About OCP

Organization of Cornell Planners

The Organization of Cornell Planners (OCP) was founded in the 1950s by students in the fast-growing Department of City and Regional Planning.  Students recognized the limitations of the program’s offerings for budding professionals:  the theoretical academic orientation of the faculty, Ithaca’s relative isolation from major urban areas, and rapid changes in the planning field with large-scale, post-war projects such as urban renewal, suburbanization, and the construction of the interstate highway system.  The students (at the time, all young men) recognized the need for a student group to organize professional development functions and social events in the department.

To this end, OCP organized a spring conference which took place on March 21-22, 1958, inviting practicing professionals to Ithaca to discuss the urban renewal program.  In the published proceedings of that conference, the members describe the organization:

The first annual spring conference of the Organization of Cornell Planners was a major step toward the fulfillment of the objectives of the organization:  service to the planning profession, to graduate students and alumni of the Department of City and Regional Planning, and to interested friends of Cornell.  This summary report of the Conference is itself another important part of our program to achieve these goals.

It was the intention of the founders that the organization would function in several ways.  The unification of the graduate planning students academically and socially has been the primary purpose of the regular meetings.  In addition the promotion of faculty-student relations, the provision of a flexible supplement to the more formal aspects of our training, and the stimulation of discussion of the planning function among students are important objectives.  Social get-togethers such as the spring picnic, and the reception for new students, and speakers such as Buckminster Fuller, Peter Self, Allan Holmberg, Hideo Sasaki, Kermit Parsons, Thomas Mackesey, Coleman Woodbury and others, have provided a well-rounded program.

An impressive program, indeed!

The group saw the conference as a critical part of their mission:  “We were asked, ‘How did you get such outstanding men to come?’ and we were at a loss for an answer.  Perhaps by providing such an opportunity as this Conference to the leaders of our profession, the O.C.P. [sic] has begun to render the type of service for which it was designed.”

Current OCP Office Bearers

Dylan Tuttle

Ben Coleman

Joseph Saitta

Melanie Colter

Carsten Schmidt

Carlos Gemora

Kelsey Padgham

Ingvild Roald

Joaquin Brito


The OCP Constitution

Article I:  The Organization of Cornell Planners, hereafter referred to as OCP, is not affiliated with any international, national, state, or local organization, and exists solely to serve the needs of graduate students in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University.

Article II:  OCP exists to build ties and facilitate the discussion between students and planning practitioners, both domestic and international; to provide a forum for graduate planning students in their academic and professional pursuits; to provide graduate student representation within the Department of City and Regional Planning and Cornell University; and to foster cohesion within the department through social activities, strategic planning, and information dissemination.

Article III:  Membership in OCP is automatically granted to all graduate students enrolled in a course of study within the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University.  Other interested parties may be granted membership at the board’s discretion.

Article IV:  General meetings will be held every month during the academic year.  Other meetings may be called by the president or by a majority of the OCP officers.

Article V:  The Director of Graduate Studies will serve as the advisor to OCP.

Article VI:  Referendums, recalls or votes on amendments to the constitution can be called by petition of at least three officers or fifteen general members.  Votes will take place at the next general meeting.  In order to vote, there must be at least 20 members (general members and officers) present at the general meeting.  Decisions will be made by plurality vote among the members present (general members and officers).

Article VII:  All financial transactions must be approved by a majority of the officers.

Article VIII:  In the event of a tie on a referendum, recall, constitutional amendment vote, or any such vote, the OCP president will decide the outcome.

Article IV:  All officers shall be elected by a plurality vote to take place the first week of November of each year.  In extenuating circumstances, this election may be postponed at the discretion of the board, but must take place prior to January 1st of the following Calendar year.  Only students who will be in residence on the Ithaca campus for the full term of office are eligible to serve as officers.