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SA Weekly: August 19

Civic Engagement Policy and Advocacy Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement
August 19, 2019 Maya Ward-Fineman NASPA

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

The ‘Public Charge’ Rule and Higher Ed “Trump administration says new regulation will ensure that immigrants are self-sufficient, but higher ed groups are concerned about impacts on legal immigrants and international students.”

Contentious Choice for Student Borrower Advocate “Consumer groups say Trump administration's choice of industry executive for student loan ombudsman shows disregard for borrowers.”

Has Admissions Changed Since the Scandal? “Amid reviews of institutional policies, some question whether anything meaningful has happened.”

Budget Compromise in Alaska “The state's governor and university officials strike a deal that will cut funding by $70 million over three years instead of a whopping $136 million immediately.”

Lawyers’ Group Disagrees on College Model of ‘Affirmative Consent’ “The American Bar Association wanted to change the definition of consent in criminal sexual assault cases that closely mirrors the definition used by college and universities -- but criticism from due process advocates blocked the move.”

Highly Educated Young People at Core of Hong Kong Protests “Students and university-educated young people are playing central roles in the protests in Hong Kong.”

Could For-Profit Question Impede Short-Term Pell? “For-profit colleges were shut out of proposed legislation to expand Pell Grants to short-term programs. They’ve offered little pushback so far, though -- a sign the sector is focused on other legislative concerns.”

Policy Update

Public Charge Presents Challenge for SA Professionals Addressing Student Food and Housing Insecurity by Diana Ali, Assistant Director of Policy Research and Advocacy

Driven by careful deliberation with senior-level staff and the consultation of NASPA membership, NASPA sign-on statements and letters of support work to advance the vision of the NASPA Strategic Plan in fulfilling the promise of higher education.

Support for the Student Loan Disclosure Act of 2019

Announced by Rep. Donna Shalala, and endorsed by NASPA

Policy Research & Advocacy

Update on Appropriations

Appropriators Warn White House Against Clawing Back Foreign Aid, The Hill, August 16, 2019

Senate GOP Plans to Divert Health, Education Funds to Border Wall, Roll Call, August 8, 2019

Since the budget deal passed in August, the Senate has moved forward in working on appropriation bills that will need to be reconciled with the House version that passed out of the chamber in June. Reporters have identified two barriers that might affect education appropriations and the ability for Congress to meet the spending bill fiscal year deadline at the end of September. Last week, Roll Call reported on a move by Senators to reduce the largest domestic spending bill in order to allocate funding for the border wall. The Hill has reported on concerns from Congress regarding a potential rescission of $4.3 billion in foreign aid appropriation funding, that the request could freeze funding through the end of the fiscal year and prevent the spending bills from being passed in time to avoid a government shutdown.

Regulatory Updates

Implementing Legal Requirements Regarding the Equal Opportunity Clause's Religious Exemption

  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published on the Federal Register on August 15, 2019
  • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, Department of Labor

Last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the upcoming release of an NPRM on the implementation of the religious exemption clause of Executive Order 11246. Bloomberg Law reported on split beliefs held by advocates following the announcement of the proposed rule, detailing how opponents of the rule are concerned with an intent to weaponize religious freedom, while proponents believe the rule will be clarifying. In the executive summary, DOL states that the rule “is also intended to make clear that religious employers can condition employment on acceptance of or adherence to religious tenets without sanction by the federal government, provided that they do not discriminate based on other protected bases (41 CFR p. 41680).”

NASPA opposes actions that restrict the rights of trans and gender non-binary communities. Read NASPA’s position statement on the protection of trans and gender non-binary individuals’ rights.

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

Around NASPA

Homeless College Students: Are We Addressing the Issue with the Same Vigor as Food Insecurity by Jeffrey N. Waple, James E. Scott Academy

Sustainability at Orientation by Bryan McGrath, Sustainability Knowledge Community

We Have the Capacity to Transform the Campus Mental Health Crisis into Opportunity by Mike Brody, James E. Scott Academy