ACHA Position Statements

News and Response to Current Events

See ACHA news releases and statements regarding current events here.

The following organizational positions are official organizational positions adopted by the ACHA Board of Directors.

Organizational Positions and Policies Regarding Equality and Human Rights

As a principal component of the core values of our association, ACHA fully embraces social justice, human dignity, and respect for all. Accordingly, the association has adopted the following organizational positions with regard to matters of equality and human rights:

Anti-Bias/Anti-Violence Statement

The American College Health Association, on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the adoption of our Anti-Bias and Anti-Violence Statement, would like to reiterate our commitment to ending bias and violence on college campuses.

We believe that for a campus community to be truly healthy, it must be guided by the values of multicultural inclusion, respect, and equity. Intolerance has no place at an institution of higher learning.

The Association supports all individuals regardless of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability, or genetic information. We encourage all campus health professionals to be actively engaged in the struggle to end oppression, to prevent bias-related violence in our campus communities, and to take action to eradicate injustice. We also encourage governmental officials—federal and state—to adopt policies that reflect these values and ideals.

Originally adopted by the ACHA Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Directors on July 15, 1999. Updated and reaffirmed by the ACHA Executive Committee on October 21, 2020.

Marriage Equality

The American College Health Association (ACHA) joins numerous professional health and human rights organizations in support of marriage equality. The Association recognizes that denial of equal civil rights can contribute to diminished health and quality of life. With due consideration and respect for varying philosophical positions and alternative viewpoints, ACHA encourages continued dialogue and collaboration to promote social justice.

Adopted by the ACHA Board of Directors on May 27, 2013.

Medically Necessary Services for Transgender Patients

As a society, we have made significant strides in removing barriers and improving health care and outcomes for transgender and gender diverse patients. Individuals feel more comfortable disclosing their authentic gender and are doing so at younger ages. Health care services should be made universal to all and should not discriminate in any way, whether this be on age; race/ethnicity, sex; sexual orientation; gender (including gender identity); marital status; physical size; religious, spiritual or cultural identity; psychological/physical/learning disability; socioeconomic status; or veteran status. This is consistent with the long held values of cultural inclusion, respect, equality, and equity that ACHA has advocated for.

Therefore, ACHA opposes any legislation, both state or federal, that would restrict or limit access to gender-related medically necessary services for transgender youth and adults.

Adopted by the ACHA Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Directors on February 25, 2020.

Non-Discrimination Policy

The American College Health Association (ACHA) supports institutional, as well as legislative or regulatory initiatives to promote a campus climate guided by the values of inclusion, respect, equality and equity. ACHA rejects all forms of intolerance and bias (whether implicit or explicit).

Such a climate is essential to college health.

Consistent with those values, ACHA rejects all forms of discriminatory conduct with respect to: age; race/ethnicity; sex; sexual orientation; gender, including gender identity and expression; marital status; physical size; psychological/physical/learning ability; religious, spiritual or cultural identity; socioeconomic status; or veteran status.

Reaffirmed by the ACHA Board of Directors on October 21, 2019

Sexual Violence Position Statement

The American College Health Association (ACHA) understands that “campus sexual and relationship violence are serious public health issues that adversely affect college and university students because students cannot learn in an atmosphere in which they do not feel safe. Sexual and relationship violence comprise a continuum of behaviors that include, but are not limited to, sexual/gender harassment, sexual coercion, sexual abuse, stalking, sexual assault, and rape.” As such, ACHA issues an updated Position Statement on Sexual Violence on College and University Campuses.

For the full the position statement, please click here.

Adopted by the Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Directors on May 10, 2016.

Other Organizational Positions and Policies

Expedited Partner Therapy

The American College Health Association (ACHA) affirms its support for expedited partner therapy (EPT) and recommends this therapy as a useful option for partner treatment. EPT is the clinical practice of prescribing and dispensing medications for the treatment of chlamydia and/or gonorrhea to the sexual partner(s) of patients diagnosed with chlamydia or gonorrhea without the health care provider first examining the partner(s).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that EPT is a useful alternative to the standard approach and recommends it as an additional option for partner treatment while not replacing other options recommended for select populations. To effectively treat patients with sexually transmitted diseases, the patient’s current sexual partner must be treated as well to prevent reinfection. Via EPT, a patient’s partner(s) can receive treatment for chlamydia and/or gonorrhea at the point of diagnosis of their partner.

Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea are significant issues on our nation’s college campuses. EPT provides an enhanced opportunity for clinicians to disrupt the transmission of these diseases and provide effective treatment to America’s college students. Therefore, ACHA supports the CDC EPT recommendation and urges states and their respective health agencies to enact legislation to allow expedited partner therapy for chlamydia and/or gonorrhea.

Adopted by the ACHA Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Directors on August 29, 2018.

Formal Comments/Responses to Current Events

As an advocacy-centered organization, the American College Health Association understands the importance of being responsive to current, national, and international events. However, in an ever-changing world dominated by the 24-hour news cycle and social media, it has become increasingly challenging to choose when ACHA should and should not comment.

In this current climate, ACHA has often been faced with the reality that the weight of a reaction may become diluted the more one reacts. Therefore, ACHA has chosen not to respond to political announcements, posturing, or social media posts, regardless of the source. Instead, ACHA has reserved its formal comments for response to factual news, major events, or genuine policymaking that may have a significant impact upon the health and well-being of college students and our college communities, both now and in the future. In addition, ACHA has chosen to comment upon issues affecting the most vulnerable and marginalized members of our community, repeatedly defending our shared values of cultural inclusion, respect, equality, and equity. We welcome the feedback of our ACHA members on this approach.

Adopted by the ACHA Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Directors on September 8, 2017.

Vaccine Use to Promote Health and Prevent Disease

Immunizations offer safe and effective protection from vaccine-preventable diseases. The United States is experiencing re-emergence of these diseases, in part due to factors such as un-immunized and under-immunized persons and global travel. The American College Health Association (ACHA) strongly supports the use of vaccines to protect the health of our individual students and our campus communities. In recognition of the vital role that vaccine coverage plays in community immunity (herd immunity), ACHA discourages nonmedical exemptions to required vaccines. Best practices for institutions of higher education include following recommendations for institutional prematriculation immunizations guidelines, encouraging students who request nonmedical waivers to be counseled by a health service clinician, and considering exclusion of unimmunized students from school during outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Adopted by the ACHA Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Directors on April 15, 2014.

See Also:

Cultural Competency Statement [pdf]
This statement and other ACHA Guidelines and Recommendations are available here.


These position statements represent the corporate/organizational positions of ACHA and are not intended to represent the positions of all individual, institutional, or sustaining members of the association. 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.