About Ohio Student Association

Formed in 2012, Ohio Student Association (OSA) is a statewide organization led by young people. OSA engages in values-based issue & electoral organizing, nonviolent direct action, advocacy for progressive public policy, and leadership development. On campuses and communities across Ohio, we organize young people to build independent political power.

We are young people breaking cultural, economic and political chains by collectively swinging back against systems of oppression. We do this through grassroots organizing, direct action, and leadership development. We are a vehicle for people who believe another world is possible.

  • Latest from the blog

    Wright State OSA release report; demands Board of Trustees divest from Hedge Funds

    Divest Now from Hedge Funds

    OSA members at Wright State announce the release a report on the dangers of university endowment investments in hedge funds.

    On Friday, February 17, Education First Coalition —students from College Dems, NAACP, and the Ohio Student Association at Wright State University—protested the university’s board of trustees meeting to demand that the institution divest all endowment funds currently invested in hedge funds. The students then held a brief press conference during which they announced the release of a report detailing Ohio universities’ investments in hedge funds and the dangers of these investments.

    Wright State is currently facing a budget crisis. Students contend that the university’s endowment investments in hedge funds may be exacerbating the problem. Hedge funds are notoriously opaque in terms of their operations and investments. They also charge high fees and typically underperform compared to other funds.

    "In the midst of a budget crisis, why would the university continue to make risky investments?” asks Tyler Willis, a student at Wright State University. “I know students who are struggling to make tuition bills, yet our university is hemorrhaging money."

    Ohio Student Association (OSA) worked together with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Ohio chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and Ohio Hedge Clippers to produce the report, “How Hedge Funds Rip Off Ohio University Endowments and How Ohio Students, Taxpayers & Communities Suffer.” 

    View report here.


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    OSA announces new executive director

    Ohio Student Association is thrilled to announce our next Executive Director: Prentiss Haney!

    Prentiss is a member of the OSA family - he started his organizing career as a field organizer for Organizing for America registering students and building campus organizing teams. After the 2012 election, he joined OSA to continue building student power. Since then, Prentiss has played many roles in the organization ranging from training coordinator to regional team lead. He has developed campus teams in two cities, trained hundreds of leaders and has led racial justice and higher education campaigns. In 2016, he joined the staff full time as our Communication Director building up a social media presence and strengthening our internal communication structures.

    Prentiss has a deep commitment to Ohio and building the strongest vehicle for young people to learn the skills of resistance and community organizing. Our membership believes in his leadership and is ready to continue to fight for the communities and dignity we deserve especially in the current political moment.

    - Stuart, former executive director

    Statement from Prentiss

    “I remember how it felt the first time I confronted power and won. It was 2013 and a group of us at Wright State had been planning a campaign to end police brutality at black social events on campus. The police had been harassing black student events and using excessive force to end them. Additionally, the university was charging black student thousands of dollars in security cost because black social events were deemed “high-risk” by a racist point-system the university developed.  

    OSA was there from the beginning. They helped us craft our strategy and mobilize around the issue. However, what I remember most was how OSA rooted our struggle in dignity. When the university and other students couldn't see why it was important to end this type of state violence, OSA did. Ohio Student Association knew that the most marginalized communities deserve respect and power. So when we won, I saw what power looked like. I knew then OSA was the vehicle for me. Now four years later, I am still committed to this fight and I know OSA is the vehicle to unleash powerful youth leaders like me in 2013.  

    My vision is to make Ohio Student Association the premier youth movement-training and organizing vehicle in Ohio. Young people must shift the political landscape and reimage what is possible. The 2016 election showed us that what we imagined as impossible is, in fact, possible. So let’s not hold back. It’s time for us as young people to reimagine our path to power. Youth engagement in the political process is key to determining our future and not only online but at local governments and universities across Ohio.

    OSA is a movement-building organization teaching and practicing the craft of organizing, civic engagement, and creating movement moments. Our strategic method along with traditional organizing styles allows us to have a hybrid experience where youth are creating relational culture, fighting for progressive policies on universities & local governments while launching movement moments that create a collective identity and collective resistance.

    I know the power of young people is unlimited. I see it every day in this organization. OSA has transformed my life. I owe it to OSA to continue building the premier youth movement-building organization in Ohio.”

    - Prentiss Haney, Executive Director


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    Recap: Catchin’ Bodies Summit in Ohio

    Note: This blog was originally posted here on feministcampus.org

    On June 11th and 12th, I had the privilege of attending the Ohio Student Association’s Catchin’ Bodies Summit. It was my first experience at an OSA event, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I encountered was a group of dedicated, hardworking, and compassionate people who worked their hardest to make everyone feel welcome. For me, the most uplifting part of the summit was meeting so many people who were not only interested in social justice, but specifically bringing justice to Ohio. As someone who plans on working in Ohio for years to come, it was refreshing to meet people who cared as much about the state as I do.

    We started off by breaking into groups to practice resonance. Resonance is where members of the group share their stories, and the other group members acknowledge what parts resonated with them. Part of the challenge for some people is to simply listen to their peers, instead of sharing parts of their stories out of turn. Resonance encourages showing empathy and solidarity with one’s peers without purposely or accidentally one-upping each other. It was a fulfilling experience where I felt safe to share my story, and I could feel validated in my experiences.

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