Clubs & Organizations
Student interest in public policy and policy-related careers drives a full range of student-run clubs, publications, and conferences at Penn and Wharton for undergraduate and graduate students.
Government & Public Policy Clubs:
Penn Government and Politics Association
GPA is Penn’s non-partisan political organization. Devoted to non-partisan and balanced dialogue, the organization provides a variety of ways for students to exchange ideas while also acting upon them on campus and in the community. The organization conducts events with politicians and professors of all political leanings. The organization does not adopt positions on political issues; we leave it to our participants to make up their own minds. The Polybian Society, Penn GPA’s intellectual debating society, offers Penn students the opportunity to intellectually consider and exchange ideas.
Penn GPA also emphasizes acting upon ideas through civic engagement. Through Youth in Government, participants can better understand the lawmaking process. Youth in Government also offers participants the opportunity to interact with lawmakers, travel to Washington, and engage with the institutions of State and Local government. The organization also offers opportunities to engage in community service projects, some run by Penn GPA itself and others run by partners in the community.
Penn GPA also operates a non-partisan political publication: The Spectrum. The Spectrum includes an online blog with regular columnists and is also printed at least once per semester.
Penn Political Union
Penn Political Union is a parliamentary forum for deliberation and action at the University of Pennsylvania. PPU strives to build leadership and promote meaningful discourse on Penn’s campus through political debate, legislative consideration, policy research, advocacy in government, and action in civic affairs.
The Penn Political Union promotes both inter-party and intra-party parliamentary debate and other diverse opportunities for all students to participate in the political process. Through caucuses, membership units based on varying ideologies, members can engage with like-minded individuals in a political community of their own and pursue common goals. The caucuses convene monthly for formal parliamentary sessions in which a bill or resolution addressing an important issue is considered by the entire membership of the Union.
Through the authentic legislative model of the Union, students can experience how government and deliberative bodies function, master formal political debate, learn the arts of negotiation and compromise, write and propose legislation and policy, and practice politics in a competitive yet friendly atmosphere.
Penn Model Congress
Penn Model Congress is an entirely student-run organization open to all undergraduates. Students meet semi-weekly to debate bills written by their peers that cover a variety of contemporary political issues. In addition, the club sponsors panels, guest speakers, and field trips in order to enhance participants’ understanding of the US government, particularly the Congress and legislative process. Penn Model Congress’ yearly schedule culminates in the spring, with a high-school conference where 700 delegates from across the nation convene at Penn to debate their own legislation in simulation of the US Congress. Members act as committee chairs to facilitate debate and oversee the conference. In addition, members may choose to be part of the conference staff to have a more active role in the planning and administrating of the conference throughout the year.
Wharton Politics & Public Policy Club
The Wharton Politics and Public Policy Club is a non-partisan professional and social club intended to provide a forum in which Wharton students can learn about, discuss, and cogitate upon current political events, issues, and ideas.
The club is open to Wharton students and partners from any background, political affiliation, or interest level, and will focus primarily (though not exclusively) on politics and government in the United States. With foreign policy issues being an important element of the US political environment, there will be ample opportunity to learn about and consider political situations, systems of government, and current events in and from every corner of the world.
The club will educate Wharton students about politics and political processes, and will serve as an organization through which those interested can seek professional and volunteer opportunities in government posts. It will also seek to provide service throughout the Wharton community by making voter registration information easily available (for US residents who have recently moved to Philadelphia) at the beginning of the year, sponsoring ‘get out the vote’ efforts, and hosting debates or workshops about salient topics (such as local and national legislation efforts, lobbying efforts of corporations, economic policy recommendations, foreign affairs, etc.).
Penn in Washington Student Group
The Penn in Washington student group is an organization comprised of undergraduates that are interested in politics or public policy and would like to work or intern in Washington during their time at Penn. Throughout the school year and summer, PIW hosts events, speakers, bus trips and info sessions to help Penn students navigate the Beltway. The student board helps with event planning and organizes social events on campus. Penn in Washington board members serve as ambassadors for PIW and are great resources for students to learn more about DC and internship opportunities throughout the year.
Penn Political Review
Penn Political Review, founded in 2003 as The Soapbox Magazine, is the University’s only student-run political magazine. PPR’s founding principle is that every student has something to say about the political and social institutions around him or her, and they should have a chance to express those opinions to the entire Penn student body. PPR prints quarterly and the organization’s website is updated regularly via the Soapbox Blog and full online articles. In addition, PPR hosts and co-sponsors many events throughout the year.
Penn Political Coalition
Penn Political Coalition is the University of Pennsylvania’s umbrella organization for political student groups. Its mission is to unite the politically active student leaders on campus, promote meaningful, engaging, and respectful political discourse and activism regardless of partisan affiliation, and facilitate collaboration among student groups.
Penn Democrats is a student-run political organization that promotes progressive political values through dialogue and action. Members participate in political campaigns at the municipal, state, and national levels: organize on-campus lectures and rallies; conduct voter registration drives; engage in debates; circulate petitions; and seek to stimulate discussion through issue-based activism. Although the club promotes progressive politics, it has great diversity of opinion among its members and welcomes all Penn students to its events, regardless of political affiliation.
Penn College Republicans
The Penn College Republicans strive to promote conservative values and ideals on campus by creating a strong sense of community amongst Penn’s conservative students. We hold speaker events, organize grassroots campaign initiatives, conduct voter registration drives, and host social events throughout each semester.
Career & Special Interest Clubs:
Penn Undergraduate Economics Society
The Penn Undergraduate Economics Society is a group of students at the University of Pennsylvania who share a common interest in Economics and seek to provide education, service, and awareness to others. Above all, we strive to stimulate interest for the field throughout campus.
Penn Environmental Group
The Penn Environmental Group is a student run group that strives to address environmental issues and increase environmental awareness across the Penn community and globally. We seek to incorporate ideas from a diverse community, and expose the campus, community, and the world to knowledge of environmental issues.
PEG is currently involved in and working on multiple projects to save energy, combat waste, and promote awareness of various issues. We currently have 5 committees dealing with a plethora of environmental issues: Education, Energy, Political, Waste Management and Water. We also hold a number of social and one-time-service events, and try to collaborate with other student groups on relevant issues. We meet weekly at the Civic House on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm.
Student Sustainability Association at Penn
As the official student sustainability umbrella group at Penn, SSAP was founded in 2010 to foster cohesion among environmentally focused student groups, develop strategies for impacting campus sustainability, and to create a unified student voice on green issues at the University. As the student environmental community has grown immensely since the 2009 launch of Penn’s Climate Action Plan, SSAP helps to foster increased collaboration among the 20+ student environmental groups on campus and between students, staff, and faculty working on environmental issues.
Wharton Energy Club
The WEC is the hub for energy interest at The Wharton School. We enhance recruiting into the energy industry and hope to establish Wharton as a thought leader in the sector. We offer insight into merchant energy, renewable energy, utilities, and traditional oil and gas companies, as well as the intersection of energy with investment banking, investment management, private equity, and consulting. Our goal is to utilize the knowledge and efforts of today’s energy leaders to create the energy executives, entrepreneurs and policymakers of tomorrow.
Wharton Undergraduate Healthcare Club
WUHC was created in 2008 by undergraduate students interested in health care and business. We aim to educate our members on current issues in the health care industry and provide insight on career opportunities. On the most basic level, we hope to provide an organization for students with similar interests to connect with one another. Our interests cover a wide range of fields including biotechnology, medicine, the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare practices, and hospitals.