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