ACHA Position Statements
The following are statements that ACHA has adopted as organizational positions.*
ACHA Statement in Support of 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 (RIPI) [pdf] 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
Adopted by the ACHA Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Directors on April 15, 2014.
ACHA Position Statement on 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.
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:
Statements 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.
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
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.
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.
Statement in Support of 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.
The American College Health Association supports all initiatives to
create a campus climate guided by the values of cultural inclusion,
respect, equality and equity. Such a climate is essential to college
health. Consistent with those values, ACHA rejects all forms of
intolerance and subtler forms of discriminatory conduct with respect to
the following: age; gender identity, including transgender; marital
status; physical size; psychological/physical/learning disability;
race/ethnicity; religious, spiritual or cultural identity; sex; sexual
orientation; socioeconomic status; or veteran status.
Adopted by the ACHA Board of Directors on May 30, 2000; Revised by the ACHA Board of Directors on June 7, 2008.
We, the members of the association, believe that for a campus
community to be truly healthy, it must be guided by the values of
multicultural inclusion, respect, and equality. Intolerance has no place
at an institution of higher learning.
The association supports all individuals regardless of sexual
orientation, race, national origin, age, gender, religion, or
disability. 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
Adopted by the ACHA Executive Committee on behalf of the Board of Directors on July 15, 1999.
* 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