ACHA Comments and Statements

The following are comments and statements that ACHA has published in response to current events and political news.*

ACHA Statement on the Travel Ban

The American College Health Association (ACHA) expresses its profound disappointment with the recent Supreme Court ruling in Trump v. Hawaii. This controversial case, also known as the “travel ban” case, restricts travel from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela, and North Korea. This policy will bar citizens of these countries from working in, traveling to, and studying in the United States. Read the full statement here.

June 27, 2018

Changes to Final Rule for Association Health Plans

On June 19, 2018, the Trump Administration issued a final rule that relaxes provisions for association health plans (AHPs). The intention and historic role of association plans is to allow geographically or industrially related small businesses to band together into “associations” to purchase health insurance for their employees. Practically speaking, these plans have a long history of fraud which led to extensive regulation in the 1990s. Read the full statement here.

June 27, 2018

ACHA Statement on the Termination of Temporary Protected Status

In recent months, the Trump Administration has announced the end of special immigration status for hundreds of thousands of refugees living in the United States. These refugees came to this country in the wake of war, natural disaster, and violence, taking advantage of a special accommodation known as “Temporary Protected Status” (TPS). Over 430,000 people enjoy this status, but the protections for refugees of six nationalities will terminate, starting as early as this November, affecting hundreds of thousands and forcing deportations to countries wracked with extreme violence and recent natural disasters. Among those impacted will be refugees of all ages, including college students and their families. Read the full statement here.

May 14, 2018

ACHA Comments on Proposed Rule Change for Short-Term Insurance Plans

The American College Health Association (ACHA) has considerable concern regarding the agencies’ return to a 12-month definition for short-term, limited duration, insurance plans. As the leading advocate for the health and well-being of the nation’s college students, we believe that this proposed rule will further erode consumer protections for young Americans, many of who include the nation’s 19 million college students. Read the full statement here.

April 26, 2018

Acknowledgement of National School Walkouts in Response to the Tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

On February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed, and seventeen more were wounded. This tragedy is a stark reminder of the ever-present threat of gun violence in schools and campuses nationwide. In response to the events in Florida and to ongoing debates about firearms policy, a national school walkout is planned to occur today, March 14, at 10:00 a.m. local time, and to last 17 minutes in memory of the 17 victims in Parkland. The American College Health Association stands in solidarity with our nation’s students and urges its members to please observe a moment of silence during this time to honor the victims that were lost in this great tragedy.

March 14, 2018

ACHA Signs on to Group Letter to Reps. Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi on PROSPER Act

ACHA joined the American Council on Education and other organizations in submitting a group letter to Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on H.R. 4508, the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, expressing reservations with the bill and advocating for a reauthorization that enhances the ability of students to enter and complete postsecondary education. The letter asks that the bill not be brought to the floor for a vote until substantive changes are made to address these concerns. Read the letter here.

February 15, 2018

ACHA Statement on DACA Repeal

Recently, the lingering status of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has become a prominent point of political contention. DACA provides protection and renewable two-year work permits for nearly 800,000 "dreamers" brought into the United States as young children by their parents. These individuals have built lives for themselves in the United States, where they attend our nation’s schools and colleges, contribute to our workforce, and serve in our nation's military. The American College Health Association (ACHA) reiterates its belief that the termination of the DACA program will seriously jeopardize the physical and mental health and well-being of thousands of our nation’s college students. In addition, the uncertainty of the program’s status places an immeasurable burden on the ability of these students to learn, achieve, and graduate. Read the full statement here.

January 18, 2018

Statement on Tax Reform And Impact On Tuition Waivers

The American College Health Association (ACHA) expresses concern over the possible repeal of the tax exemption of tuition waivers for graduate students serving as teaching and research assistants. This exemption is critical to provide the financial stability needed for many students to complete their educational goals.Read the full statement here.

December 12, 2017

ACHA Statement Regarding Trump Administration ACA Executive Order

The American College Health Association (ACHA) is alarmed by the Trump Administration’s recent decision to roll back large sections of the Affordable Care Act via an executive order. Not only does this action undermine the traditional legislative process through which these important widespread changes should occur, it undermines the stability of the U.S. health care system. For our nation’s college students, we have major concerns that this recent action will push healthy individuals towards low coverage health plans, which will further destabilize the ACA insurance exchanges and lead to further increases in premiums for the most vulnerable and ill. These changes will also lead to situations where individuals believe they have insurance coverage, only to find once they become ill, their policy fails to cover them and creates financial hardship due to high plan deductibles. Read the full statement here.

October 18, 2017

ACHA Statement on Rescinded Title IX Guidelines

On Friday, September 22, 2017, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education rescinded two sets of Title IX guidelines regarding investigating cases of sexual assault on college and university campuses. While a formal review is undertaken, new interim guidance replaces these six-year-old guidelines that stemmed from the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter. The new guidance states that findings of facts and conclusions in regard to a claim of sexual misconduct should be reached by applying either a preponderance of the evidence standard or a clear and convincing evidence standard and that the standard selected should be consistent with the standard the school applies in other student misconduct cases. Read the full statement here.

October 4, 2017

ACHA Response to Las Vegas Tragedy

Late Sunday night (October 1, 2017), the Las Vegas community was the victim of the largest mass shooting in our nation’s history. The American College Health Association is greatly saddened by this senseless act of violence and expresses our deepest compassion and condolences for the victims and their families. ACHA stands in solidarity with the greater Las Vegas community, our colleague institutions, and their students, faculty, and staff during this trying time.

October 3, 2017

ACHA Opposes Renewed Effort to Repeal and Replace Parts of the ACA

The American College Health Association urges Senate leaders to reject the new proposed Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal and replace measure, H.R. 1628, commonly known as the Graham-Cassidy Amendment. The legislation, as drafted, disproportionately reduces funding for many states and would lead to tremendous variability in coverage from state-to-state. This legislation also fails to ensure adequate funding for Medicaid to protect our nation’s most vulnerable. Read the full statement here.

September 26, 2017

Statement on President Trump’s Transgender Military Service Ban Executive Memorandum

The American College Health Association (ACHA) strongly opposes the executive memorandum recently released by President Trump banning transgender individuals from U.S. military service. The decision to serve in our nation’s military involves both sacrifice and valor. Banning individuals from military service based solely on gender identity dishonors both the individual and our nation and deepens the divisions within our society. ACHA reiterates its support for individuals of all sexual orientations, races, national origins, ages, genders, gender identities, religions, and abilities. Our society and our institutions, including our campuses, are stronger when every American has a chance to serve for the public good.

September 13, 2017

ACHA Signs on to Group Letter to the President's Opioid Commission

ACHA joined the National Safety Council and other health organizations in signing a group letter to the President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis to share thoughts on how the Interim Report—and the recommendations within—can be further improved. Read the letter here.

September 6, 2017

ACHA Statement on the Charlottesville Tragedy

The American College Health Association (ACHA) strongly condemns the senseless violence and loss of life this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, during a white nationalist rally. This kind of intolerance and hatred has no place in our society. We believe that for our nation and our campuses to be healthy, we must collectively be guided by the values of multicultural inclusion, respect, and equality. Read the full statement here.

August 14, 2017

ACHA Statement on the Proposed Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2018

The Administration’s budget proposal for 2018 gravely impacts our nation’s ability to combat health outbreaks, pioneer medical research breakthroughs, and help our neediest college students fulfill their higher education goals. The proposed cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and federal student aid programs threaten to compromise campus health and student success. Read the full statement here.

May 26, 2017

ACHA Statement on the American Health Care Act and Future of Health Care Reform

Last week, the American Health Care Act failed to win sufficient support in the House of Representatives to be brought to a full House vote. Championed by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), the bill was designed to repeal and ultimately replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also commonly known as “Obamacare.” As it stands, the ACA remains the law of the land—for now. Since the November 2016 election, the American College Health Association has worked hard behind the scenes to advocate that student health insurance coverage be eligible for tax credits under any health care reform proposal. While the Speaker’s bill ultimately failed to find enough support, ACHA was able to meet with key legislative staff in both the House and Senate to inform them of the health and wellness needs of our nation’s college students. Read the full statement here.

March 31, 2017

ACHA Reaffirms Its Support for Equality, Cultural Inclusion, and Respect for All

For nearly a century, The American College Health Association (ACHA) has been on the front lines of higher education response to a host of public health and social issues that challenge the health, emotional well-being, and safety of students, faculty, and staff. Today we face a myriad of new challenges. Therefore, in light of numerous policy and legal debates across the nation, ACHA considers it vitally important to remind our members, campus communities, and policymakers of ACHA’s core values, the most important of which is our commitment to “social justice, human dignity, and respect for all.” Read the full statement here.

March 9, 2017

ACHA Pens Open Letter to the Next President Regarding Health and Well-Being of College Students

Dear 45th President of the United States of America... as you ascend to the presidency, you no doubt will face a myriad of issues that will require your immediate attention. We trust that chief among your priorities will be ensuring the future health and well-being of our nation’s citizens and the leaders of tomorrow. The college students of today directly contribute to our enduring legacy as they will become the cornerstone of our nation’s future workforce and leaders. Therefore, we offer a three-point agenda of college health priorities and respectfully ask you to act on these items, ideally within your first 100 days in office. Read the full letter here.

November 4, 2017

Statement on Religious Freedom and Anti-LGBTQ Legislation: In response to North Carolina House Bill 2

The core values of the American College Health Association (ACHA) are grounded in the pursuit of social justice, human dignity, and respect for all. Any denial of civil rights or infringement upon those rights can adversely impact one’s emotional and physical well-being. It is with these values in mind that ACHA remains strongly committed to supporting the intersectionality in the lives of our members and the students on the campus communities we serve. We affirm that discrimination in all forms is an important public health issue that impacts the health of our communities and contributes to health disparities.

The current social and political climate that led North Carolina to adopt House Bill 2 and other states to consider similar restrictions for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) community is antithetical to ACHA’s core values. As other states contemplate similar revisions to their laws, ACHA avows its unwavering opposition to any such legislation that permits intentional acts of discrimination. As a body committed to education, ACHA endeavors to contribute to the public understanding of how diverse communities can thrive with awareness and mutual respect.

We stand in solidarity with the many organizations that have taken a stance against this legislation as an overt act of discrimination. With deep abiding respect for the LGBTQ professionals within our association and on the campus communities we serve, ACHA strongly reaffirms our commitment to inclusion and respect for all.

Adopted by the ACHA Board of Directors on April 22, 2016.


Statement on Religious Freedom and Anti-LGBTQ Legislation: In response to Indiana Senate Bill 101

As a principal component of the core values of our association, ACHA fully embraces social justice, human dignity, and respect for all. We recognize that denial of civil rights or impingement upon those rights can contribute to diminished health outcomes and quality of life.

Leading up to the passage in the state of Indiana of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, SB 101, protecting of the rights of LGBTQ individuals has been under discussion nationally. While we acknowledge legislative actions in many states to revise their laws, ACHA avows its strong opposition to any such legislation that permits intentional acts of discrimination against LGBTQ people. Such laws are destructive to the well-being of the students we serve and the communities in which we live.

ACHA is strongly committed to supporting students and the intersectionality of their lives to student learning. We stand in solidarity with the many other organizations that have taken a stance against this legislation as an overt act of discrimination. We affirm our commitment to inclusion and respect for all.

Adopted by the ACHA Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Directors on April 3, 2015.

* These comments and statements represent the responses of the association and are not intended to represent the positions of all individual, institutional, or sustaining members. Notwithstanding their enrollment as members of ACHA, each individual, institutional, or organizational member is entitled to hold and express their own individual position, independent of ACHA.