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SA Weekly: August 12

Civic Engagement Policy and Advocacy Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
August 12, 2019 Maya Ward-Fineman NASPA

Welcome to SA Weekly, your destination for higher ed news, NASPA research and policy, constituent blogs, and more.

Title IX a Sticking Point in Talks Over New Higher Ed Law “Resolving differences over sexual assault procedures, including requirements for live hearings, emerges as one of the biggest challenges for negotiating a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.”

The Search for a Moderate Solution to Debt Relief “The student debt relief plans from Democratic presidential contenders Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg offer targeted loan forgiveness, drawing contrast with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.”

An Assist for DACA Students “A change to in-state tuition requirements at the University of Michigan will likely benefit some of the institution's most vulnerable student populations.”

A Potential Title IX Supreme Court Case? “A split in two federal appeals courts opinions could set up a court challenge at the highest level and give clarity on due process in campus sexual violence cases.”

Baylor Student Activists Appeal to NCAA “LGBTQ advocates want the association to intervene and help break what they call a long-standing pattern of discrimination at one of the nation's most prominent religious institutions.”

Union Shake-Up in California “CSU's faculty union suddenly disaffiliates from the state's largest K-12 teachers' union.”

No, Half of Young Americans Don't Believe College Is Unnecessary “Headlines about a recent survey of millennials about college and student debt suggest many rethink getting a degree. We explore the actual numbers.”

Policy Update

Beyond Schoolhouse Rock!: How a Rule Becomes Final

By Diana Ali, Assistant Director of Policy Research and Advocacy

Policy Research & Advocacy

Haidak v. University of Massachusetts-Amherst

August 6, 2019

Last week, the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals found that the University of Massachusetts at Amherst violated due process rights in a Title IX claim by suspending the complainant for give months without providing a prior notice or a hearing. The circuit court also upheld the district court’s ruling that Amherst did not violate rights in expelling him after conducting a fair expulsion hearing. The opinion differs from a former case on due process by delineating that cross-examination questions need not necessarily come from students or their representatives. A Sixth Circuit ruling last year found that students or their proxies should be allowed to directly question their accusers in sexual assault adjudication. Inside Higher Ed reported that the difference in opinion could lead to a Supreme Court ruling down the line. 

Voluntary Resolution between Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Michigan State University

August 12, 2019

The Department of Health and Human Services recently reached an agreement with Michigan State University pertaining to an ongoing civil rights investigation on acts of sexual abuse committed by former sports doctor Larry Nassar. The agreement institutes policy changes to sexual misconduct adjudication and patient examinations, in order to address federal violations of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and Title IX.

Regulatory Updates

Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds Final Rule

  • Final rule to be published on the Federal Register on August 14, 2019
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security

In October 2018, DHS published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the federal register titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds.” Public comment on the Public Charge NPRM closed on December 10, 2018 and over 265,000 comments were received. The final rule has been released by the Department of Homeland Security, and will be uploaded to the federal register on August 14. The rule will make it difficult for immigrants receiving a wide array of public benefits to receive a green card, and according to a Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) factsheet using American Community Survey (ACS) data, the rule, could impact 26 million United States residents. The final rule does not include federal student loans or education-related financial assistance under the public benefits listed; however, based on the anticipated effects, the rule will permeate the higher education community regardless, creating additional barriers for immigrant students, faculty, staff, and their families.  

Want to submit comments of your own? Check out NASPA’s Q&A on submitting public comments