Guidelines pertaining to Co-Sponsorships by the

Social Planning and Events Committee of the University of Pennsylvania

Ratified 29 March 2011

Effective 1 June 2011


The Social Planning and Events Committee (SPEC) has established several dedicated funds open to undergraduate student groups in order to better fulfill its mission of providing social programming and special events for the entire undergraduate community. The mission of SPEC Co-sponsorship is to facilitate diverse undergraduate events of high quality, not only through monetary grants but through mentorship, logistical and technical support.

I. Definitions

  1. A “co-sponsorship” is a grant of monies from SPEC to another entity for the purpose of producing an event.
  2. The “Guidelines” are this document, as amended by SPEC Steering. The Guidelines take priority over all other SPEC documents except the SPEC Constitution.
  3. The “SPEC Co-Sponsorship Funds” are the SPEC Connaissance Co-Sponsorship Fund, the SPEC-TRUM Co-Sponsorship Fund, the SPEC Fully Planned Fund, and any other such fund created by SPEC or the Undergraduate Assembly with the express intent of providing co-sponsorship.
  4. A SPEC “Standing Committee” is a committee established pursuant to the SPEC Constitution.
  5. A “group” for the purposes of this policy is an undergraduate organization recognized by the Office of Student Affairs as such.
  6. “OSA” is the Office of Student Affairs of the Vice-Provost for University Life Division of the University of Pennsylvania.
  7. A “coalition” is an undergraduate group whose basic voting members are other undergraduate groups.
  8. A “theme week” is a series of events organized by a group or coalition structured as a single programme, usually but not necessarily across a calendar week. These include but are not limited to “cultural weeks” organized by the minority coalitions.
  9. The “President”, “Vice-President”, “Secretary”, and “Treasurer” are, unless otherwise stated, the officers of SPEC.
  10. Unless otherwise stated, “Steering” refers to SPEC Steering, while “Exec” refers to the SPEC Executive Board.

II. SPEC Co-Sponsorship Sources

  1. Each SPEC Co-sponsorship Fund except Fully Planned are administered by a particular SPEC Standing Committee and shall be governed by the Constitution of its respective Standing Committee, except as these Guidelines otherwise provide.
  2. Committees may not use the SPEC Co-Sponsorship Funds they administer for SPEC operating expenses.
  3. Committees with dedicated co-sponsorship funds must meet at least once every two academic weeks for the purpose of considering co-sponsorship applications. These Committees may not use co-sponsorship funds for their operating expenses.
  4. Directors of SPEC Committees may not initiate budget transfers under any circumstances.
  5. Every committee of SPEC may, with the advice and consent of Exec, use their operating budgets for co-sponsorships through such means and procedures as they think fit.
  6. A Co-Sponsorship Fund is encouraged to include SPEC Sound services as part of their co-sponsorship grant. In such a case, the funds allocated for SPEC Sound will be internally transferred within SPEC. SPEC Sound will not be penalized for the non-compliance of a group with these Guidelines, but Exec may, if it withdraws funds from a co-sponsored group, bill that group for SPEC Sound services.

III. SPEC Co-Sponsorship Process

  1. All groups begin the co-sponsorship process by completing the SPEC Common Co-Sponsorship Application for a particular event. They must submit this application via email to
  2. SPEC will electronically confirm the receipt of the application.
  3. The application will be processed by the SPEC Secretary upon receipt and presented to SPEC Exec.
  4. A member of SPEC Exec will determine whether the application meets the missions of any SPEC Co-Sponsorship funds apart from Fully Planned, in which case they shall forward the applications to those Funds’ respective administering committees.
  5. Each committee to which the application is forwarded shall consider the application according to their own committee’s Constitution and determine the funding, if any, the event will receive from their respective funds.
  6. As part of reviewing each application, each SPEC Co-sponsorship fund will contact the applicant to schedule a presentation.
  7. After all respective committees have reported their funding decision to the Secretary, the Fully Planned Committee will consider the application and likewise determine the funding, if any, the event will receive from the Fully Planned fund, taking into account other funding from SPEC Co-Sponsorship Funds.
  8. The Secretary will then consolidate the funding reports and advise the requesting group of SPEC’s decision(s).
  9. Appeals may be made only to Fully Planned, in accordance with the procedures in these Guidelines.
  10. Following the event, a SPEC Event Report must be submitted by the co-sponsored group in order to receive SPEC funding within seven (7) days.

IV. Funding of Themed Weeks

A coalition or consortium of groups, or a single group, may apply for a series of events at once if those events make up a “themed week” as defined in these Guidelines, under the standard provisions in Section IV with the following changes:

  1. That a full schedule of events, including a description of the events in the program, and projected itemized budgets, are provided to SPEC at least a month before the first event,
  2. That the plan specifies in detail which groups are sponsoring which events, and to which university account(s) (if any) co-sponsored funds are to be directed accordingly,
  3. That the group(s) specify a single contact person responsible for the themed week, who will be responsible for all group paperwork and interviews with SPEC committees,
  4. That the entire set of events shall be requested on one Common Application and reported on one Event Report,
  5. That themed weeks, and the events therein, may only be funded by Fully Planned Fund.

V. General Funding Requirements

These funding requirements apply to all SPEC Co-Sponsorships Funds, including co-sponsorships from committees outside of the SPEC Co-sponsorship Funds, at all times:

  1. Only undergraduate groups recognized by the Office of Student Affairs may apply for co-sponsorship.
  2. Groups whose primary mission is to support or oppose a particular party, candidate, or legislation may only receive funding for events that are non-partisan or opposing viewpoints will be represented. Groups whose primary mission is to elicit support for religious ideologies and promote membership in sectarian organization may only receive funding for interfaith activities or events that promote campus-wide awareness of religious life and/or communities.
  3. SPEC grants funds for specific events, purposes, and items. SPEC Funds may never be used outside of the specification provided with a funding decision (unless such a decision is reconsidered, as provided for in VII, below).
  4. SPEC will ordinarily only transfer money internally into a University account. All deviations from this must be approved in advance on an event by event basis by the SPEC Treasurer in consultation with OSA staff and in writing.
  5. In the instance that a recognized student group does not have a University account, it must coordinate with the SPEC Treasurer to make all purchases pertaining to the event through SPEC.
  6. Under no circumstances shall SPEC fund an event retroactively, nor shall SPEC assume any debt pertaining to co-sponsored events.
  7. Applications must be received at least (3) weeks prior to the event date, except in particular cases of requests for reconsideration (as provided for in section VII, below).
  8. There is no limit to the number of events for which groups may apply for funding.
  9. SPEC shall only fund demonstrated financial needs of any particular event. If a group raises a surplus through other revenues, SPEC may decrease its contribution accordingly.
  10. SPEC shall not fund any audio-visual equipment or labor that can in the judgment of the relevant funding committee be delivered by SPEC Sound.

VI. Responsibilities of Co-Sponsored Groups

All groups co-sponsored by SPEC must accept the following terms and conditions of co-sponsorship:

  1. Groups must disclose all sources of funds for the event on their co-sponsorship application.
  2. A SAC-recognized and funded group must apply to SAC for funding for their event before applying to SPEC co-sponsorship funds.
  3. If, after receiving a decision from SPEC, a group receives additional funding for their event in excess of 15% of the projected budget, they must notify the Secretary in writing within (3) business days of receiving the additional funding.
  4. If a group receives a surplus of funds from revenues (including but not limited to ticket sales and grants) pertaining to an event for which they received co-sponsorship, they must report this surplus to SPEC.
  5. Upon reasonable suspicion, SPEC may request co-sponsored groups to furnish records to demonstrate compliance with SPEC funding procedures.
  6. All contracts for events receiving co-sponsorship funding must be made through VPUL or a VPUL department.  This includes, but is not limited to, the Office of Student Affairs or a VPUL cultural center.
  7. Within seven (7) days following the event, the applicant must submit an SPEC Event Report to the Office of Student Affairs with or an annotated copy of their statement of university account relevant to the event.
  8. Groups or group advisers may not initiate budget transfers from SPEC under any circumstances
  9. If a group believes that it is in non-receipt of funds from SPEC, it must notify the Secretary in writing before the last day of reading days for the semester in which it received the funding allocation.
  10. Groups will not receive funding retroactively for funds non-received in the previous academic year.

VII. Constitution of Fully Planned Committee

  1. The Fully Planned Fund shall be administered by the Fully Planned committee, who shall have final responsibility for determining Fully Planned grants. It shall not be a SPEC standing committee with representation on Steering pursuant to the SPEC Constitution.
  2. The Fully Planned Committee shall consist of:
  1. The Secretary (chair),
  2. The Treasurer (vice-chair), and
  3. Three representatives of the SPEC membership nominated by the President and confirmed by Steering, inclusive of one member of Connaissance, one member of SPEC-TRUM and one member from neither Connaissance nor SPEC-TRUM.
  4. The President, Vice-President, SPEC Advisor and SPEC Graduate Assistant (all non-voting).
  1. The Fully Planned Committee shall meet at least once each academic week, at a time and date posted on the SPEC website. A quorum shall be a majority of its voting members and at least one of the Treasurer or Secretary.
  2. The Fully Planned Committee shall review all pending applications for Fully Planned funding at each meeting.
  3. Unless the committee deems otherwise, Fully Planned must schedule presentations from representatives of applicant groups as part of its decision process.

VIII. Requests for Reconsideration

  1. A group may request that SPEC reconsider any co-sponsorship decision if:
  1. At least three weeks before the event in question, the group substantially revises its event plan and re-applies to SPEC via the application process outlined above.
  2. At least two weeks before the event, the group receives notice that previously pending funding sources will not be funding the event,
  3. At least one week before the event a funding source listed on the group’s original application withdraws for reasons outside of the group’s control,
  1. At any time before the event, the President may direct that the decision be reconsidered.
  2. All reconsideration requests under Section VIII part 1b or Section VIII part 1c pertaining to any SPEC Co-Sponsorship fund shall be considered by the Fully Planned committee, and any additional monies granted in consequence of reconsideration shall be appropriated from the Fully Planned Fund even if the reconsideration request pertains to funds requested from another SPEC committee.
  3. It shall be the responsibility of Exec to determine the form and means by which a request to revisit a co-sponsorship decision is entertained if such a request is tabled less than three weeks in advance of the event in question.

IX. Administration of the Funding Process

  1. The SPEC Executive Board shall exercise general supervision over the co-sponsorship application process. In exercising this general responsibility, it shall:
  1. Establish and from time to time revise the Common Co-Sponsorship Application and the Event Report, and all other forms relating to the Co-Sponsorship process,
  2. Ensure that all SPEC officers and committees comply with these guidelines,
  3. Withhold granted funds and/or unwind transferred funds to co-sponsored groups at any time if in its judgment such funds were used in violation of these Guidelines or the policies of the University of Pennsylvania, or used outside of the purpose of the co-sponsorship.
  4. Assess penalties, up to and including a ban on co-sponsorship requests for a maximum of two academic years, to groups whom in its judgment violate these policies,
  5. Review and modify, in extraordinary cases, funding decisions from any of the Committees.
  1. The Secretary shall be responsible for coordinating the co-sponsorship process in general, including but not limited to:
  1. Chairing the Fully Planned Committee,
  2. Collecting and distributing applications to all SPEC funding sources
  3. Aggregating and informing applicant groups of funding decisions
  4. Communicating all procedures to applicant groups, and,
  5. Receiving and filing all event reports after certification by the Treasurer
  6. Providing cosponsored groups with a justification of SPEC’s decisions upon request.
  1. The Treasurer, or, if they are unavailable, the Vice-President, shall be responsible for coordinating the financial administration of the co-sponsorship process, including but not limited to:
  1. Chairing the Fully Planned Committee in the absence of the Secretary,
  2. After receiving completed Event Reports, certifying the event’s revenues and expenditures in order to ensure that no surplus funds are due to SPEC, the funds granted by SPEC were used by the applicant for the purposes allocated, and the group complied with these Guidelines,
  3. After certifying the event report, transferring the appropriate funds to the group’s university account.
  1. To better inform the undergraduate community about SPEC Co-sponsorship opportunities, Exec shall inform the following organizations especially about these Guidelines:
  1. The Undergraduate Assembly Steering Committee,
  2. The Consortium of Minority Coalitions (the “5B”), namely UMOJA, the Asian-Pacific Student Coalition, the Lambda Alliance, the Latino Coalition, and the United Minorities Council,
  3. The Penn Consortium of Undergraduate Women,
  4. The Tangible Change Committee,
  5. Programs In Religion, Interfaith, and Spirituality Matters,
  6. the General Body of the Student Activities Council.

X. Amendments, Interpretation and Applicability of Guidelines

  1. It shall be the responsibility of Exec to interpret and apply these Guidelines, with the review of SPEC Steering.
  2. These Guidelines may be amended or modified by SPEC Steering on the initiative of Exec.