Dartmouth hosts meeting of Ivy League veterans group

by Joey Chong | 10/18/19 2:00am

Earlier this month, Dartmouth hosted the fall 2019 meeting of the Ivy League Veterans Council. Over 50 student-veterans gathered in Collis Common Ground to update the other members about the veteran community and work together to solve veterans’ issues. 

The ILVC was founded in 2015 to address the underrepresentation of veterans, according to ILVC president and Stanford University undergraduate Adam Behrendt. ILVC member schools include Brown University, the College of William and Mary, Cornell University, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Princeton University, Stanford, the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Southern California had representatives at the meeting but do not have official chapters of the ILVC.

The meeting opened with a welcome from Dartmouth President Emeritus James Wright. Wright discussed the importance of veterans coming together and sharing their experiences with the community.

During the morning session, school representatives described the changes in their respective populations of student-veterans and highlighted successes and areas for improvement. In the afternoon session, the participants had a discussion about increasing productivity, Behrendt said.

The University of Chicago was inducted as an official member of the ILVC during the meeting. The member institutions also agreed to publish an annual report to document updates within their organization. The report also allows student-veterans to “have a collective voice that says these are issues that are common across many schools,” Behrendt said.

This recent meeting was the first time that Dartmouth hosted the ILVC on campus. Behrendt said that this meeting was the first time the Dartmouth Student Veterans Association attended the ILVC’s meetings.

SVA president Brandyn Humberstone ’22 said that Dartmouth was approached approximately two months ago by the ILVC about Dartmouth hosting the meeting.

“We did this on very short notice,” Humberstone said. “It went much smoother than I expected.”

The SVA also received guidance from the Dartmouth Uniformed Service Alumni. DUSA Adjutant Chad Rairie ’16 explained that he helped guide the SVA in planning the meeting. According to Rairie, DUSA helps to “facilitate for the undergraduate veterans their goals and what they want to achieve with the College” by providing mentorship and advice throughout the planning process.

“The undergraduates run and plan everything,” Rairie said. “I’m just here as a backstop.”

Humberstone said he appreciated the community developed within Dartmouth through the process of hosting the ILVC. Behrendt underscored the wider community developed through the ILVC.

“The group is really nice for the community that it builds,” Behrendt said. “They do some productive things, but one of the greater values is there are so few vets at each school — which is why the group exists. This gives them a community.”

Rairie highlighted the importance of student-veterans coming together to discuss institutional changes they wish to see at their respective universities.

“The biggest benefit of this is that they get to talk to other people with similar experiences and see how other people have solved issues,” Rairie said. “It’s an opportunity for Dartmouth to lead.”