Dear NASPA Member,
Today we witnessed several significant markers: the transition of presidential administrations, the inauguration of the first woman and first Black and Asian person as vice president, and a shift in the majority party in the Senate. All of these transitions took place against a backdrop of fear that the violence we experienced at the U.S. Capitol two weeks ago would be repeated. And all of these transitions have significance for the work of student affairs educators and for NASPA.
During a national reckoning with racism and white supremacy, as well as a global pandemic, all of which President Biden named in his inaugural address, we find reason to be hopeful about the significance of what we witnessed today. None of this means we have an easy road; in fact, we know that we must be ready for strident opposition from those who question the results of the election. Student affairs professionals are at the forefront of this preparation and work, and NASPA is committed more than ever to supporting you. We must help our students understand the importance of upholding democratic principles in the face of such opposition and help them differentiate truth from disinformation.
NASPA has worked for the past several weeks to identify executive and legislative priorities for the Biden administration on critical issues that include DACA, Title IX, open expression, immigration, pandemic aid, and borrower defense. Undoing the harmful effects of the past four years and advocating for further change to advance access, equity, and justice are the top policy priorities for the Association.
We have hope that new leadership will bring a renewed promise for millions of youth — including undocumented, international, and justice-impacted students — that they can access the undeniable benefits of higher education. We are excited to have a first lady, Dr. Jill Biden, whose commitment to higher education will help to influence public policy and who intends to keep teaching in the community college setting. And, finally, we remain steadfast in our commitment to you and our collective work to advance equity, respect, and civic-mindedness.