Student Leaders Pass Historic Agenda

SUNY Student Assembly Charts Progressive Path at Record-Breaking Conference

Immediate Release: Nov. 16, 2016
Contact: Tyler McNeil,

ALBANY — Over 350 student leaders gathered in the state capital to chart out a new path forward for higher education in New York State.

This event, the largest Student Assembly conference on record, was focused on strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion in the system, along with advocating for a comprehensive legislative agenda which passed with an overwhelming majority.

“I am feeling an immense amount of hope and pride following the conclusion of our Fall Conference,” Student Assembly Vice President Bridget Doyle said. “We passed progressive initiatives, participated in the SUNY’s Got Your Back campaign which allowed us to fill 10,000 bags for interpersonal violence survivors, and engaged in critical conversations.”

“It is so important that we stand together in solidarity as one comprehensive system of public higher education, and I believe this conference helped us unify more than ever before,” she said.

The voting delegation of the Student Assembly passed the most comprehensive legislative agenda in recent history. The resolution was first approved by the executive committee over a month ago at SUNY Old Westbury.

The agenda touches upon issues such as rational state reinvestment, textbook affordability, support for campus child-care centers, mental health resources, food security, disability access and sustainability measures across the SUNY system.

“We walked into this Fall Conference hoping to inspire students,” said Marc J. Cohen, Student Assembly president and SUNY trustee. “As tends to happen, however, they inspired us.”

“We passed the largest and most comprehensive legislative agenda in the history of our organization,” Cohen said. “And most importantly we came together and vowed to act as a system of student governments to create lasting and meaningful change in higher education.”

During the conference, student leaders passed several resolutions including support for same-day voter registration and a SUNY-wide day off on Election Day.

Among new platforms, student delegates called for stronger student input in campus affairs by calling for greater student representation in presidential search committees and shared governance. Students called for the legalization of marijuana in the state in the spirit that 30% of all revenue be reinvested into the State University of New York.

Beyond the business meeting, student leaders helped advocate for change throughout the two-day event.

Working with SUNY’s Got Your Back, student leaders helped support victims of domestic and sexual violence with 10,000 comfort bags.

Fighting against sexual violence, the Student Assembly also inched closer to getting every SGA leader across the system to take the It’s On Us pledge.