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Minimum Standards for University Committee Appointees As a representative of graduate and professional students, and of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA), you are required to uphold the following minimum standards: General Duties

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Minimum Standards for University Committee Appointees

  • As a representative of graduate and professional students, and of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA), you are required to uphold the following minimum standards:
  • General Duties
  • 1. Representation of GAPSA to the committee and the committee to GAPSA.
  • 2. Attendance of all regularly scheduled and special committee meetings.
  • 3. Active participation in the committee.
  • 4. Collection and review of all committee-meeting minutes.
  • 5. Timely submission of all public meeting minutes to GAPSA.
  • 6. Submission of an end of the year report to GAPSA before May 1st.
  • Occasional Duties
  • 1. Verbal reports or presentations to the GAPSA Executive Board by request.
  • 2. Meetings with members of the GAPSA Executive Board, by request.


  • Only Better.
  • Guide to University Committees

For more information or to participate as an honorary representative on a University Committee, please visit to complete an application or contact Akeesha M. Washington, Vice Chair of Equity and Access at .


University Council

  • The University Council of the University of Pennsylvania is a deliberative and broadly representative forum which exists to consider the activities of the University in all its phases, with particular attention to the educational objectives of the University and those matters that affect the common interests of faculty, staff and students. It may recommend general policies and otherwise advise the president, the provost, and other officers of the University. It is authorized to initiate policy proposals as well as to express its judgment on those submitted to it by the administrative officers of the University and its various academic divisions. It is also empowered to request information through appropriate channels from any member of the University administration. GAPSA University Council Representatives have the added responsibility of advocating for graduate and professional students. If appointed to this committee, your name email address will be added to the University Council link on the GAPSA website so that students can contact you with their concerns to be expressed during University Council meetings.
  • NGSS Student Advisory board
  • The primary focus of last year’s meetings was “Envisioning the Future”, where we explored how students and the university might change in the next 10-20 years, covering topics such as innovative academic programs, the impact of social media technology on the classroom, and discussion of the open data initiative for student developers.  This year we plan to continue exploration and are looking for students to serve on the NGSS Student Advisory Board for the 2012-13 academic year.  Ideally, this group would consist of 10-12 students representing a diversity of programs across the university, and would plan to meet 4-6 times during the coming academic year, with the first meeting to be held in late September.
  • .
  • . Committee on Committees
  • The Committee on Committees, on behalf of the Steering Committee, will monitor all Council standing and ad hoc committees to assess their continuing usefulness. It will familiarize itself with the work and performance of committees and present recommendations to the Steering Committee for such changes in the structure, charges and number of members as it thinks appropriate.
  • Campus & Community Life
  • This Committee has cognizance over the University’s communications and public relations activities in their various formats and media including electronic, audio, video and printed copy, and it monitors the University’s internal communications, the operations of the University Communications Office, communications to alumni, and the interpretation of the University to its many constituencies. The Committee advises the Council on the relationship of the University to the surrounding community and the relevant University policies, work to ensure that the University develops and maintains a constructive relationship with the community, and monitor pending real estate activities of concern to the community. The Committee has cognizance of the conditions and rules of undergraduate and graduate student life on campus, including gathering and analyzing information concerning student life and student affairs and making recommendations to the Council, and responding as appropriate to requests from and reporting information and recommendations concerning student life and student affairs to the Vice Provost for University Life and other appropriate administrative officers. The Committee advises the President, the Vice President for the Department of Public Safety, and the administrators or directors of specific buildings, offices, or projects on all matters concerning safety and security in the conduct of their operations, including consideration and assessment of means to improve safety and security on the campus


  • Public Safety Advisory Board
  • The Division of Public Safety Advisory Board comprises faculty, staff and students from a cross-section of academic departments, centers and divisions from the University of Pennsylvania. The Advisory Board is charged with assisting the Vice President for Public Safety with the development of the strategic direction of the Division of Public Safety in order to enhance the safety and overall quality of life for the Penn community. Board members will use their varied expertise and areas of specialization within the Penn community to offer sound advice and constructive criticism to the Vice President for Public Safety. They will assist in educating the Penn community about programs, services and initiatives offered by the Division of Public Safety, and in turn advise the Vice President for Public Safety regarding the services and policies desired by the Penn community.
  • Privacy Committee (Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy)
  • Each year GAPSA appoints a Privacy Liaison for graduate and professional students. This person serves as GAPSA’s liaison to the Office of Audit, Compliance & Privacy and is an advocate for students with privacy concerns as those issues arise.
  • Manufacturing Responsibility (Office of the President)
  • This Committee was established in 2007 and is tasked with the monitoring and oversight of the implementation of the University’s Code of Conduct for Penn Apparel Licensees. For more information see the Code of Workplace Conduct for Penn Apparel Licensees.
  • CAPS Advisory Board and CAPS Mental Wellness Initiative
  • These committees will focus on helping students to understand and fight the mental health stigma. It will also spread awareness of mental health issues in the Penn community. Some expectations and responsibilities include understanding mental health, debunking myths about CAPS, provide advice and feed back to CAPS staff, engage the Penn community on mental health issues, reduce wait time for obtaining initial appointments at CAPS, and enhancing CAPS accessibility.
  • Diversity and Equity
  • The Committee on Diversity and Equity aids Penn in fostering and taking full advantage of its diversity as well as in strengthening ties across all boundaries to enrich and enliven the campus community. The Committee shall advise the offices of the president, provost, and the executive vice presidents on ways to develop and maintain a supportive atmosphere on campus for the inclusion and appreciation of diversity among all members of the University community.
  • Committee on Facilities
  • This Committee is responsible for keeping under review the planning and operation by the University of its physical plant and all services associated therewith, including transportation and parking.

The Graduate Council of the Faculties (Office of the Provost)

  • This Council of the Faculties is an advisory body to the Provost and the Associate Provost for Education. The Council’s members are elected by the School faculties according to their by-laws. In addition, three Ph.D. candidates serve on the council, selected by the Associate Provost on the recommendation of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly. The Council assists in the evaluation of graduate programs by participating in or conducing periodic reviews; advises on policy matters related to the well-being of graduate education; advises concerning University-wide admissions and degree requirements for the Ph.D., A.M., and M.S. degrees; and certifies for the Trustees the candidates for the award of those degrees.
  • Penn Museum
  • The Penn Museum Multidisciplinary Graduate Advisory Board (MGAB) addresses the interests of the graduate and professional student body at Penn. MGAB seeks to increase the visibility of the Museum and the participation by its diverse constituency. MGAB organizes and promotes its own events as well as public programs for the Museum.  The members, representing diverse fields of scholarship and research, work with the Museum to develop exhibition projects and to encourage the use of Museum resources by their community. MGAB liaises with other university student organizations on campus and helps sponsor student events at the Penn Museum
  • Committee on Penn Libraries
  • The GAPSA Library Committee on Graduate Research comprises Penn graduate and professional school students along with library representatives and is devoted to optimizing the Penn Libraries' ability to meet the information resource needs of graduate students. The committee identifies areas for possible enrichment in library services and collections, and develops recommendations through which to enhance these areas.  It meets twice each semester.
  • Academic & Related Affairs
  • This Committee has cognizance over matters of recruitment, admissions, and financial aid that concern the University as a whole and that are not the specific responsibility of individual faculties,
  • including the authority to carry out studies on existing recruitment and admissions procedures and their relationships with existing policies on admissions and financial aid and to recommend changes in policy to the Council. The Committee considers the purposes of a University bookstore and advises the Council and the management of the
  • University bookstore on policies, development, and operations. The Committee reviews and monitor issues related to the international programs and other international activities of the University, including advice and policy recommendations in such areas as services for international students and scholars, foreign fellowships and studies abroad, faculty,
  • staff and student exchange programs, and cooperative undertakings with foreign universities. The Committee also advises the Vice Provost and Director of Libraries on the policies, development, and operation of the University libraries.

Green Campus Partnership Student Association

The Green Campus Partnership is the umbrella organization that was formed in 2007 to address environmental sustainability planning and policy development at the University of Pennsylvania and to coordinate programs and initiatives for a more sustainable campus. Penn President Amy Gutmann was the first Ivy League President to sign the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The Green Campus Partnership includes Facilities and Real Estate Services, Business Services, the Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC) as well as faculty and student groups, including the Penn Environmental Group (PEG).

Environmental Sustainability Advisory Committee (ESAC):

ESAC is the advisory board for Penn’s Green Campus Partnership, guiding the University’s Climate Action Plan progress. Subcommittees usually meet twice a semester to discuss strategies related to sustainability on campus. This is an exciting opportunity to work with senior administrators at Penn in guiding the University’s sustainability efforts.

ESAC - Academics Subcommittee

The goal is to make climate change and environmental sustainability a part of the curriculum and educational experience for all Penn students.

  • ESAC - Transportation Subcommittee
  • The goal is to emphasize and plan a quality pedestrian campus environment, encourage use of public and alternative transportation for commuting, and provides safe, efficient local transportation services for the University community.
  • ESAC - Utilities and Operations Subcommittee
  • The goal is to reduce energy usage by 17 percent from the 2007 baseline in fiscal year 2014.
  • ESAC - Physical Environment Subcommittee
  • The goals are to create and maintain a sustainable campus by increasing green space, decreasing building energy consumption, while supporting the creation of healthier environments.
  • ESAC - Waste Minimization and Recycling Subcommittee
  • The goals are to increase Penn’s diversion rate of paper, cardboard, commingled recyclables to 40 percent by 2014, and reduce Penn’s overall waste stream through improved purchasing practices, and by providing education to the Penn community.

Student Health Insurance Advisory Committee (SHIAC)

  • The Provost of the University of Pennsylvania sponsors a Student Health Insurance Advisory Committee (SHIAC) with cross-University representation and health insurance expertise. Building on the initial work of SHIAC, the Committee is to continue to advise the Provost and the President on matters pertaining to the provision of health insurance for the students of the University. SHIAC will serve as a forum for discussing issues relevant to the provision of the best possible health insurance plan(s) to meet the needs of the students and the University. SHIAC will review the University's Student Health Insurance Plan and advise on the complex issues and concerns related to the administration of the Plan.
  • Honorary Degrees
  • The Committee on Honorary Degrees solicits nominations from faculty and staff members and students for honorary degrees to be awarded by the University at Commencement and at special convocations and submits a slate of nominees for action by the trustees. It may make recommendations to the president regarding Commencement speakers and the conduct of special convocations.
  • Open Expression
  • The Committee on Open Expression has as its major task: monitoring the communication processes to prevent conflicts that might emerge from failure of communication, recommending policies and procedures for improvement of all levels of communication, investigating alleged infringements of the right of open expression of any member or members of the University community, advising administrative officers where appropriate, and participating in evaluation and resolution of conflicts that may arise from incidents or disturbances on campus.
  • Social Responsibility Advisory Committee (Office of the Secretary)
  • This Advisory Committee examines Penn’s endowment to ensure our holdings are consistent
  • with our values as an institution and the best interests of everyone the University is accountable to. It investigates and designs the shareholder engagement policies and practices by which the University upholds its fiduciary duty and uses its shareholder power to improve the social and environmental impact of the firms that the University invests in. The bulk of the Advisory Committee’s work falls within the spring semester, and the commitment required of the student representative is large: up to 10 hours a week. Please only apply if you are able to devote this much time to the committee.