President Austin Ostro
Austin Ostro serves as the 2019-20 President of the SUNY Student Assembly (SUNYSA) and Trustee on the SUNY Board of Trustees. Austin is in his second year as a graduate student at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany. He is pursuing his Master’s in Public Administration (MPA).
Austin has always had an unmatched drive for public service. Immediately upon entering college at the University at Albany, he became a Senator of the campus student government. Austin stayed in this role for two years, serving as Vice Chair of the Senate, student representative on the faculty governance body, and member of the Governance and University Planning and Policy Committee as well as the Rules Committee. Serving in this capacity opened Austin's eyes to the power students have when they worked collectively. While still in his second term, he decided he wanted to advocate for students on an even larger scale. This is when Austin first stepped into a role on the Student Assembly Executive Committee- as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs.
A year later, Austin moved up to Director of Legislative Affairs, and within a few short months became Chief of Staff to then-President Marc Cohen. Austin worked alongside Marc and others on the leadership team to amplify the student voice and elevate the Student Assembly's advocacy. Austin continued as Chief of Staff to then-President Braun, until January of 2019 after winning election as Vice President.
Throughout his journey in the Student Assembly, Austin has proven his dedication, talent, passion, and perseverance. As President, Austin is committed to continuing the efforts of past leaders to expand the impact of Student Assembly advocacy; promote diversity, equity, and inclusion; build organizational capacity; and fight for students on the system, local, state and federal levels.
All members of the Student Assembly greatly impact the experience of students throughout the SUNY system, but certain members go above and beyond to punch above their weight in nation-wide advocacy initiatives. The following people have dedicated countless hours of their time to fighting for students, and have had an unfathomable impact on the experience of New Yorkers pursuing higher education throughout the past few years. Today, they continue to guide our new leaders to enhance the student experience in the same way that they did when they served the executive committee by serving as Special Advisors to the President.
"I am immensely grateful for the work of the student leaders who paved the way for our organization to reach the heights that it has. Their advocacy provided the platform for today's student leaders to have their voices heard in national conversations on higher education policy, and to have seats at every table where decisions are being made."
-President Austin Ostro
President Ostro's Inauguration
"Serving as an officer of the Student Assembly has been the greatest honor of my college career. Seeing first hand the capacity of this organization to recognize obstacles facing students, develop strategies to combat them, and then deliver results, inspires me every single day. Becoming a part of something that does so much good for so many students was the best decision I have ever made.
The SUNY System, like the state it serves, is filled with people looking to make a difference. The Student Assembly gives us, as students, an unparalleled platform to affect the change we know is needed. I have seen the power of this platform time after time.
I am so proud to have been a part of this success for the past three years, and I am excited to continue in a larger capacity as President. We must challenge ourselves to be better, fight harder, aim higher and do more. 1.4 million students are counting on the Student Assembly to be their champion. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to make a difference for these students."
Read more about President Ostro's Inauguration here.