SUNY Student Assembly Responds to the Recent White House Executive Order Regarding Race and Sex Stereotyping

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For Immediate Release: October 19th, 2020


We, the State University of New York Student Assembly (SUNY SA) students, write to express our concern, opposition and dismay at the recently issued White House executive order, regarding race and sex stereotyping. This executive order aims to curb the use of certain diversity and equity training concepts for all federal agencies, contractors, and grant recipients, including our colleges and universities. SUNY SA represents 1.4 million students from across New York State, the nation and world. We represent voters, constituents, residents, and the lifeblood of our Empire State; which is built on the collective understanding of diversity as our greatest strength.

As student leaders at SUNY we are charged with an obligation to foster an environment that grants everyone an equal opportunity to thrive. We know that diversity is more than just about a number, or quota on race and sex, but rather emphasizes the importance of inclusivity and equity.

It is essential to celebrate and enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion, as these principles reflect that racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice are incompatible with inclusive education. For the entire SUNY community to thrive, we must be willing to examine, recognize, and replace systems of inequity. Our organization is firm in the implementation of diversity and inclusivity training for our student leaders. As we vehemently oppose this executive order and stand alongside our partners in SUNY we urge the White House to reconsider and withdraw this executive order. We call upon SUNY to implement state funded “Diversity and Tolerance” training requirements across our 64 campuses to address this issue moving forward.

At this time in our nation's history, we need more, not less, constructive dialogue about understanding differences. We will continue to advocate against this order's implications while standing for the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and free expression. We should not be silent, but instead, utilize the power of our SUNY voices to advocate for proper and deserving equality.