that have popped up challenging the decision to end DACA argue that the administration did not follow proper protocol in rescinding DACA, and that making enforcement promises to a segment of the population, for to revoke them, actually violates due process.
While the Policy and Advocacy Team at NASPA has been watching for movement of TX HB 46 and TX HB 50 during Texas Special Session, both failed to move forward by the end date of 8/16/2017. These bills mimic failed legislation HB 2899, a slightly more lenient form of the original TX SB 6 Bathroom Bill. TX HB 46 would forbid “political subdivisions, including a public school district” from adopting or enforcing measures to “protect a class of persons from discrimination” in regulating “access to multi-occupancy restrooms, showers or changing facilities.” HB 50 was identical except applying only to a school district board. In the past few months other states have retreated from the conversation. Additional bills of this kind are unlikely to be introduced during the 2016-2017 legislative session.
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 (pro) sanctuary legislation that extends to college campuses. Of this legislation, 9 pieces have failed, and 15 are pending, and 4 have been enacted. PA HB 14 was removed from the table on 06/22/2017. CA SB 54, a statewide sanctuary bill is in Assembly was re-referred to the Committee on Rules pursuant to assembly rule 97 on 09/07/2017.
Guns on Campus:
Upwards of 17 states are considering legislation concerning guns on campus during the current session. In the 43 pieces of legislation the Policy and Advocacy Team is tracking, 18 bills are pending, 20 have failed, and 6 have been enacted, in AR, GA, OK and TX. GA HB 280 went into effect on 07/01/2017. TX SB 11 which will allow anyone over 21 with a gun license to conceal carry was enacted on 08/16/2017. CA AB 424 was ordered to a third reading by the Committee on Appropriations on 08/31/2017.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) (Introduced 01/12/2017)
-Latest Action: 09/05/2017 Motion to Discharge Committee filed by Mr. Coffman. Petition No: 115-4
The BRIDGE Act would pass the merits of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program through Congress, and change the length of time before the need for renewal to three years.
-Primary Sponsor: Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) (Introduced 07/26/2017)
-Committees: House-Judiciary; Education and the Workforce
-Latest Action: 09/06/2017 Referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security
The Dream Act would allow these young people to earn lawful permanent residence and eventually American citizenship if they:
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