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Students gather on campus for Ivy Summit

Approximately 450 Ivy League students gathered on campus over the weekend for the ninth annual Ivy Leadership Summit, a two-day conference featuring speakers and workshops centered on the theme of "Leading in a Globalizing Community."

The conference was organized by the Ivy Council, a nonprofit organization composed of student leaders from the eight Ivy League schools, all of which sent delegates. According to the conference's organizers, the Ivy Leadership Summit aims to bring together students from across the Ivy League to discuss current issues.

"It's an opportunity for students to come together and collaborate," said Stacey Park '11, one of the event's co-chairs.

The conference was organized by Park, co-chair Paris Hays '10 and a team of about a dozen Brown students, and featured three keynote addresses given by US Ambassador Charles Manatt and Irish Ambassador Michael Collins, as well as President Ruth Simmons.

In her speech Saturday, Simmons discussed the conference's theme and the importance of diversity, exploration and nuance in solving the world's problems. "Tomorrow's reality, whether we like it or not, is global. The topic 'leadership in the global community' could not be more timely," she said.

Simmons also thanked the event's organizers and praised the summit's goals. "The Ivy Leadership Summit is an inspired idea, as it allows us a chance to consider debate and learn from the most challenging issues of this time," she said.

Activities began Friday evening with opening ceremonies featuring a number of Brown's performance groups, a welcome reception and a keynote address by Manatt. Many students were impressed by the performances, including those by Mezcla, Out of Bounds, Fusion Dance Company and the

Jabberwocks.

"The student groups were phenomenal," said Yale sophomore Abigail Cheung.

After Simmons' speech Saturday morning, students attended workshops covering topics such as business etiquette, civic engagement, global leadership and energy independence. The day ended with a final keynote address from Collins, as well as a banquet and an after-party in Leung Gallery.

The conference was sponsored primarily by various Brown offices, including the Office of the President and the Dean of the College, with funds also coming from the Cornell University Johnson School, Michael Hanson, USA Today and student and school fees. Jose Vasconez, '10, the Ivy Council's Finance Chair, said the University provided financial and logistical support to the summit. "The administration sponsored us, and everyone I approached at Brown was more than willing to help," he said.

According to Park and Vasconez, planning began in April, when a Brown steering committee submitted a proposal and a budget to the Ivy Council. According to Vasconez, the steering committee then raised approximately $24,000 through sponsorships. They later worked to recruit speakers and coordinate event spaces.

Student delegates, who underwent an application process and were selected to attend by their respective schools, paid a $21 fee for attending the event, in addition to transportation, and were housed by Brown students.

Student delegates said they were attracted by the conference's focus on global and environmental issues. "I was partly drawn by all the sustainability speakers," said Brian Levin, a Yale sophomore. "I think that global warming is the challenge of our generation, and it's incumbent upon us to work to solve it."

Alexa Chu, another Yale sophomore, said, "I was drawn by the international aspect. There are a lot of ambassadors speaking."

Others said that they were interested in collaborating with other Ivy League students. "One reason for the summit is to foster relationships between the Ivy League, which I think is important. We always think of these rivalries between the Ivy Leagues, but we really need to work together to solve problems," said Columbia University first-year Amber Tunnell.

Vasconez and Park both said they were pleased with the way the conference went. "We worked really hard to plan everything, and it's all going exactly to plan," said Vasconez.


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