Student from LI to serve as a SUNY trustee

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Plainview resident Kevin Rea is expected to take office Friday as the newest member of the State University of New York's board of trustees.

Rea, 21, is a graduate student at SUNY Maritime in the Bronx, where he recently earned a bachelor's degree in International Transportation Management. He expects to get his master's next spring.

His issues include giving veterans more educational opportunities at SUNY schools; making study-abroad programs more accessible, and increasing the enrollment of international students. "I know how hard it is for veterans to come home and continue," Rea said Wednesday. "I want to make SUNY a place where it is easy for veterans to go."

He also hopes to increase tuition assistance money and students' access to lawmakers. "Before they make legislation, I'd like to see them say, 'Let's see how the students feel about this,' " Rea said.

Student delegates from the 64 SUNY schools elected Rea in April. He will be one of 18 trustees and serve a one-year term as Student Assembly president. For the latter, he will receive a stipend of $5,750. He also becomes a voting member of the board for the Higher Education Services Corp., which administers the Tuition Assistance Program, or TAP.

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In a statement, board of trustees chairman H. Carl McCall welcomed Rea and said students are at the center of SUNY's greatest achievements.

"Their voice on the Board, as represented by a new student trustee every year, has always been critical and influential to our work," McCall said.

Rea replaces Kaitlyn Beachner, of Rochester, a graduate student at Buffalo State College.

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