On Monday, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly met to discuss which of its members will be attending the 2022 Ivy+ Summit, which will take place at Columbia University Oct. 21-23.
The Ivy Plus conference is a yearly meeting bringing together representatives from graduate student bodies like the GPSA at each of the eight Ivy League institutions, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago. The conference is a way for representatives to share information on the status of their respective assemblies and projects they are developing to fit the needs of their student bodies.
“Every year, all of our GPSA counterparts from the Ivy League plus schools get together to discuss the state of our groups as well as initiatives we’re working on. It’s a kind of networking plus sharing of information and strategy,” said GPSA president Preston Hanley grad.
Each day of the conference features events ranging from presentations given by the different GPSA presidents to workshops where representatives can collaborate on improving their initiatives.
According to Executive Vice President Kate Carter-Cram grad, who attended the conference last year, the conference covers crucial issues such as diversity and inclusion practices, graduate student stipends and unionization, and helps its participants be better student leaders at their universities.
“One thing from last year was that there was a big battle around unionization of different GPSAs and that’s something we brought back,” Carter-Cram said. “We are not unionized, but we did end up implementing a stipend for some GPSA members and that follows suit with several of the schools that we interacted with last year.”
This year, returning members will find at least one thing about the conference changed: Ivy+ is now allowing ten delegates to be sent from every school, which is an increase from the limit of four in previous years.
“The President and the executive board went last year to the conference at [the University of Pennsylvania], but this year is going to be different because they are allowing other members of the board to come,” said Norielis Perez grad. “I think this is very important because it will not only be the executive board [attending], but other people who want to create an impact in GPSA coming this year.”
Perez, who serves on the GPSA’s diversity and inclusion committee, said that she plans to attend the conference in order to learn how her committee can be more effective in helping Cornellians.
“I want to learn how to create impact within the diversity and inclusion committee because I don’t want the committee just to talk, I want to have action,” Perez said. “I believe that if I go to the summit, I will gain knowledge of how other schools are taking action.”
Annika McGraw grad, chair of the student advocacy committee, is in charge of gathering student perspectives on relevant campus issues and creating a platform for students to share their opinions. She plans to use the summit to learn more techniques to use in doing that job.
“Attending the Ivy+ Summit would be beneficial to anyone in my position, as it is a great way to understand how other campuses successfully… gather student perspectives and create initiatives on campus that address student issues,” McGraw said.
Cornell’s Ivy+ delegates are not only looking forward to learning from others but to sharing their experiences as well. According to Carter-Cram, over the last year and a half, the GPSA has improved its engagement with campus and its functionality as an assembly — and they look forward to helping other assemblies do the same.
“This year we’re looking forward to sharing how we’ve been able to foster… engagement and how universities can rebound from COVID-19, especially when other universities are still facing issues of creating generational knowledge and engagement,” Carter-Cram said. “I’m excited to share that with other people and hope that they will be able to get something out of that.”