Fall 2017 SUNY Student Assembly

This past weekend, myself along with 5 other FIT Student Government Association representatives attended the SUNY Student Assembly Fall Conference in Albany, New York. For those who are unfamiliar with the system, the SUNY Student Assembly is an organization comprised of student leaders elected by their peers from across SUNY’s 64 campuses. The Student Assembly is the unified voice for over 600,000 students attending the State University of New York system. The conference is split in various segments – business meetings, learning workshops, and speaker presentations. Representing FIT as Voting Delegates in the 2 day long business meeting was myself (Vice President), Sonne Bajwa (President), and Molly Dunbar (Director of Student Advocacy). Here, we were exposed to resolutions brought forth from other SUNY system students. At this conference, the resolutions that were presented were: Required Water Quality Testing, wherein the action requested is That the Board of Trustees of The State University of New York adopt water quality testing requirements for State Operated Campuses similar to the Lead and Copper Rule of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Shared Governance of Community College Auxiliary Services Corporations, wherein the action requested is that the respective boards of trustees of the thirty community colleges of The State University of New York adopt a policy similar to “Auxiliary Services Corporations Guidelines” as adopted by the SUNY Board of Trustees to ensure shared governance and the inclusion of diverse student voices in the governance of auxiliary service corporations including those which provide student housing affiliated with the respective college. Maintenance of Effort, wherein the action requested is that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to sign amendment to education law S.1596-A/A.934-A “Maintenance of Effort.” Maintenance of Effort, as assured under the NY-SUNY 2020 plan, pledged that the State of...

United Nations Youth Summit 2017 Recap

On Friday, September 15, 2017, a group of FIT students and select FIT Student Government Association members were invited to the United Nations Headquarters by Peace Day 365 to celebrate the International Peace Day.   This event featured an exciting range of keynote speakers like H.E. Ambassador Hahn Choong-Hee (Deputy Permanent Representative of the republic of Korea to the United Nations), Daniel Perell (Baha’l international, Coalition for Global Citizenship), Representatives from the Nobel Peace Laureate Conference, and youth speakers who have initiated great innovative programs to engage youth around the world. The conference helped identify opportunities for action for the Sustainable Development Goals, and empowered young people to be change-makers by providing us with information about the resources that were available in New York City to do so. Tuesday’s Children – An initiative that works in partnership with experts from around the world and in collaboration with renowned facilitators and mental health professionals, to serve communities altered by an act of violence.   This was a great opportunity to learn about International Affairs and most importantly, developing peaceful solutions for world issues amongst youth. Representatives from AIESEC were one of the many incredible panelists present who shared their views on peace.   An important point was made in the conference about the children who are affected by this act of terrorism and disruptive activities that resulted in the lost their families and I quote, ‘Kids need families and love- not institutions, not government, not charity or anything else. Kids belong to people, not government not charity or these institutions! They need belongingness and quite frankly, anyone can provide belongingness and love, including...

SUNYSA President and Trustee, Marc J. Cohen Response to President Trump’s Decision to End DACA

SUNY Student Assembly Stands Committed to Supporting DREAMers September 5, 2017 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Austin Ostro, Austin.Ostro@sunysa.org “The SUNY Student Assembly is deeply disturbed by the news that President Trump has decided to end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. DACA has given over 800,000 undocumented Americans the opportunity to come out of the shadows and be embraced by the only country they have ever known. “This harmful, discriminatory decision will not impede the Student Assembly’s advocacy efforts on behalf of undocumented students. To the contrary, we stand more committed than ever to fighting for these vital members of the SUNY community on the local, state, and federal levels. “To the undocumented students across the SUNY system who will go to sleep tonight afraid, we have one message: We will fight as hard as we can to ensure that you are afforded the rights entitled to you as Americans. We will double down on our efforts to convert the bipartisan support which has been expressed for dreamers, into a permanent legislative solution for DACA recipients. “We urge all federal lawmakers to put partisanship aside and act to protect those whose status is now in jeopardy. Let’s not allow innocent young people to suffer at the hands of polarized, partisan politics.” About the SUNY Student Assembly The Student Assembly of the State University of New York (SUNY SA) is the recognized student government organization representing the nearly 600,000 students of the State University of New York. Comprised of student leaders elected by their peers from across SUNY’s 64 campuses, SUNY SA is committed to empowering students...

Message from SGA President Sonne Bajwa on Hurricane Harvey

To all my fellow students,     At FIT, many of us, myself included, tend to get a little obsessed with our classes, internships/jobs or perhaps even the finale of Game of Thrones. On a more serious note, a friend of mine once remarked that fashion, as glamorous and amazing as it can be, tends to lack in the area of philanthropy. For those of us that are already out there making moves to better society, thank you and I hope you will keep fighting the good fight.   With that in mind, on the behalf of the FIT Student Government Association (SGA), I extend our thoughts and prayers to the people of Texas and Louisiana. Hurricane Harvey has been a catastrophe on a scale that many people would never have imagined. To all my fellow students from Texas and Louisiana or those with connections in those areas, stay strong. Most of us, myself included, might not be able to imagine exactly how it feels but I have an inkling of it. When the earthquake and tsunami hit Indonesia in 2004, many of my relatives there were gravely affected. Fortunately, there was nothing fatal. I wish I were joking when I say that my dad was in Indonesia just a week before it happened. It is with that experience in mind that I hope you will stay strong and believe that things will get better. They truly will.   At times like this, we should all recognize our good fortune and be immensely grateful to be able to focus on issues that we want to focus on. More importantly,...