SALTT Participants Attend SCUSA Conference at West Point

SCUSA participants have lunch with West Point cadets in between sessions.
 SCUSA participants have lunch with West Point cadets in between sessions.

Since 1948, the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY, has hosted its annual Student Conference on US Affairs (SCUSA). This year, current and former Strategy and Leadership in Transformational Times (SALTT) participants Abigail Major ’19, Caleb Parker ’18, and Julie Welde ’18 attended the conference representing The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College.

At the conference, student delegates from around the world study policy issues relevant to U.S. foreign policy and prepare a report with policy suggestions to be presented at the end of the conference. This year’s theme was “The Politics of the Forgotten and the Aggrieved: Remaking the World Order.” Students were assigned issues ranging from climate change to the future of NATO.

The conference is run exclusively by West Point Cadets, giving students the opportunity to learn more about the school and interact with the cadets. Student delegates stayed in the barracks to get the full West Point experience.

Read below to hear about the Gettysburg delegation’s experience in their own words.

in committee

Abigail Major ’19

“Not only was I able to meet and collaborate with exceptional cadets, fellow civilians, and professionals, but I was also able to apply the skills I have learned from SALTT,” said Major, a History and Classics double major who worked on policy recommendations related to NATO and the future of US alliances.

“At certain times we became so caught up in goal setting. In those moments, I would take a step back and realize that we were not addressing how we were actually going to achieve these specific goals. Being a participant in SALTT has taught me the difference between strategies and goals, the process in structuring these two concepts, the importance of self-reflection, as well as the practice of considering multiple viewpoints.”

Caleb Parker ’18

Parker, a Political Science major, worked on a committee dedicated to forming policy regarding bilateral relations between the United States and Russia.

“SCUSA places America’s future military and civilian leaders together to learn what it takes to control the helm of policy making,” Parker said.

“The process demonstrated the complexities of working together to find compromise, however, the rewards include lasting impact that will hopefully benefit future generations.”

Julie Welde ’18

“I was assigned to [the] Displacement [roundtable], addressing refugees and asylum seekers worldwide with 24 other students from West Point, American schools, and even schools from around the globe,” said Welde, a Health Science and Public Policy double major.

“Working with Susan Eisenhower, I have learned about the importance of strategy and was able to address the displacement issues through a strategical lens, which immensely helped our entire group.”

Article by Jeffrey Lauck ‘18, a political science and history double major and a 2017-2018 Fielding Fellow

Photos by Julie Welde ’18