Spring 2016 Newsletter

Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee newsletter

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T his is an election year, which typically means a more constricted route for legislation to become law. Congress will be in Washington for fewer legislative days and politics will play a bigger role in the legislative process. But there is still reason to think 2016 could be a very meaningful year for issues of interest to the fraternity and sorority world. There is a decent chance Congress will make progress on passing a higher education bill this year. The committees of jurisdiction—the Senate HELP Committee and the House Education Committee—completed work on elementary/secondary education reform legislation last year, so arguably they have the time now to focus on higher education. When debate over that legislation begins, we expect a number of conversations that matter to Greek life. Campus Safety, Title IX First, and most critically, is what Congress intends to do about improving campus safety and reducing the rate of sexual violence affecting college students. Fraternities and sororities are going to have an important seat at the table for that policy discussion and we will seek solutions consistent with the following principles: 1. Maintain Title IX's single-sex status exemption for fraternities and sororities. 2. Provide more support and resources for students affected by sexual violence. 3. Focus campus educational resources on bystander intervention, risk reduction, and social norming. 4. Prioritize due process rights for student organizations to prohibit preemptive group suspensions for the unrelated conduct of individuals. 5. Make campuses safer for all students. 6. Preserve the vital role of alumni volunteers by prohibiting schools from naming alumni volunteers and house directors as Campus Security Authorities. 7. Strengthen due process rights for all students involved in campus sexual assault cases. Greek leaders were active on these issues with Congress last year. We expect to continue those conversations as the higher education act moves through the legislative process this year. Reducing Hazing We do not currently expect Congress to look at hazing issues while working on the higher education bill. Hazing has traditionally been an issue addressed through state legislatures, but if Congress does take it up, Greeks stand ready to be a resource in determining how best to reduce the hazing rate on campus. College Affordability The higher education bill will look at college affordability issues from a number of critical perspectives. Greek students the Fraternity and Sorority P O L I T I C A L A C T I O N C O M M I T T E E ΑΒΓ Δ Ε Ζ Η Θ Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω Spring 2016 Preserving the Greek experience for future generations of student leaders You Can Make A Difference in the 2016 Elections Join the FSPAC in Supporting Greek Issues W e can't help but turn our thoughts to politics this time of year, as each newspaper, magazine, and television station is full of every last detail of the presidential race. What we need to remember is that we will have both congressional and senatorial races as well. This is where the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee (FSPAC) can shine. As you know, one of our major goals is to continue to elect Greek members, or those who support Greek issues, to Congress. We have a specific emphasis on electing more women to Congress. As a contributor, you have helped us in these efforts in the past and I would ask you to support us again this year. In October, the FSPAC held a board meeting where goals were set for the next five years. These included: • Raising $600,000 for the 2015-2016 election cycle (we are halfway there). • Attaching the Collegiate Housing and Infrastructure Act to a larger bill and ensuring its passage. • The future hiring of a full-time Executive Director. • Promoting positive public relations for the Greek system. Our FSPAC board is busy raising funds so that we will have the opportunity to contribute to congressional races. You can help in several ways. First, let us know of your strong relationship with a member of Congress. We need this information when our bills come up for consideration. Second, I ask that you to get out your checkbook or credit card and become a consistent donor. Your support is immeasurable and greatly appreciated. Finally, get out and vote in both the primary and general elections. Every vote counts! Interfraternally, Vicki Vannoy Nixon, ΔΓ President, FSPAC FSPAC PrePAred to tACkle ISSueS oF CAmPuS SAFety Legislative Update (Continued on page 4) You can make your gift today! Go to www.fspac.org and click the donate button.

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