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21st annual Texas Higher Education Law Conference focused on Trump-era legal issues

21st annual Texas Higher Education Law Conference focused on Trump-era legal issues

Attendees for the Annual Higher Education Law Conference. Administrators, staff members and sponsors are among the attendees at the event. Jackie Torres

21st annual Texas Higher Education Law Conference focused on Trump-era legal issues
April 06
11:15 2017

With the election of President Donald Trump and the legal questions around his policies, the 21st annual Texas Higher Education Law Conference focused mostly on key issues facing undocumented students, campus carry and other future legal issues like drones.

But for the most part, the event is used as a networking opportunity for those wanting to enter the legal field.

“This is a good way for people to find people to network with,” RoyAnn Cox, code director for the event said. “To help them do better and connect with legal presenters in the state.”

Speaker John Wesley Lowery from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania lectured on “legislation and regulation in a time of turmoil and uncertainty,” hitting on topics such as regulatory reform, immigration, sanctuary campuses, along with sexual assault on the federal and state levels. He also covered Title IX issues and the issues transgender students face on campus, Clery Act implication, guns on campus, the First Amendment and marijuana.

One student felt the talk on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals left him with feeling of sympathy for those affected.

“I learned there is a lot of compassion when considering the students,” MBA Graduate student Toby Wilkerson said. “It is important.”

Cox said the goal of the event was to present the latest legal material on contemporary issues. Drones, for example, face many legal issues involving surveillance law and aerospace law among others. Cox said it’s important for people to understand current laws and the way they shape our world, as well as the implications of current laws on the future.

Andrew Fisher, North Central Texas College Provost, said it was the talk of undocumented students and campus carry that was the biggest and most important at this year’s conference. Cox said the presenters are experts in the field and that some of the big topics are chosen because of their recent prominence.

She added that the conference is important to help the administration understand how to stay out of legal trouble.

“There are a lot of diverse jobs represented here to make sure that students get what they need to succeed,” Wilkerson said. “Students, policer officers, educators.”

Wilkerson said that it is important that people do not trust assumptions or bias media but rather read the laws for themselves. He also said to go straight to the source to stay informed.

Cox said she hoped people would leave the event with a better understanding of the practical aspects of law. She added the conference is important to keep talking about civil rights and the laws that protect them, since they affect everyone all over.

Featured Image: Attendees for the Annual Higher Education Law Conference. Administrators, staff members and sponsors are among the attendees at the event. Jackie Torres 

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Robert Warren

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