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ESC Hears From The Ivy League Conference

This week in ESC, they listened to a representative from the Ivy Council regarding the Ivy League conference and talked to the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association. ESC Bureau Chief Lori Luo reports. 

Ivy League Conference
A member of the Ivy Council came today to ESC to introduce them to the Ivy League Conference and to ask for support. The Ivy Council is a group where leaders from different schools within the ivy league come together to network and to share ideas. Founded by Senator Ted Cruz, past members include other famous legislators. At Columbia, the Ivy Council is not a recognized club, but it is in most other schools.

Despite the group’s unofficial status here, the Ivy League Conference created by the group will be hosted by Columbia this year, with the topic “Industrial Revolution 4.0”. The group estimates that there will be around 100 to 200 people attending from both Columbia as well as other schools. The conference will be made up of different sessions and keynote speakers. For the sessions, the group aims to partner with different Columbia communities and clubs on campus.

To ESC, they asked for sponsorship and connections to clubs, topics and speakers. They also asked for help with creating the event, such as booking rooms, since the group is not a registered club. ESC asked many clarification questions in order to better understand the group’s request, generally focused on the event itself as well as the monetary costs of the event, since they requested monetary sponsorship.

It was first clarified that the conference itself isn’t usually targeted towards engineering, but this year’s specific topic lended itself more towards engineering. The group wanted the conference to be holistic, including speakers on changing trends, investment banks, and technology CEOs and CTOs. Within the specific sessions, the group planned to have individual clubs present for only fifteen to twenty minutes and to have discussions fill most of the time. They wanted the discussions to reflect how people’s backgrounds and schools influenced their viewpoints.

When asked about how many clubs the group has approached, the representative informed ESC that they have confirmed collaborations with a few clubs and are currently talking to four to five others, including ADI. A few ESC members, including Class of 2020 Class Representative Youngjae Ryu, recommended that the group consider reaching out to more engineering oriented clubs, as ESC represented the engineering student body and engineering clubs. Another ESC member noted that representation and diversity is highly important as well, recommending that the group consider groups such as SWE and SHPE.

Vice President of Policy Estevan Mesa asked the group where they were trying to source speakers from – the general New York City area or Columbia? The group said they were mostly looking for speakers from New York City. They were also asked about how many attendees they anticipated would be from SEAS, to which they answered around 50 to 60% of the students, since they felt the event most appealed to SEAS students. However, they were unsure how many specifically since they were still marketing the event.

The group was asked what they meant by ESC sponsorship, whether it was financial or simply helping them plan the event. They clarified that they were looking for both: help with promoting as well as financial sponsorship. They said the financial request was due to anticipating large numbers of people attending and a need to subsidize those tickets. Each ticket would cost around 40 dollars per person, contrary to the traditional 20 dollars that has been charged in the past but that would not be enough to cover all costs. Moreover, the costs of hosting the event falls entirely on the group from the hosting school. While the other Ivy Councils are recognized clubs at their schools, the money they recieve go towards ticket fees, transportation fees and their own events.

When asked to estimate how much they needed, the group said that around 3500 dollars would required total to run the event, but they were also asking other sponsors. From ESC, they said they would like 1500 to 2000 dollars. For members of ESC, President Alina Ying put this number into context as the same amount the metrocard initiative cost ESC, which would make this event a large part of ESC’s budget. The representative didn’t have a detailed expense plan on hand, but promised to send ESC one.

Ultimately, ESC voted to agree to promote the event, but to restrain on funding until they were given more detailed plans.

Columbia Engineering Alumni Association
ESC also talked to a representative (SEAS ‘81) from the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association (CEAA). CEAA is the engineering alumni association, which started in 1841, that every degree holder of SEAS is a member of. The main purpose of the group is to organize alumni, but it also seeks to strengthen bonds of professionals and current students, both undergraduate and graduate.

They have four basic programs: mentorship, partnership, leadership and fellowship. They wanted to highlight three of them ( mentorship, partnership and leadership) specifically.

Mentorship covers career advice, including networking, helping students find their way to jobs, and helping students navigate the in between moments between jobs. To do this, CEAA often hosts events, such as their Columbia to Wall Street event last October and their Columbia to Health Sciences event last November. They have their next event on March 11, Columbia to Transportation Sciences, that focuses on all types of transportation.

The second program they have partnership. CEAA gives grants to engineering oriented student groups, such as the Biomedical Engineering Society, Formula SAE, and Columbia Space Initiative. Grants have ranged from 1500 dollars for smaller groups to 3500 dollars for larger groups. They are always looking for more groups who want to engage with alumni. To apply, they have a form online. Lastly, the representative wanted to emphasize the leadership aspect. They aim to find students who show exemplary leadership skills–both undergrads and graduate students–via student nomination. These students will receive prizes and recognition. To nominate students, they have a questionnaire online.

People at a conference, perhaps similar to the Ivy League Conference via Flickr

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