Any member of the University community may start a new organization. However, you should check the list of registered groups in the G.O. Penn system (choose "Student Groups" without logging in) before beginning the process in order to avoid extra work and unnecessary duplication. Prospective sport clubs should also contact the Recreation Department to find out about the availability of space and other resources.
There are two levels of organizations: registered and recognized.
Each group must provide a statement of purpose and a description of criteria for membership. All registration forms are accepted; the University does not approve or disapprove student groups. However, all groups are expected to comply with University rules and policies.
Recognized groups receive recognition from the Student Activities Council (SAC). The process applies to undergraduate groups only and is described below.
If a club with a similar purpose is already recognized by SAC, you should get in touch with the contact person; often it is easier for you to work within the pre-existing organization. When it is impossible to set up a subgroup or subcommittee within the group, you may need to strike out on your own but you should bear in mind that if SAC recognition is your ultimate goal, your group's purpose must be sufficiently different to make it unique.
If your proposed organization is a new one or a revival of one that is defunct, you should:
- Register through G.O. Penn with as much information as possible (more can be added later).
- Hold an organizational meeting to recruit members and gauge interest in your organization. The SAC Executive Committee will not interview any group for recognition until it has had an organizational meeting. You can reserve a room with the Perelman Quadrangle Office after completing the G.O. Penn registration form. You will not be reimbursed for any expenses personally incurred by you or your organization before funding is approved for your organization (this is known as "retroactive funding" and is never approved by the Executive Committee). Money you spend on publicity or anything else before recognition, therefore, is an out-of-pocket expense.
- Sign up for an interview with the Executive Committee. Prepare an organizational constitution, a list of past, current, and future programs, a list of members, and complete a "Student Organization Recognition Questionnaire" available on the SAC site. Ten copies should be submitted by 5:00 pm on the day of your scheduled interview. The Executive Committee will be interested in the organizational structure, purpose, type of programming, and level of interest in your group. The Executive Committee will make a decision on SAC recognition for your organization. Following your interview, you will be contacted by a member of the Executive Committee to advise you of their decision.
- Newly-recognized groups will not be eligible for funding until 3 months after the date of their SAC recognition.
If you have any questions involving SAC or the Executive Committee, please contact Rodney Robinson at 898-5339.
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