Ivy Council

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Ivy Council
Type 501c3 non-profit
Established 1993
Affiliations All-China Students' Federation
Website www.ivycouncil.org
Ivy Council Logo.jpeg

The Ivy Council is a 501(c)3 federal tax-exempt organization of student government leaders, student organization leaders, and students at large from the colleges and universities of the Ivy League. The Ivy Council was established in 1993 by members of the Ivy League student governments in order to facilitate effective communication between the student governments of their respective institutions and to provide a unified voice for the Ivy League student governments. In its inaugural year, Ivy Council was led by future U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who served as its first president. Since then, the Ivy Council has expanded the scope of its activity both nationally and internationally with programs such as the Ivy Leadership Summit and student-exchange opportunities in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.[1]

Member schools[edit]

Founded in 1993 as a way to collaborate and exchange ideas on common student life issues at their respective school, student government leaders set the stage for the Ivy Council that exists today. In 1997, in response to the complexities of running a loose federation of organizations over seven states, a defining structure was created. The Ivy Council draws its membership from the Brown University Undergraduate Council of Students, Columbia University (the Columbia College Student Council, the Columbia Engineering Student Council, and the Columbia General Studies Student Council), the Cornell University Student Assembly, the Dartmouth College Student Assembly, the Harvard University Undergraduate Council, the University of Pennsylvania Undergraduate Assembly, the Princeton University Undergraduate Student Government, and the Yale College Council.[2]

The Ivy Council is not a party to, nor is it in any way adjunct to, the Ivy Group Agreement of 1954. The Ivy Council is in no way adjunct to the council of college and university Presidents known as the Council of Ivy Group Presidents. The positions taken and statements made by the Ivy Council are only representative of the undergraduate students of the eight Ivy League schools. They are not in any way taken nor made on behalf of the Ivy League itself, nor its member institutions themselves as distinct corporate entities.[2]


The Ivy Council organizes three different activities throughout an academic year. First, the Ivy Council hosts semi-annual conferences where student leaders gather to research and seek solutions to issues of the day at their schools, across the Ivy League, or to student populations as a whole. Recent issue topics have included affirmative action in admissions, post-season football, the drug-free provisions in higher education legislation, climate neutrality and fuel emissions.

Ivy Council Conferences are important learning experiences for everyone who attends. Each gets to enjoy the vastly different physical environments of the host schools, while taking from the depth of expertise that is shared among participants.

Delegates and observers arrive at the Conference site on Friday night. A grand gathering takes place at the opening. The weekend that follows provides more formalized events that encourage the sharing of ideas, while providing social events to help build lasting relationships. On Saturday, the attendees get down to business, spending many hours in discussion sections. Topics are determined in advance by the Steering Committee; past topics have covered a wide range of issues facing higher education, including academic affairs, alcohol use and abuse and socially aware university investment and divestment. Each school comes prepared with researched information about how each issue is addressed on its campus. All benefit from hearing other perspectives and new ideas; solutions are developed as a result. Session minutes are combined with that background information and a conference booklet is created and distributed to each delegation. This provides each student government with a tool for further addressing the issues discussed. Moreover, Conference materials are posted online in the Student Government Forum and Policy Database to encourage further discussion and archived information sharing. Such documents are accessible to all Ivy League students, not just Ivy student government leaders and members.

Ivy Leadership Summit[edit]

Theodore Roosevelt IV gives a presentation at ILS

Ivy Leadership Summit (ILS) is an annual two-day conference hosted by the Ivy Council to bring together students from the eight Ivy League universities along with leaders from the business, government, academics, and non-profit sectors of society. The conference is usually held in February and its location is rotated each year through the campuses of the schools in the Ivy League.

ILS was originally created to promote the exchange of ideas between students of the Ivy League and today’s leaders on subjects of public policy such as affirmative action and ethics in science and technology. The first ILS was held at Yale University in 2000 and had the topic of “Integrity and Ethics.” Eighty participants were selected from a pool of applicants throughout the Ivy League. The main activities of the conference were keynote speakers, panels, and roundtable discussions. Since then, Ivy Council has held six conferences each with their own topics of discussion. Past speakers have included Steve Forbes, Chairman and CEO of Forbes magazine; Nasreen Berwari, Iraqi Minister of Municipalities and General Works; Jeffrey Sachs, special adviser to the UN’s Millennium Development; Theodore Roosevelt IV, Managing Director at Lehman Brothers and prominent environmentalist; and Dov Zakheim, US Undersecretary of Defense. The list of past summits is listed below according to year, topic, and school:

Ivy Policy Conference[edit]

Ivy Policy Conference (IPC) is an annual conference hosted every spring by the Ivy Council. IPC emphasizes in-depth, candid conversation on public policy solutions to the social, intellectual, political, and cultural issues facing today’s college students. Ivy League schools take turns hosting IPC on their respective campuses.

Ivy China Exchange[edit]

In May-June 2008, then-President Bing Chen (Penn '09) and then-VP External Affairs Sue Yang (Columbia '10) facilitated two dozen student government Presidents and student journalists to travel to Beijing, Wuhan, and Shanghai for the first Ivy League student delegation through mainland China.[3] The American students held a dialogue with their Chinese peers on international student relations at Peking University, and met with Chinese leaders.[4] Currently, the Ivy-China program is in its seventh year, and has brought a delegation of 8 Chinese students from the top universities in China, who visited the Ivy League Universities and continued with the goal of international cultural exchange. The program has also seen expansions to Europe and the Middle East.


In addition to the student delegates from each of the member schools, the Ivy Council also maintains an Executive Board for day-to-day operations and a Board of Governors for fiscal management and long-term sustenance of the organization. The Executive Board and the Head Delegates of the eight member schools form the Steering Board. Head Delegates are the only members of the Steering Board with the power to vote as they are entrusted to represent their respective schools in the interim between meetings of the Legislative Council.

The current Executive Board consists of:

Position Name School
President Lelina Chang Yale University
Vice President for Internal Affairs Tayyaba Arshad Cornell University
Vice President for External Affairs Tara Ulepic University of Pennsylvania
Vice President for Policy Yuki Inaba Brown University
Vice President for Finance Ziva Posner Cornell University
Vice President for Marketing Nipun Dubey University of Pennsylvania

The current Head Delegates are:

School Name
Brown University Yuki Inaba, Naveen Srinivasan
Columbia University Nina Bechmann
Cornell University Alyson Kim, Tiffany Ross
Dartmouth College Danny Li
Harvard College Anant Pai; Cora Neudeck
Princeton University Daniel Wilson; Helen Zhang
University of Pennsylvania Mitchell Chan
Yale University Chunyang Ding; Taylor Buscemi

The current Board of Governors consists of:

Position Name Alma Mater
Governor Emeritus Bing Chen University of Pennsylvania
Chief Financial Officer Jose Vasconez Brown University


  1. ^ Ivy Council
  2. ^ a b Ivy Council Constitution
  3. ^ Univ. Trustee Leads First-Ever Ivy League Student Delegation to China | The Cornell Daily Sun
  4. ^ Student leaders get Chinese experience

External links[edit]