The purpose of the CUSP Alliance is to place the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program in the hands of the Scholars by recognizing and formalizing a core of proactive Scholar leaders who desire to play an integral role in developing the Program. The CUSP Alliance offers the Scholars creative and constructive opportunities to serve as ambassadors between the CUSP administration, the Scholar population, and the greater Columbia, New York City, and global communities. They gain experience organizing and facilitating long-term community and civic programming that serves not only as an opportunity to foster a sense of community within CUSP but as one of many examples of the powerful results possible through application of CUSP ideologies.
Founded in September 2005, the CUSP Alliance became a structure through which Scholars are empowered in their own Program under the direct guidance and supervision of the CUSP Administrators. This Scholar leadership upholds the CUSP leadership ethos and was initially conceptualized and implemented by the CUSP administration as a natural extension and enhancement of the original Scholars Advisory Board (a panel of twelve Scholars appointed to the Board by application, who acted as liaisons between the Scholars and the Office and helped brainstorm ideas for the Program). Scholars immediately participated and assumed leadership roles with an unforeseen vigor. Formerly known as the Scholars Governing Board & Scholars Advisory Council, the CUSP Alliance renamed itself to distinguish the organization as a collective of like minds inclusive of not only Scholars, but also their growing supporters in the Columbia community.
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