On August 2nd, the SUNY Student Assembly gathered in New York State’s capital for their first official Executive Committee meeting of the academic year. The weekend started with a tour of the New York State Capitol in the middle of downtown Albany. Afterwards, the Executive Cabinet gathered at SUNY Plaza to officially kick-off the weekend’s activities.
Following a welcome from President Austin Ostro, the Executive Committee had the honor of meeting with Assemblymember Pat Fahy who provided an interview and answered questions. Assemblymember Fahy is a strong advocate for job creation and education. She also serves on the Higher Education Committee and provided the Executive Committee with her perspective on issues concerning Higher Education. We want to thank her once again for meeting with us.
We next heard from a serious of speakers from SUNY System Administration. Presentations went as follows:
SUNY Communications Assistant Julie Maio gave an in-depth presentation on professional writing skills.
SUNY Associate Counsel Joseph Storch conducted a Title IX training session, and answered questions surrounding SUNY’s orchestration of Title IX policies.
Director of Legislative Relations Jim Campbell, Director of State Relations Rob Anderson, Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs Shirley Paul, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government Relations Angela Wright provided a panel discussion on SUNY Advocacy Priorities and State Political Dynamics. The panel gave insight on how SUNY’s overarching policies relate to those put forward by the Student Assembly, in addition to the relationship between SUNY and State Legislature.
Towards the end of the day, we met with UUP Political Director Dan Brown. United University Professions is the largest higher education union in the United States and represents the faculty and staff of the SUNY System. Brown gave a presentation on what the UUP does and the integral role they play in the organization. President of the Faculty Council of Community Colleges Christy Fogal then spoke on the unique challenges faced by community colleges in the SUNY System and things that can be done to remedy these issues. The day concluded with a meet and greet with SUNY System Administration which was followed by professional development breakout sessions.
We would like to thank all of the above speakers for joining us for the day. Your commitment to educating students in an accessible and inclusive way is greatly appreciated by all of us.
On August 3rd, the Executive Committee was joined by Student Association President Dee Carty at the University at Albany campus. Next began Director Reports, followed by information breakout sessions.
The Executive Committee next met with NYS Deputy Secretary for Education Dan Fuller who gave information on state government policies relating to higher education and answered follow up questions. The Executive Committee was incredibly excited by this opportunity, and would like to extend great gratitude to Deputy Secretary Fuller for his unwavering support for students.
We began Chair Reports on the work each individual committee has been conducting. Lastly, prior to the business meeting we were given a tour of the UAlbany campus and provided information about the university’s history and campus life.
The August Executive Committee Business Meeting began with Executive Board reports from President Ostro, Vice President Wood, Treasurer Rowe, and Secretary Adesanya. Following their reports Gender Equity Chair Kaitlyn Trusty and Gender Equity Vice Chair Corianna Lipira presented the LGBT+ Safe Haven Resolution which recommends each SUNY institution designate a common meeting area to act as a safespace for LGBT+ students. After a brief recess, President Ostro presented the Appointment of Members to Various Committees Resolution which appointed various students across the SUNY System to established committees. After discussion and debate, both resolutions passed.
On August 4th members of the Executive Committee departed with new knowledge, ambition, and goals. They will convene again on September 13th in Buffalo, New York for their next Executive Committee meeting.
Written by Corianna Lipira, SUNY Student Assembly Chair of Gender Equity, Stony Brook University