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2022-23 Advocacy Agenda 



The Four Advocacy Pillars

The Student Assembly has 4 pillars of focus that include Food Insecurity, Title IX, Accessibility, and Mental Health. These pillars were selected based on informal polling of the General Assembly. 


On the grounds of Food Insecurity, the Student Assembly hopes to work on legislation that will make SNAP more accessible, equitable, and usable for students. In addition, the Student Assembly hopes to champion a myriad of projects that work to destigmatize food insecurity and work to make all students feel comfortable approaching resources and asking for help. The Student Assembly also hopes to champion the creation of community gardens that will engender fresh produce, orient a campus community, and begin a sustainable and fun process to mitigate some of the effects of food insecurity. 


On the topic of Title IX, the Student Assembly hopes to listen to students to determine how to best provide resources of support. The Student Assembly wishes to extend programs of sensitivity training as well as examine the live cross-examination policy that currently impacts many victims of violent cases. They hope to advocate on a federal level to help alleviate this process.


Regarding Accessibility, the Student Assembly also hopes to work on destigmatizing barriers students may face. In particular, they hope to mitigate the overaccumulation of insufficient physical barriers that go beyond ADA compliance by potentially advocating for an accessibility contact on every campus. 


Regarding Mental Health, the Student Assembly wishes to partner with SUNY to advocate for more funding from the legislature for the Mental Health Telehealth program. They hope to champion the pilot program of a mental health day program that should be started at all SUNY medical and law schools.



Other Legislative Agenda Items

Student Activity Fee: The Student Assembly is currently working with New York State legislators on an existing bill which would establish a student activity fee of $1 per SUNY student to fund the Student Assembly. The bill is currently in the Senate and Assembly committee.


THE SUNY STUDENT ASSEMBLY NY State FY 2023-24 Executive Budget  Platform Fact Sheet


Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and Excelsior Scholarship Program

  • The TAP income eligibility ceiling for financially dependent undergraduate students is $80,000, which has not changed since AY 2001.

  • The minimum award for TAP is $500, which has not changed since AY 2001.

  • Tuition at State-operated campuses is $7,070 for NYS residents.

  • Both TAP and the Excelsior Scholarship do not cover non-tuition costs.

  • Fees at the State-operated campuses range from $1,260 to $3,440.

  • Room and Board for students living on campus is $14,930.

  • The average total indirect cost for SUNY students at State-operated campuses is about $4,280.


Mental Health Services

  • The percentage of adults with symptoms of anxiety or a depressive disorder increased from 36.4 percent to 41.5 percent from August 2020 to February 2021, with the most significant increases occurring among young adults aged 18-29 years old. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)


Students with Disabilities Support

  • Currently, there are 86,040 identified students with disabilities attending New York State degree-granting colleges and universities.

  • The state budget presently includes $2 million in funding providing about $27.00 per student for students with disabilities in higher education for all of the sectors (SUNY, CUNY, Independent, and Proprietary Colleges).


Food Insecurity

  • To be eligible for SNAP, students must be between the ages of 18 and 49, enrolled at least halftime in higher education, and fulfill one of the following criteria: be employed for an average of 20 hours per week, participate in a work-study program, enrolled full-time and is a single parent, etc.

  • 54% of community college students and 40% of students from State-operated campuses are unable to eat at times because they do not have enough money for food. (2019 SUNY Survey)

  • 61% of students from community colleges and 66% of students from state-operated campuses are unaware as to where they can receive assistance on campus. (2019 SUNY Survey)

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