SUNY Potsdam Alumna Elected President of SUNY Student Assembly


SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, left, welcomes Kaitlyn Beachner as SUNY Student Assembly President.

SUNY Potsdam alumna Kaitlyn Beachner has been elected as SUNY Student Assembly President, and was sworn in as the newest member of the SUNY Board of Trustees on June 1.

State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher welcomed Beachner, and she was sworn in by General Counsel William Howard to officially take office on Wednesday. Beachner got her start in student government at SUNY Potsdam, where she served as Student Government Association President in 2007-08, before earning bachelor’s degrees in history and anthropology.

“As a former SGA President at Potsdam, the college is in my heart and on my mind. I want to continue the strong advocacy that has been growing over the years among student leaders,” Beachner said. “The education, experience and support I received at Potsdam changed my life. I am happy to be at Buffalo State now, but Potsdam is my alma mater and will always be near and dear to my heart.”

Beachner, 25, is a native of Webster, New York, and a 2008 graduate of SUNY Potsdam. This past year, Beachner served as a representative to the Student Assembly for four-year colleges. Currently, she is enrolled at Buffalo State College as a graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs administration. She will be the first Buffalo State student to hold the position.

“The Power of SUNY loudly declares that ‘students are at the center of all we do.’ There is no more appropriate sentiment as we welcome Kaitlyn as a member of the Board,” said SUNY Board of Trustees Chairman Carl T. Hayden. “We look to her leadership and student perspective as the State University continues down what can only be categorized as an ambitious path toward excellence. On behalf of the entire Board, I wish Kaitlyn the best of luck in her upcoming journey.”

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Kaitlyn as she takes on the role of Student Assembly President and becomes a voting member of SUNY’s Board of Trustees,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Kaitlyn brings to the table a proven track record of effective representation, and her prior participation in the strategic planning process means our partnership can hit the ground running. SUNY students can be proud, as we are, of their choice in leadership.”

The Student Assembly president is elected annually in the spring by his or her peers from across the SUNY system. In addition to serving as president, the student elected also serves as a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees with full voting privileges, as well as a voting member of the board for the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC), best known for administering the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).

SUNY Potsdam’s current SGA President, Sam McAfree, nominated Beachner for the position of SUNY SA President.

“I have always had a passion for student government and ensuring that the student voice is heard,” said Beachner. “Being a true representative of the students will be my highest priority. I look forward to working with SUNY officials and state lawmakers as we make decisions together that will benefit all New Yorkers. Chancellor Zimpher and the Board have been steadfast in garnering student opinion, and I look forward to continuing and building on that trust.”

SUNY continues to make student feedback a priority, having partnered with the Student Assembly for critical input on current legislative priorities and substantial representation throughout the strategic planning process.

About the Student Assembly:
The Student Assembly of the State University of New York is an organization of student leaders elected by their peers from all SUNY campuses. Empowering students throughout the state, the SUNY SA is committed to student life and ensuring the representation of its members on the state and national level, as well as throughout the SUNY system.

About the State University of New York:
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating more than 465,000 students in more than 7,500 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses with more than 3 million alumni around the globe. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

About SUNY Potsdam:
Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts.