ALBANY – SUNY Orange student Senators Jonah Martinez, D’Jean Nikitov and David Rosario recently participated in the SUNY Student Assembly’s “Advocacy Day” in Albany, joining their classmates from across the SUNY System to call upon the state’s legislators for support.
The Student Assembly typically gathers students in Albany for one day each year, usually as the state budget process in unfolding, to address key issues that impact students statewide and to strengthen advocacy efforts.
This year, the Student Assembly is requesting that the state increase Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) income eligibility to $125,000, increase the minimum TAP award to $1,000, increase TAP and Excelsior Scholarship funding by $100 million and increase funding for on-campus mental health services by $30 million.
Additionally, the students would like to see the state establish a co-pay grant program with an investment of $500,000, increase funding for “Enhancing Supports and Services for Students with Disabilities Postsecondary Success” by $13 million, establish a SUNY meal assistance program through an investment of $45 million, and allocate $10 million to address student hunger by passing the Hunger-Free Campus Act.
Martinez is a liberal arts student from Middletown while Nikitov is a native of Montevideo, Uruguay who resides in Newburgh and is studying business management. Rosario, the SUNY Orange Student Senate president, is from Slate Hill and is focusing on biology as a liberal arts major.