Student Conference Proposal
Wharton student organizations must submit a Conference Proposal for approval at least one semester before their proposed event.
Club Speaker Approvals
Any speaker that a group, club, department, or individual wishes to invite to a Wharton event, whether on campus or off-site, must be approved by Wharton Marketing and Communications (and in certain cases by the University) before any invitation is extended. Each speaker request must be submitted using the school-wide Speaker Request Management System. Failure to abide by this policy may result in loss of Wharton and University resources. Please expect at least 72 hours for a response to your request. Questions can be directed to Ariel Robbins or Isabelle Glass.
Please submit your speaker names for approval at least six weeks before the proposed event and prior to sending out any speaker bids or email invitations. You will be notified about the speaker approval decision via email.
Note: If you intend to invite the media to your event or capture the event in any medium (e.g., photography or video), you should:
Get approval from your speakers in advance by having them complete the Media_Release_Form.
Review the media relations guidelines before sending out any press releases.
Inviting the Dean to Speak at an Event
To request the to Dean speak at your upcoming event or conference you must submit a formal request using the school-wide Speaker Request Management System at least two months before your event. Student organizations are only permitted to invite the Dean to one event per year. Failure to abide by these policies may result in loss of Wharton and University resources. You will be notified about the approval decision via email.
Any club or organization wanting to host or sponsor a competition where prize money or gifts¹ will be given out to participants must receive approval to do so from the Undergraduate Division. Please submit Competition Approval Form at least three weeks before you want to start marketing the event.
¹ Please note that only Penn- or Wharton-branded items may be offered as non-monetary prizes. Also, note that casino nights are not permitted, as prizes from raffles and games of skill/chance are subject to additional legal rules.
Contracts and Legal Agreements
Students are not allowed to sign any contracts or legal agreements. All contracts and agreements (including for pro bono consulting work) must be sent to Ariel Robbins, Associate Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org for review and appropriate signature with at least 10 business days notice.
Corporate Sponsorship and Solicitation
Corporate sponsorships are a great way for clubs to access additional funding. Wharton External Affairs handles fundraising for the Wharton School and has the contacts and relationships to help your club access some of the world’s leading corporations.
To ensure that multiple student groups are not targeting the same company and to make certain that the student groups are representing the Wharton name appropriately, External Affairs requires that student clubs submit all solicitation materials and letters in advance for review and approval.
Procedure for seeking corporate sponsorship:
- At least two months before the club’s desired solicitation start date, email a copy of all of your club’s corporate solicitation correspondence/materials to email@example.com, you will be notified once the materials have been reviewed and approved by Wharton External Affairs.
- Once a company has agreed to financially sponsor the club, the club leader or finance chair must fill out the Club Sponsorship Form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Methods of payment:
- Wire transfers are the university’s preferred method of payment for all corporate sponsorships. Please communicate this to your company sponsors. Be sure to indicate payment by wire transfer on the payment method line of the corporate sponsorship form. The finance office will follow up with the company contact to initiate the wire transfer process.
- If a wire transfer is not possible, the company may pay for the sponsorship by check. Please indicate payment by check on the sponsorship form. The check must be made payable to the “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania” with the name of the recipient club on the memo line of the check or in a memo included with the payment. All checks must be mailed to: The Wharton Undergraduate Division, Attention: Frank De Francis, Business Administrator, 1400 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Once received, the check will be deposited into the club’s account for club use.
- If the company is incapable of paying by wire transfer or check, a credit card payment can be accepted as a last resort. Please indicate payment by credit card on the payment method line. Do not ask for any credit card information; the finance office will follow up with the company contact to process the credit card payment over the phone. You will be notified once the credit card payment has been processed. Barring any delays, receipts for credit card payments are typically sent to the company contact 30 days after the transaction date.
Please be sure to check with the corporate sponsor about specifics regarding use of their name and logo on marketing materials and how to properly acknowledge them as a sponsor of your club’s event or conference. Also, please be sure to send thank-you notes in a timely manner to recognize your corporate sponsors’ gifts. Please cc or send a copy of the thank-you notes to the director of student life for stewardship purposes.
Please note that student groups/clubs are not permitted to solicit sponsorship from companies they also do pro bono consulting work for.
Trips Sponsored by Student Clubs
Wharton Undergraduate Division-recognized clubs that are sponsoring a trip will need to register their program/trip with the Division before any travel planning begins.
There are many University policies that a club must follow when sponsoring an international trip. These policies are for the safety and security of the students traveling abroad, including risk-management issues. Two policies to note are that all Wharton club-sponsored international programs/trips must have at least one faculty or staff chaperone on the trip and only current Penn students may participate in the programs/trips. An associate director will review the rest of these policies with you when you meet.
The Undergraduate Division can also provide guidance and logistical help with your international trips including connecting your group with Wharton alumni who are living in the respective countries. If you would like help connecting with alumni, please let us know at least three months before your trip departs.
The Undergraduate Division (1400 SHDH) has a limited number of tables and some other equipment available for student use. See the Equipment Reservation Request Form for more information and to reserve equipment.
Please note the following:
- Requests must be submitted at least one week before the desired rental date.
- No more than three tables may be rented for any period of time. Additional tables must be rented from outside vendors.
- You must contact Wharton Facilities for permission to use space in the Walnut/Locust lobbies to promote your events. Wharton Facilities is located in JMHH F30 or you may call them at 215.898.2575.
Note that Wharton Events has select branded materials that may be borrowed for events.
Package Storage Requests
Wharton undergraduate clubs, cohorts, and sponsored student groups may request short-term package storage in the Undergraduate Division suite in 1400 SHDH for approved upcoming events.
After discussing your event and storage needs with your group’s assigned staff member, submit the Package Storage Request Form at least one week before the expected package delivery date. Packages may be stored for a maximum of 2 weeks leading up to the event and must be removed from 1400 SHDH within one business day after the event.
Note: Space is limited. Submitting a request does not guarantee use of storage space in 1400 SHDH.
In keeping with University policy, all business fraternities that are recognized by the Wharton Council and the Wharton Undergraduate Division will uphold a deferred-rush system. Business fraternities may not rush, hold rush activities, offer bids, begin a pledge program or hold initiation for freshmen during the fall semester. All first-year rush and pledge events must take place during the spring semester. Failure to comply with this policy will result in the business fraternity’s loss of recognition by the Wharton Council and the Wharton Undergraduate Division. Business fraternities may, however, hold rush for upper-level students during the fall semester.
Group Study Rooms
Use of the Group Study Rooms is reserved for groups only. Single individuals using a room (even with a reservation) will be asked to leave if a group wishes to use the room.
Secure a room via GSR Reservations: Room reservations are made through the GSR Reservations system. You must be a Wharton student to log in to this scheduling website.
Flexible scheduling options: You can schedule rooms for a total of 90 minutes (in 30-minute increments). You can reserve a room for one 90-minute slot, one 60-minute slot, one 30-minute slot, or up to three, separate 30-minute slots. The scheduling system has been configured to allow you to easily see which rooms are open on your requested time.
Use it or lose it (and make it available to others): Groups who have reserved a room must show up within 10 minutes of their scheduled time. If they don’t, they can lose their room reservation to another group who now can appropriate the empty room. (See the next item.)
Instant “on-site” booking of open rooms: If a Group Study Room is empty (either because it isn’t currently reserved or because the group that reserved it failed to show up), you can use the Group Study Room’s “On-Demand” booking feature to schedule the room—simply enter the empty room and access GSR Reservations from the room’s computer through MyWharton; the On-Demand feature will appear in the upper right.*
- If the room is not currently scheduled, GSR On-Demand will allow you to schedule the room.
- If the room is currently scheduled, GSR On-Demand will display the name of the person who has the room scheduled and the times of the reservation.
- If the group shows up before their 10-minute grace period has expired, you must relinquish the room to them.
- If no one from the originally scheduled group shows up within 10 minutes, GSR On-Demand will show a link, which will allow you to cancel the original group’s reservation and reserve the room for your group.
* Note that this feature of GSR Reservations is only available from the computer located in the Group Study Room. (In other words, you can’t use GSR Reservations to bump someone’s reservation unless you are in the room and intend to use it.)
Other study room policies:
- Students are responsible for their personal belongings.
- Windows and doors are not to be covered over with paper or other materials.
- Students will be held accountable for the condition of the room and equipment. Usage will be monitored. Students may be subject to fines and/or loss of use.
Club and Cohort Purchases and Reimbursements
Vendors/suppliers that frequently work with the University of Pennsylvania are on Penn’s purchase order system. If a vendor is on the purchase order (PO) system, a purchase order should be used for payment.
- All PO system vendors/suppliers
- Approved apparel/promotional-item vendors/suppliers (Use of other vendors is prohibited.)
- Preferred caterers
To pay a vendor that is on the PO system, please follow these steps:
- Request a quote from the vendor. Please make sure the quote does not include tax.
- Complete and submit a Purchase Order Form at least 5 business days before the event. (You will need to upload the quote as well as an event flyer or attendees list)
- The Undergraduate Division will process the request and provide you with a PO number that you must then provide to the vendor.
Please keep in mind that meal limits are $25 (breakfast/lunch) and $45 (dinner).
Purchases under $100 can be made through reimbursement using the Concur system; however, tax will not be reimbursed if the vendor is on the PO system.
Students with out-of-pocket expenses that do not fall into the non-reimbursable categories below must submit expense reports for reimbursement through the Concur Travel & Expense Management (TEM) system within 5 business days of the transaction. Instructions can be found below.
If you have never submitted a reimbursement request, please contact the Undergraduate Finance Office at email@example.com to be added to the system. You will need to include your full name and Penn ID in the email request.
To receive a payment through Concur, you will need an active United States bank account available for direct deposit. After the Expense function is added to your account, you can go to your profile Settings in the upper right-hand corner, then to Bank Information to complete the process. If you try to submit a reimbursement before your banking information is validated, you will receive an error message.
Please note that only current students may be reimbursed through Concur for purchases they have personally made. If a family member or other individual needs reimbursement for a payment made on a student’s behalf, they will need to be reimbursed via a non-PO payment method and will be subject to tax.
When submitting a reimbursement through Concur you must include the following:
- Itemized receipt
- Proof of Event
- For Supply Purchases: An Attendees list or event flyer
- For Meal Purchases: An Attendees list
- Proof of purchase such as an image of the card used with only your name and the last 4 digits of the card showing or a bank statement showing both your name and the expense may be used. (Note that the bank account or credit/debit card must be in the name of the person submitting the reimbursement request.)
The Undergraduate Finance Office will reject reimbursements that are missing any of these requirements.
- Any expenses in amounts over $100 per invoice or receipt—These must be procured using a PO. Splitting charges to avoid this limit is not permitted.
- Meals that exceed these limits—above $25 (breakfast/lunch) and $45 (dinner) per person including tip and tax.
- Flights (when booked outside of Concur) – Please use the travel tab in Concur to reserve air travel.
- Campus Copy—Prior to ordering from Campus Copy, you will need the Undergraduate Division three-digit code as your form of payment. Email Ariel Robbins (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are in need of the code. Once you pick-up your order from Campus Copy, please write your name and the club’s name on the receipt and take a picture and email it to email@example.com and a copy to Ariel Robbins. Please note that if you submit a reimbursement for Campus Copy via Concur, you will not be reimbursed for the tax.
- University Club—Please ask your assigned staff member for a local account form and the appropriate account number/card and for this vendor at least 3 business days in advance.
- Tax (Some tax is reimbursable, but Penn is tax-exempt in almost all cases. If a Concur reimbursement is done for a PO vendor, the tax will not be reimbursed. Tax on digital goods/services and on allowable dues/memberships is also not reimbursable.)
- Copying or office supplies—Use one of the above PO vendors or ask your assigned staff member for assistance at least 10 business days in advance. Examples of office supplies: notebooks, pens, highlighters, tape, etc.
- Gifts of any sort—Wharton- and Penn-branded items of less than $100 may be purchased from approved promotional-item PO vendors or the Penn Bookstore.
- Honoraria for speakers or payments to independent contractors—Please see your assigned staff member at least 10 business days in advance, as these must be paid via check.
- Deposit holds for future events—Wharton never provides vendors with deposits.
- AirBnB, HomeAway/VRBO, Flipkey rentals—Students should use the Concur travel tab to book hotel lodging.
|Student Group||Assigned Staff Member|
|JWS Society||Isabelle Glass|
|Wharton Ambassadors||Amanda Simpson|
|Wharton Council||Jen Murphy|
|Wharton GUIDE||Lisa Podolsky|
|Wharton Wellness||Lisa Burton-Grika|
Ben Helps Portal – Travel & Expense Management
Ben Helps Ticket – submit a ticket for help with the mechanics of creating a report/updating banking information or general how to. Help Line Concur Travel & Expense – 215-746-4357 Option 3; firstname.lastname@example.org
Club Funding Information
At the beginning of both the fall and spring semesters, clubs are allocated budgets by the Wharton Council.
Club budget and funding policies
A club may only spend up to the total amount allocated for its semester budget. A club spending in excess of this total amount will only be reimbursed for the total approved amount.
Clubs may spend their total allocation of funds as they see fit amongst their events but must spend in accordance with Wharton Council funding policies, which are listed in detail below. In addition, Wharton Council funds can only be spent on events listed in a club’s budget breakdown.
Wharton Council funding policies:
- Wharton Council funds will be applied toward expenses prior to the use of a club’s corporate funding. In other words, a club’s corporate funds will not be utilized to pay for expenses until all Wharton Council funds allocated to that club have been fully depleted.
- A club that maintains a surplus of Wharton Council funds at the end of the semester will not be able to rollover this amount to the next semester or academic year.
- Student clubs may not use Wharton Council funding for private dinners, gifts, one-time banner use, or alcohol.
- Student clubs may not use Wharton Council funding or corporate-sponsorship money to make donations to charitable organizations. Only the net profit from an event held to raise money for a charitable organization may be donated to that organization. Student clubs that wish to donate event profits must get approval from Ariel Robbins, Associate Director, at least 30 days prior to the event.
Wharton Council contingency funding
Contingency funds* have been set aside for ad-hoc events, i.e. events that were not planned for and were not included in your semester budget. Contingency funds can also be used for club banners, which are requested on an as-needed basis. Contingency requests must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the event. To apply for contingency funding, please submit a contingency funding request through the Wharton Council website. If you have any questions, please contact the Wharton Council Finance Committee at email@example.com.
Note: Contingency funding is the only funding option available for Wharton Undergraduate Clubs currently in their trial period.
Wharton Council transportation policies
Transportation costs can be covered through Wharton Council funding. Below are the maximum transportation funding amounts, but please note that there is no guarantee that a club will receive the amounts stated below. Due to funding constraints and the needs of all Wharton undergraduate clubs, the amount of funding allocated towards a club’s transportation costs is at the discretion of the Wharton Council Finance Committee.
Please note the following policies:
- All plane reservations must be made using Concur travel; no reimbursements will be issued.
- Amtrak—To purchase Amtrak tickets (non-Acela only), clubs must use corporate funding. However, with prior approval from the WC and the Undergraduate Division, WC funding may be used to purchase tickets for speakers.
- SEPTA—Maximum of two fares/rides per passenger per event.
- Bolt, Mega, etc.—Maximum funding of one round-trip fare per passenger per event.
Contact Ariel Robbins, Associate Director, to purchase tickets or tokens. Regardless of payment method, you must submit the ticket stubs and names of travelers after the travel has taken place.
- In certain situations, you may be reimbursed for taxi services; however, you will need permission in advance from the WC and/or Division.
Transportation for guest speakers:
- If you need to purchase tickets of any kind for your guest speakers, please discuss this with Ariel Robbins, Associate Director, in advance.
Fees for Services and Profit Sharing
Wharton undergraduate clubs and any other student groups affiliated with the Wharton Undergraduate Division are not permitted to engage in profit sharing or charge or receive fees from clients (including companies or nonprofits). However, clubs and students may continue to provide pro bono consulting work.
Please note the following:
- Clubs/student groups are not permitted to do pro bono work for companies they also solicit/or have solicited for corporate sponsorship.
- Agreements for pro bono consulting must be submitted to Ariel Robbins, Associate Director, for review with at least 10 business-days notice.
While email is an effective communication tool, many students complain about the number of emails they receive on a daily basis. In cases where you feel an email is appropriate to inform a portion of the Wharton community, the following rules and guidelines apply:
- Wharton students may disseminate information to each other and the wider Wharton community by using email distribution lists, such as club/affinity group lists and cohort lists.
- Creating a new listserv using the Wharton Global Address List is a direct violation of Wharton’s email policy. Any attempts to bypass mailing lists (and their restrictions and requirements) are prohibited.
The use of Wharton email is a privilege. Abuse of these policies could result in the deactivation of your Wharton email account.
Class (WUGR) Mailing Lists
The Wharton Undergraduate (WUGR) class mailing lists are a way to disseminate information to Wharton students by class year. Use of these four listservs is limited to Wharton departments and initiatives and, in some circumstances, Undergraduate Division-sponsored student orgs. To ensure that WUGR emails remain an effective communication tool, please adhere to the following guidelines:
- Messages should be original (no forwards or replies).
- Messages should not include attachments, shortened urls (bitly, etc.), or words like “today” or “tomorrow.”
- Messages should contain only one image (does not apply to Campaign Monitor emails).
- Copyrighted images used without permission are prohibited.
- Only one WUGR email should be sent per class year per initiative, course, or event.
- WUGR emails should only be sent to the class year(s) to which the message most directly applies.
- The message should be pertinent to all students on the respective list (this does not mean all students need to take part, just that they are all eligible).
- Multiple messages from the same source, especially around the same time frame, should be consolidated whenever possible to minimize the volume of WUGR emails that go out to undergraduate students.
- Messages will be approved within two business days of the time sent.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any additional questions.
LCD Monitors (Life at Wharton)
To advertise your club event on the UGR monitors in Wharton buildings, please follow these steps:
- Log in to the Life at Wharton app.
- Click “Create a New Slide.”
- Choose your slide template (16:9 wide-screen format is recommended).
- Add an image title and, if relevant, a link to more information.
- Upload your image (jpg or png).
- Select the “UGR Student” channel.
- Set an activation and expiration date (Your image must be submitted at least 3 days before your activation date, may be posted for a maximum of 14 days, and may not be posted past the date of your event).
- Add your slide.
Your slide will be submitted to an administrator for approval and will not immediately appear on screen. You will receive an email if there are any issues with the image.
Use of the monitors is limited to Wharton clubs, departments, and initiatives.
Media Relations and Press Releases
The Wharton Communications Office is available to provide resources and advice on media promotion for student conferences, and must approve all press releases prior to distribution. Note that Wharton Communications does not provide any services related to advertising or sponsorship.
Press release approval process
- Notify your conference speakers that you intend to invite reporters to the conference and have your speakers complete the Media_Release_Form. Do this as soon as possible; do not assume that your speakers will not care if reporters are present.
- If your speakers agree to media presence, draft your press release, which should:
- Be one page with basic who, what, where, when, and why type of information.
- State that the event is hosted by “a student-run organization of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.”
- Be on your student organization’s letterhead.
- Include your contact information (phone and email).
- At least one month before your event (the earlier the better), send your press release to email@example.com for approval.
Wharton Communications can provide you with media contact lists when your release has been approved. They can also provide samples of previous student press releases, as well as boilerplate information about Wharton when appropriate. Tell the Wharton Communications Office if any reporters plan to attend your conference.
Please note that if you send out an unapproved press release you will not be able to use the “Wharton” name for your conference.
Any Wharton undergraduate student who would like to create a social media account representing an organization at Wharton must first reach out to the Wharton Undergraduate Division at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Division will work with you and the central Wharton Marketing & Communications office to review your request and, if approved, ensure accounts are set up properly according to Wharton School guidelines.
Remember that when you are managing accounts affiliated with Wharton, you are representing the school. Be sure the accounts adhere to Wharton’s brand guidelines for students, and any posts, comments or actions taken under the account uphold Wharton’s standards and reputation. Accounts should also:
- Be associated with a shared email address so that access can be transferred when needed
- Include “This is a student-run account” in their bio
Wharton Brand Guidelines for Students
Attract the right attention. Make a good first impression. Did you know Wharton has a student-specific logo? Learn more.