Getting Connected

How can I find out what's going on around campus?
What are the free movie tickets?
I want to get involved in something but don't know what. Is there someone I can talk to?
Can I join an undergraduate organization if I'm not a Penn undergrad?
How do I get involved in student government?
How do I contact a particular organization? mo
Does the OSA have any work-study jobs?

Getting Organized

How do I start a new organization?
What's the difference between a "registered" group and a "SAC-recognized" group?
What are the benefits of registration?
My group has SAC funding. How do we spend the money?
I want to get SAC funding. What should I do?
My group is not SAC-recognized. Are there other sources of funding available?
My organization is falling apart. What can I do?
How do I put up a website for my group?
How do I reserve rooms for my group?
Can I get a credit card for my organization?
How do I get a table for Locust Walk?
How can I hang a banner on Locust Walk?
What is Penn's poster policy?
What's my budget code?
Where can I get a sound system and tech for my event?
Can I play music on Locust Walk?
My group wants to sponsor a rally on College Green. What arrangements do we have to make?
My organization wants to host a party with alcohol. How do I register it?

Other Questions

How do I order a yearbook?
Who do I talk to about bringing my band to campus?
Can I sell something on Locust Walk?

How can I find out what's going on around campus?
The University Web Calendar is the central events calendar, which can be customized to show only those types of events of interest to you. This Arts and Culture site highlights local cultural events. Student organizations advertise events in the Daily Pennsylvanian (and in 34th Street on Thursdays), on Facebook, on e-mail lists and around campus on bulletin boards and kiosks. Like the SPEC  Face Book page to be notified of upcoming movies and other special events.

What are the free movie tickets?
SPEC Film frequently sponsors sneak previews of upcoming first-run films. Watch for Facebook postings or sign up on the SPEC listserv for e-mail announcements. Tickets are distributed in OSA or online.

I want to get involved in something but don't know what. Is there someone I can talk to?
For staff advice, come to the OSA and ask to speak to Katie, Rodney or Aman. They'll help with suggestions, and can also recommend upperclass students who have a wide familiarity with campus life and are great sources of peer advice.

Can I join an undergraduate organization if I'm not a Penn undergrad?
Yes, you can join (or audition for, if applicable) most Penn organizations, and many have graduate/professional, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. SAC organizations require that all officers be undergrads, but membership is open. Just contact the group and express your interest.

How do I get involved in student government?
The Nominations and Elections Committee describes the six branches of the undergraduate government and the ways to join in their intro for new students, but the information is useful for all students. At the beginning of the year there is a Student Government Information Session. Graduate and professional students should contact GAPSA or their individual school governments to express interest.

How do I contact a particular organization?
All registered organizations are included in the Groups Online at Penn (G.O. Penn) system. Most groups prefer e-mail contact. You can also find contact information, event dates and times, and useful descriptions on individual group websites.

Does the OSA have any work-study jobs?
We have several positions, primarily for front-desk and phone answering support. Contact Rodney Robinson if you're interested.

How do I start a new organization?
First search "Student Groups" in the G.O. Penn system to make sure such a group doesn't already exist. Then to tell the University you exist as an organization, use G.O. Penn to "Register a New Organization." If you want to apply for SAC recognition and/or funding (undergraduate groups only), see the SAC site for guidelines. Graduate/professional student groups should see the GAPSA funding guidelines and their individual school government's procedures.

What's the difference between a "registered" group and a "SAC-recognized" group?
Registration is a requirement for every group that uses University space and resources, including Dolphin web and Zimbra email accounts, meeting rooms, banners on Locust Walk, etc. Only undergraduate groups may be SAC-recognized, a prerequisite for funding from the undergraduate student government. See the Introduction to SAC for more information on procedures. In addition to funding, SAC member groups are eligible to vote on other groups' status and allocations and can participate in decisions affecting campus-wide activities policies. Note that with the exception of greek-letter fraternities and sororities, the University itself does not "recognize" any student groups.

What are the benefits of registration?
Registered groups are included in G.O. Penn where potential new members can find them easily. Registration is a requirement for reserving rooms, for Dolphin accounts, and for the use of Locust Walk tables and banners.

My group has SAC funding. How do we spend the money?
See Financial Services Center Guidelines for Student Organizations in the Activities Manual.

I want to get SAC funding. What should I do?
You must first apply for SAC recognition. Once you are recognized, you must wait three months before you can apply for funding.

My group is not SAC-recognized. Are there other sources of funding available?
See the UA SAC Undergraduate Funding Sources Guide.

My organization is falling apart. What can I do?
OSA staff members have advised a lot of groups over time and can usually offer useful suggestions. Please feel free to stop by or email Katie Hanlon and/or Rodney Robinson. For peer resources, students who have attended leadership training programs find that the same problems occur in very different organizations; those leaders are often available to share their own experience and approaches. Or apply to attend a program yourself for a fresh perspective.

How do I put up a website for my group?
Dolphin accounts provide space for student organization websites. If you have an account but don't know anything about HTML or how to create a site, there are lots of web-based tutorials. One good beginner tutorial is here.

How do I reserve rooms for my group?
The Office of Perelman Quad and VPUL Facilities handles reservations for most rooms and outdoor spaces on campus. You'll find a list of available facilities on their site. Any registered organization may reserve rooms without rental charge, but additional services will incur costs. Groups who are not SAC- or GAPSA-funded do not have budget codes and must provide a credit card number even if there are no additional charges.

Can I get a credit card for my organization?
Some SAC and GAPSA organization treasurers can get a University Student Programming Card (SPCard). Come to the OSA and speak to your group's Financial Advisor who will explain the system and help you with the application. Also, Financial Advisors have Procurement Cards on which they can charge some of your group's expenses. See the Financial Services Guide for more information.

How do I get a table for Locust Walk?
Registered groups may reserve one of five card tables in the OSA. Tables can be reserved online. Only Penn organizations may have tables, though non-Penn groups may hand out literature on the Walk.

How can I hang a banner on Locust Walk?
Instructions are here. Note the $25 cash deposit.

What is Penn's poster policy?
You can find the policy here . Note the $1 per poster fine for illegal posting.

What's my budget code?
SAC- and GAPSA-funded organizations have 26-digit budget codes for internal University charges. However, the OSA staff does not give out those codes. If you are making arrangements with a University department for a service, e.g., Perelman Quad room reservation, ask the other department to contact your Financial Advisor in the OSA.

Where can I get a sound system and tech for my event?
SPEC Sound provides equipment and staffing support for many student events.

Can I play music on Locust Walk?
Music broadcasted through speakers or live musicians may not be played on Locust Walk between the hours of 8am-5pm, except during the 10-minute intervals between class periods and during the 12pm-1pm lunchtime hour.  At all times music, singing, chanting and other noise must be kept to a reasonable level for classes in session and faculty members working in their offices.

My group wants to sponsor a rally on College Green. What arrangements do we have to make?
First make sure College Green is available; you have to reserve it just like any other space. The Perelman Quad event planning staff will review the sound guidelines, security and equipment needs with you. You should also read the Guidelines on Open Expression to understand your responsibilities as sponsor of the event.

My organization wants to host a party with alcohol. How do I register it?
The procedure and forms are on the Alcohol and Other Drug Program Initiatives website.

Other Questions

How do I order a yearbook?
See The Penn Yearbook website. Contact penn.yearbook1@gmail.com for additional questions.

Who do I talk to about bringing my band to campus?
The Social Planning and Events Committee is the campus-wide programming board, but they generally bring well-known bands. Many other groups have parties and coffeehouses with local or up-and-coming bands. Check with fraternity and sorority chapters for their needs.

Can I sell something on Locust Walk?
Only if you are a not-for-profit Penn student organization with a University account into which you deposit the money. You'll need a vendor permit from the OSA to sell. No individuals or groups may use Locust Walk to make a personal or commercial profit.