Fall Conference 2019
Through our Lens
At our conferences, we introduce hundreds of student leaders from 64 campuses to professional contacts including the Senior SUNY Administration, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and other highly regarded keynote speakers. Our organization empowers students throughout the SUNY system to have the best collegiate experience during their time.
This year, our Fall Conference is being held from November 15th through November 17th at the Albany Hilton in Albany, New York. We are thrilled to have the opportunity, once again, to gather together and provide a platform for SUNY students from across the state to share their experiences, exchange ideas and learn from each other.
Our theme this year is “Through Our Lens." As we look forward to another year working hard to advocate on behalf of the 1.4 million students across our diverse system, it is imperative that we recognize how our life experiences, race, gender, sexual identity, etc. all provide various lenses through which we see the world. At a time of great divide, we urge you to look to learn more about one another’s lenses and what has contributed to them as well as to focus on our similarities rather than our differences. This Fall Conference, we aim to create unity through understanding and build relationships through education.
Workshops this year provide students the opportunity to learn from other student leaders, faculty and professionals from all different backgrounds. Our new structure for conference allows for more students to attend workshops than ever before. By limiting our business meeting to Saturday afternoon, we have provided voting delegates with the opportunity they have always asked for – more workshop time. We are excited to have the chance to allow students to make the most of their time spent together and are looking forward to hearing everyone’s feedback on the new structure.
We have also ensured that this conference contains time to hear from influential individuals from across the state and network with one another as often as possible. We encourage students to seek out members of the Executive Committee during our “Meet the SUNYSA Executive Committee” portion of the day on Friday and get to know the student leaders representing you. An additional networking hour has also been set aside after our panel event Friday evening in order to provide students with ample time to connect with each other and influential professionals.
We hope that this conference allows students to see that no matter what lens they experience life through, SUNY will always be their home, and SUNYSA will always be their family. Together we are stronger than apart and through our similarities rather than our differences we have a chance to have an impact at the system, state, and federal level. We look forward to having you all join us!
LETTER FROM PRESIDENT AUSTIN OSTRO AND
VICE PRESIDENT KATE WOOD
"We are so excited to welcome you to our state capital for the 2019 Fall Student Assembly Conference. You are joined by more than 450 student leaders, representing nearly all of SUNY’s 64 campuses, hailing from every corner of New York State. This conference will be the largest gathering of SUNY student leaders in history.
Throughout the weekend, you will have the opportunity to hear from thought leaders at the local, state, and federal levels. You will participate in plenaries and workshops, networking sessions and caucuses. You will meet students from various backgrounds, ranging in age from 16 to 60, from urban areas and rural, who come to us from all around the world. The diversity of the SUNY system will be on full display throughout the conference.
It is that diversity, and the value it holds to students across the system, that led us to this conference’s theme “through our lens.” Each student looks at the issues facing our world through their own unique lens, informed by their experiences in life, and their set of values. We also, collectively hold a unique lens as students on the issues facing our campuses and communities.
Throughout the weekend, we hope to give delegates the opportunity to share their personal lens on key issues and areas of discussion, and through that to develop our shared lens on student priorities. Towards that end, at the business meeting we will consider the 2020 Student Assembly Advocacy Agenda, which outlines the policy and legislative action students need in the year to come.
Over the course of the conference, we will have the honor of hearing from some remarkable speakers, including SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson, and Congressman Paul Tonko. Please take the opportunity to ask them questions, and to take what you learn from their addresses back to your campus.
We also encourage you to take every opportunity throughout the conference to meet new people, and to form relationships with delegates from across the system. As important as the structured aspects of the conference are, the unstructured time as just as key to the conference experience.
Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone- to explore new interests, ask tough questions, and share advice. And please also do not hesitate to meet and say hi to us, we hope to get the chance to speak with as many of you as possible throughout the weekend. Our larger Student Assembly Executive Committee is a great resource as well for anything you may need throughout the conference.
We look forward to sharing this experience with each of you."