Students Hold Inaugural Student Government Summit

Feb 22 2014

The NYU Shanghai Student Government hosted the first ever New York University Student Government Summit, with invited representatives from the NYU Abu Dhabi Student Government and the NYU New York Student Government. The summit was the first meeting of its kind, fostering global student leadership and university-wide collaboration. The three-day conference boasted an ambitious agenda with a group of 15 students: six from Abu Dhabi, three from New York and six executive board members from Shanghai.  The student leaders met with university leadership including President John Sexton, Vice-Chancellor for Global Programs Linda Mills, Associate Vice-Chancellor Josh Taylor, and NYU Shanghai university leadership including Chancellor Yu Lizhong, Vice-Chancellor Jeff Lehman, Dean of Students Tyra Liebmann, and Dean of Arts and Science Joanna Waley-Cohen.

The Shanghai students shared their campus culture with their counterparts from around the globe, focusing on common student issues, including academic consistency across campuses, global programming initiatives, and the global reach of student government. The student government Global Ambassador Program at the New York and Abu Dhabi campuses was of particular interest to the Shanghai community. These ambassador programs include a student leader on the ground at each of the 11 NYU global locations who is responsible for feedback to his or her home campus. The Shanghai Student Government may consider developing this initiative once the inaugural class begins to study away.   

A highlight of the weekend was the student Town Hall, open to the entire Shanghai student body, which attracted over 60 students on Friday night, February 21. The representatives from New York and Abu Dhabi presented about student life at their campuses, and took questions from the Shanghai students. Mohammad Omar, known as “Mo”, and the president of the Abu Dhabi student body reflected on the growing pains of being a part of the first class at a new university.  He shared his advice with Shanghai,  “All these experiences bring us will make lifelong friends.” Harris Inskeep-Rosenfeld, one of the two Vice-Chairs from New York urged the students in Shanghai to take their position seriously, “[You all] set the standard, show next year how it’s done.”

The wisdom and knowledge shared over the weekend was just the beginning, as the group looks to establish long term and institutionalized partnerships.  As NYU President John Sexton said, “Students, more than any other group at the university, get what we’re doing - you live it, day in and day out.” The Student Government Summit set the tone of global collaboration and through this collaboration they will help realize the spirit and potential of the NYU  Global Network University.