Welcome to NDSA!

The North Dakota Student Association represents the voice of North Dakota’s 45,000 public college and university students. We are an organization directly funded by students with the singular interest of representing students. We believe the Voice of the Students needs to be present in the policymaking process that occurs through the North Dakota University System, State Legislature, and State Board of Higher Education.

NDSA attracts a diverse range of individuals from across the state’s 11 public campuses, and each student joins us with their own thoughts, priorities and beliefs. Despite our differences we stand united in our support of higher education in the state of North Dakota.

NDSA meets as a General Assembly on a monthly basis during the academic year to discuss student concerns and higher education policy.

Click here to see the General Assembly meeting schedule.

To learn more about NDSA, check out the About page. 

To contact NDSA, see the page for the Executive Team.

 

NDSA’s Public Comment on Changes Proposed to Title IX by the United States Department of Education

 

Click here to see the letter submitted to the Department of Education.

 

January 30, 2019

Dear Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Kenneth Marcus,

The North Dakota Student Association (NDSA) represents the voice of North Dakota’s 45,000 public college and university students. As an authority on student welfare in the state of North Dakota, NDSA advocates on issues of higher education in support of enhancing the student experience.

With the high goals NDSA aims to achieve, we actively educate ourselves on current topics that will impact students on a wide variety of levels. With this in mind, NDSA has discussed the proposed changes to Title IX and prepared its official opinion.

The Department of Education has proposed changes to the regulations of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. After much deliberation at NDSA’s General Assembly meeting on January 19, 2019, NDSA has approved an official resolution, NDSA-12-1819, entitled “A Resolution Urging Action on Title IX.” This resolution articulates the rationale for our position on these changes. It also recognizes fairness and equality for the wellbeing of the students of North Dakota and how the changes as stated are beginning to tip the scales of balance in an unjustified manner. The Assembly agreed to urge the Department of Education to make the following changes to the proposed amendments.

The potential requirement for North Dakota’s campuses to provide a live hearing, as well as cross-examination of the parties involved, are not conducive to protecting the wellbeing of students. This concern is paired with the potential cost of providing separate rooms for the two parties, which will both require compatibility for a live hearing. This is a pressing issue facing educational institutions in the state of North Dakota. The issue is that there are no parameters for grant opportunities or federal funding to address the issues of staffing and technological training. The North Dakota University System has experienced a 17-percent reduction to its state-appropriated funding over the last two biennia, and currently faces a proposed additional five-percent reduction for the 2019-2021 biennium. Accommodating this new mandate would create an undue burden for North Dakota’s colleges and universities. NDSA requests the Department of Education to revisit our concerns and consider providing a solution.

Additionally, NDSA is concerned about potential violations of students’ privacy rights guaranteed in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Access to a student’s physical, mental, and academic performance should not be submitted as evidence for the purposes of a Title IX hearing. Due to every student having a right to privacy guaranteed under HIPAA and FERPA, NDSA urges the Department of Education to reconsider the need for both parties to receive records of a student’s physical, mental, and academic performance to be submitted as evidence.

The new definition of “sexual harassment” provides ambiguous loopholes allowing interpretation of key words, such as “severe,” “pervasive,” and “objectively offensive,” which would also require new leaps of responsibility on the reporting party to prove.

The new jurisdiction of cases reported will be limited to the institution’s “education program or activity.” Such a restriction will alleviate the institution of liability to investigate, unless the reported instance has a direct link to the institution. With this new narrowing of scope, survivors of sexual assault will become increasingly discouraged from reporting the Title IX infractions.

The change under section 106.30 states that misconduct will only be held responsible if the institution has “actual knowledge” of the possible negligence. This implies that the standard of attention and awareness of warning signs will no longer have a place in the institution’s requirements. NDSA urges the Department of Education to reevaluate the responsibilities of institutions and propose a different standard that is neither vague nor neglectful of warning signs of sexual misconduct. Preserving the rights of students and their ability to succeed in everyday endeavors is crucial on an institutional level. Therefore, NDSA insists that the Department of Education embolden language in Title IX requiring the investigation of any sexual misconduct between individuals associated with the institution without strict regard to the physical and financial jurisdiction of the institution outlined in 106.44(a).

These changes may have disastrous implications to the students it is supposed to protect. NDSA urges the Department of Education to denounce the proposed section 106.45(b)(3)(vii).

The North Dakota Student Association thanks the Department of Education for the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to Title IX. NDSA’s primary directive is the wellbeing of North Dakota’s 45,000 public college and university students. We respectfully request the Department of Education to consider our comment, as these proposed changes bear substantial implications for students across the state of North Dakota and the United States of America.

General Assembly Meetings

During the academic year, the General Assembly of the North Dakota Student Association meets monthly to discuss issues affecting the student interest.

A preliminary agenda is posted approximately two weeks before any meeting.

Schedule for the 2018 – 2019 Academic Year:

September 14 & 15 – North Dakota State University

Agenda
Minutes

October 12 & 13 – Williston State College

Agenda
Minutes

November 2 & 3 – Valley City State University

Agenda
Minutes

December 7 – Skype Session

Agenda
Minutes

January 18 & 19 – Bismarck State College

Agenda
Minutes

February 22 & 23 – North Dakota State College of Science

Agenda
Minutes

March 29 & 30 – University of North Dakota

April 12 & 13 – Minot State University

Resolutions

The General Assembly of the North Dakota Student Association wields the authority to approve resolutions. Any NDSA delegate may bring a resolution to the floor of the General Assembly for discussion and consideration of approval.

An NDSA resolution approved by the General Assembly carries the support of North Dakota’s 45,000 public college and university students. Resolutions are public statements written and voted for by students for the singular interest of students.

Below are resolutions approved by the General Assembly during the 2018 – 2019 academic year. Click to download.

NDSA-01-1819: A Resolution in Support of Integrating Open Educational Resources into the North Dakota University System

NDSA-02-1819: A Resolution in Support of Multi-Factor Authentication

NDSA-03-1819: A Resolution Requesting Actionable Information from the Task Force for Higher Education Governance

NDSA-05-1819: A Resolution in Support of the North Dakota Challenge Fund Grant Program

NDSA-06-1819: A Resolution in Support of Funding the North Dakota University System

NDSA-07-1819: A Resolution in Support of the North Dakota Skilled Workforce Scholarship Program

NDSA-08-1819: A Resolution in Support of the Current Funding Formula

NDSA-09-1819: A Resolution in Support of the North Dakota University System Exploring the Creation of a Statewide Common Application

NDSA-11-1819: A Resolution in Support of Prohibiting Discrimination in North Dakota Housing and Workplaces Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

NDSA-12-1819: A Resolution Urging Action on Title IX

NDSA-13-1819: A Resolution Endorsing the State Board of Higher Education’s Needs-Based Budget

NDSA-14-1819: A Resolution in Support of a Senior Year Tuition Waiver Program

NDSA-15-1819: A Resolution in Consideration of North Dakota SCR 4016

NDSA-16-1819: A Resolution in Support of Free Speech

NDSA 2019-2020 Elections

Elections for the 2019-2020 Executive Team and the Student Member of the State Board of Higher Education will take place on Saturday, April 13 at Minot State University.

Each electable position and the procedures for elections will be explained during the Saturday, March 30 General Assembly meeting at the University of North Dakota.

Click here to download a PDF that explains each of the electable positions. More information relating to positions can be found in Chapters III, IV, and VIII of the NDSA Bylaws. Information about election procedures can be found in Chapter V of the NDSA Bylaws.

Click here to download the Executive Team Election Packet.

Click here to download the Student Member of the State Board of Higher Education Election Packet.

Please email your completed election packet to Jared Melville (jared.m.melville@ndsu.edu) prior to the call to order on Saturday, April 13.