Joint Statement by ACHA and the American Council on Education on Safeguarding Student Health and Well-Being

March 29, 2023

As leading higher education organizations, the American College Health Association and the American Council on Education (ACE) support the efforts of our colleges and universities to provide a high-quality educational experience to all who attend. Central to those efforts is the student. In order to fully benefit from all that the college experience can offer, students must have a safe and supportive campus environment, one that nourishes individual well-being and supports student academic success.

However, governmental policies that negatively impact colleges and college students in general, including those that single out vulnerable, persistently marginalized populations of students, undermine the ability of colleges and universities to provide that environment. Such policies could make it difficult for institutions to maximize diversity and inclusion and ensure that students have access to a range of basic health measures, such as reproductive care, infectious disease mitigation steps, or services related to student gender identity, and would violate individual privacy and security by mandating the disclosure of sensitive student information.

It is important that higher education institutions not be prevented from implementing the policies and practices needed to create a stable learning environment for their students. This is critical if students are to reach their academic goals and become engaged, contributing members of our democratic society. We urge policymakers to support, not undermine, the efforts of colleges and universities to protect the health and well-being of all students, especially those from vulnerable and persistently marginalized groups.