Our Constitution

I. Purpose

1. Mission: The mission of the Wharton Council is to foster a more rewarding co-curricular experience for the Wharton undergraduate community.

2. Vision: We envision a vibrant Wharton community of students with positive shared experiences.

II. Membership

1. Eligibility
All first-year Wharton undergraduates in good academic and disciplinary standing are eligible to apply for membership on the Wharton Council. Once members are selected, they will serve on the Council until the date of their graduation.

2. Duties
Wharton Council members are expected to show full dedication and commitment to the organization. Each member is expected to assume multiple leadership roles throughout their tenure on the Council, whether it be through being a point person for an event, chairmanship of committees, or taking leadership in creating new initiatives. Members are required to attend all General Body Meetings, in addition to all Council-wide traditions and meetings (i.e. meetings with administrators, etc.). Committee or event planning meetings must be attended by members on those committees. Members not immediately involved with the planning of a tradition or initiatives are expected to be fully supportive of said initiatives and be actively involved in their execution.

In addition to executing Council-wide initiatives, members will also act as a liaison to a certain number of clubs. Each member must, in good-faith, strive to establish positive working relationships with their club leaders, support clubs in their initiatives, promptly respond to emails and other communications, and offer assistance wherever needed. Council members must meet with their club leaders at least twice a semester to ensure active achievement of the club’s goals and proper use of Council funding. Members are encouraged, though not required, to attend their club events and provide feedback where possible.

3. Selection
New membership selection will take place the spring of each academic year. Applications will be made available to the undergraduate community, and an application process will ensure that all students are fairly considered for membership. Candidates are required to go through a formal selection process that may include multiple individual interviews. New members will be chosen by majority vote by standing Wharton Council members.

4. Impeachment
Impeachment, though always a last resort, can be achieved when a standing Council member has continually failed to live up to the standards and responsibilities set forth in Article II.2, or has acted in such a way that is deemed unethical, injurious to peers, or otherwise reflects poorly on the Council at large. Members who have acted in such a way previously characterized will first receive written warning by the Director of Student Life or the advisor to the Council, detailing the member’s infractions and outlining a plan for improvement. Continued infractions after this written warning will result in a meeting with the Director of Student Life or Council advisor, and a formal impeachment hearing at the Council’s next General Body meeting.

The impeachment hearing will begin with a formal debriefing of the member’s history on Council and relevant infractions by the advisor and any involved parties. The Council member will then be allowed to state his or her case. He or she will then be directed to leave the room, at which point the Council will vote on impeachment. Impeachment of a Council member requires a 2/3 majority vote.

III. Structure

1. General Body Meetings
General Body Meetings will occur weekly. The meetings will be chaired by rotating members of the Council. The chair will solicit items for the meeting in advance. Any member can add items of business to the agenda. The primary purpose of the General Body Meetings will be the monitoring and reporting of the Committees, the administration of Council-wide business, and the opportunity for discussion and debate of relevant student life issues. Any votes besides those of outlined in this constitution will be settled by a majority vote.

All Council members are required to attend all General Body meetings. At the beginning of each semester, a weekly meeting time will be established that is congruent with each Council member’s academic schedule. In establishing a meeting time, the Council will only consider academic, work-study, and extraordinary scheduling conflicts. Wharton Council meetings and obligations will supersede responsibilities to all other student organizations.

Members may only miss General Body meetings due to exam conflicts, religious holidays or short-term illness. Members will be allowed two unexcused absences. Members who reach this level are placed on automatic Council probation and must meet with the Wharton Council advisor. Other scheduled absences will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but are subject to Council wide approval. Other absences should be immediately made aware to the WC advisor and related parties, as well as the Council member taking minutes for that week.

Quorum: Meeting quorum is established when 2/3 of all standing Wharton Council members, excluding those abroad, are present at the meeting. Initiatives or issues requiring a Council vote may only take place if quorum has been established.

2. Committee Meetings

Any item of business that is unfit to be settled in the General Body Meetings will be addressed in a Committee Meeting. New Committees will be formed and existing committee will be disbanded by a proposal from a council member with ¾ vote of the council. Each committee will have one Chair who will report back to the Council regularly in General Body Meetings.

Each member is allowed to miss 2 meetings of each committee they are a part of on an unexcused basis in a semester (which excludes exams, sickness, family emergencies, or religious holidays). The enforcement of this provision should remain within the hands of each individual committee chair. Members will be responsible for making up any missed work regardless of the reason for their absence.

3. Committees

The Council will have seven standing Committees, the Finance Committee, the Club Resources Committee, the Club Recruitment Committee, the Recognitions Committee, the Internal Committee, the GBM Committee, and the External Committee.

The Finance Committee is charged with the maintenance, distribution, and allocation of club budgets; the allocation, monitoring, and maintenance of internal budgets; the general allocation and distribution of discretionary funding; and the maintenance and formation of Wharton Council Funding Policies. The finance committee will be composed of a senior chair and a deputy chair. The chairs will be elected in a staggered fashion for a two semester term with the deputy chair automatically becoming the senior chair after the first semester. At the beginning of each semester, the Chairs will coordinate with the administration of the Undergraduate Division to allocate each club's semester budget. The Finance Committee will be governed by the formal set of Finance and Funding procedures agreed upon by the Council.

The Club Resources Committee is charged with providing resources and support for all Wharton-recognized clubs throughout the semester. The committee will serve as managers of the liaisons ensuring that the information about each club is collected and analyzed in a productive manner. The committee will also serve as a policy enforcement mechanism of the council in cooperation with recognitions. They will strive to identify problematic clubs and help them before initiating the derecognition presentation by making a referral to recognitions. Additionally, resources are tasked with maintaining internal resources and any productivity tools Council takes on. The Resource Committee Chair shall be an elected position with a term considered to be a single semester

The Club Recruitment Committee is charged with developing recruitment policies for all Wharton Council recognized clubs and coordinating the Wharton centralized application system with Penn clubs. These recruitment policies shall be adopted by a majority vote of the Council. Through these initiatives, the club recruitment committee serves to aid clubs in identifying interested candidates for membership while also ensuring student wellbeing throughout their recruitment process. Ad-hoc requests for data and analysis on recruitment are also managed by this committee. The Recruitment Committee Chair shall be an elected position with a term considered to be a single semester.

The Recognitions Committee is charged with maintaining the composition of Wharton Council Recognized Clubs to create exploration opportunities for students with all possible interests. This means the Recognitions Committee will be responsible for helping emerging clubs by being their liaisons, recognizing new clubs, and enforcing our rules by initiating the derecognition procedures against clubs that violate our policies or harm the student experience in other ways. The Recognitions Committee Chair shall be an elected position with a term considered to be a single semester. The Recognitions Committee shall be governed by the formal set of Recognition policies agreed upon by the simple majority of Council.

The Internal Committee is charged with developing initiatives for Wharton Council members to strengthen the internal community. Traditions like the Alumni Brunch and other internal events are set up by this committee. To ensure that financial constraints do not serve as a barrier to participating, the internal committee will make a reasonable effort to have events be subsidized or covered entirely by the internal budget. In case a participation in an internal event poses a financial burden for a member, the absolute best effort should be made to accommodate them and allow them to participate. The internal committee shall strive to highlight each individual on Council through recognition of their birthdays, significant accomplishments outside of Council, and other ways. The Internal Committee is also in charge of connecting current council members with alumni and foster a space for sharing experiences and helping each other. It is in charge of keeping a tight connection between the linneages and take care of the yearly photobook. The Internal Committee Chair shall be an elected position with a term considered to be a single semester.

The GBM Committee is charged with the creation, the enlargement, and the long term sustainability of the GBM Engagement Program in all WC recognized clubs that is meant to make meaningful club opportunities available to a larger number of students. This means not only ensuring the quality of such programs but also promoting it among the general student body so as to increase its popularity. Additionally, the GBM Committee oversees the WC’s GBM Program meant to create touch points with potential candidates for the spring semester as well as allow active involvement in our mission by the general study body. The GBM Committee Chair shall be an elected position with a term considered to be a single semester. The GBM Chair must also be a member of the Recruitment Committee to ensure alignment and broad cohesion between the two. The GBM committee will be guided by the formal set of GBM Policies agreed upon by the simple majority of the Council.

The External Committee is charged with the organization and execution of all community wide events including all of Wharton Council’s traditions such as the Wharton 5k, the Wharton Formal, Business of Life Lecture, and the Clubbing Fair. The External Committee Chair shall be an elected position with a term considered to be a single semester. The External Chair shall meet with the faculty advisor on a weekly basis to ensure alignment of external ambitions is within administrative constraints . Major events shall be assigned a Point Person to oversee them and report back to the External Chair. The Point Person for each event shall be a volunteer position decided for the year ahead during Council wide elections in the spring semester of the previous academic year. Exactly which events require such Point People shall be decided by the External Chair in consultation with the Co-Chairs. The External Committee should also be tasked with maintaining our brand image and perpetuating our mission through social media, the website, and all other appropriate marketing channels

4. Co-Chairs

Despite Wharton Council maintaining a flat organizational structure, there shall be two co-chairs of Wharton Council to act as stewards and ensure that the Council meets all of its obligations. They shall be elected on a staggered basis so as to ensure organizational cohesion and transfer of information meaning that once elected a co-chair will serve a term of two semesters. The election of a co-chair will follow rules outlined in Elections.

Co-chairs will be responsible for maintaining the organizational structure of the Council, including balancing the number of spots on each committee and upkeeping the attendance sheet for the general body meetings. Co-chairs will have monthly meetings with each of the chairs to outline goals and ensure smooth running of the committees. They will represent the Council in all Steering meetings and meet with the Faculty advisor on a weekly basis to ensure broad alignment with other division-sponsored organizations and the administration. Co-chairs shall have the ability to serve on other committees as a member and help with individual projects as needed.

5. Faculty Advisor
The Director of Student Life will be the faculty advisor for the Wharton Council. The Director of Student Life will attend General Body Meetings, oversee the workings of the Council, and provide guidance on Council activities.

IV. Procedures

1. Other Policies
Codified policies will govern certain activities of the Wharton Council. Examples of these policies include club rules, funding protocols, committee charters, and the Operating Principles. Individual committees will be responsible for maintaining clear and effective policies and procedures for activities in which they are involved.

At Wharton Council, we value all members of the community as unique individuals, and we welcome the variety of experiences they bring to the table. As such, we embrace a strict non-discrimination policy in all of our internal and external operations. We believe everyone should be treated equally regardless of race, sex, gender identification, political affiliation, sexual orientation, national origin, native language, religion, age, disability status, citizenship or on any other basis.

2. Customs
Customary rules will dictate the rules, decorum, and procedures for the Wharton Council when codified rules do not apply. When customary rules are contested, points of contention will be settled by majority vote.

3. Election Processes

Elections for all committee chairs will be held during the last general meeting of each semester, while elections for co-chair will be held during the second to last general meeting. If for any reason this is to be amended, the co-chairs will have to communicate this at least 2 weeks prior to the new election date.

The term for all committee chairs is one semester, with the exception of the co-chair and finance chair positions which will have terms of 2 semesters and be elected on a staggered basis. Committee chairs can re-run to hold their position with no set term limit, but co-chairs are limited to the 2 terms they are elected for.

Candidates will be required to submit written responses to the questions by 11:59 PM the day prior to elections. Candidates will then read these answers to members of the Council as part of their candidacy.

A staggered system will be used for elections, thereby allowing candidates that were not elected for their first position to run for a different position. The most heavily contested positions will be held first, allowing members more opportunities to be elected. When running for a position other than the one a candidate originally selected, they will be given an opportunity to describe their qualifications and ideas for the committee on the spot.

For positions that no candidates are running for, members will be given the opportunity to run on the spot. If no candidate volunteers for the position, the co-chairs will appoint a member based on their judgement. This will be made a last resort option that should only be used in the rarest of circumstances.

No candidate is allowed to be elected to more than one position.

If more than 2 candidates are running for a single position, rank choice voting will be employed. Members will be asked to rank the candidates running and co-chairs will tally the votes, eliminating the candidate with the lowest number and redistributing them to others based on selected preferences. Candidates will be notified of the end result and will not be told about the intermediate process.

4. Conflicts of Interest

Council often deals with sensitive matters and important decisions regarding other members of the Penn Community. To ensure fairness and equal treatment in Council interactions with any external party, the following policies have been adopted for the specific committees which they concern:


  • If a council member is involved in a club currently presenting for recognition (trial or full), they are not allowed to vote in any recognition decisions regarding the club or become a liaison for the club.
  • Council members involved in a club presenting for recognition (trial or full) cannot be involved in recognition discussions and presentations
  • Clarification: Council members may start a club (for the same reason that a member may hold a leadership position in an established club)



  • Council members must disclose their involvement in an organization/group if we are considering partnering with that specific organization/group.



  • If the Finance Chair is responsible for bringing a contingency request for a club they are involved in to the Council, they must:
    • 1) Disclose the relationship
    • 2) Withhold from voting on the contingency request
    • 3) Refrain from contributing to verbal debate, unless there is a point of clarification
    • k
  • If the Finance Chair or Deputy Chair is responsible for the allocation of funds to a club in which they have any involvement, they must disclose that relationship, including to Director of Student Life, and recuse themselves from the process entirely by not contributing to the discussion, not suggesting which amount is appropriate, or make any decisions on the matter.
  • If both of the chairs have involvements in the same club, the allocation should be made by the Co-Chairs following Standard Funding rules. The Finance Chair and Deputy Chair are allowed to provide historic information regarding the matter, making sure to provide all available information without preferable selection.
  • The Chair and the Deputy Chair are still allowed to solicit semester funding requests even if they otherwise have a conflict of interest that prevents any involvement in further decisions.


Internal Recruitment

  • If a council member has a personal connection to an applicant, they
    • 1) should refrain from interviewing the applicant during first round interviews
    • 2) should disclose the relationship during any deliberations
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V. Amendments

1. Proposing
Amendments to the Constitution will be proposed and discussed in a General Body Meeting.

2. Ratification
Ratification of any Amendments will require a 2/3 majority vote.