Why a COnstitution?

This document, developed by the 2016 student leadership team and the professional staff, strives to express some of the essential elements of the Penn Newman Catholic Community to date. It attempts to be faithful to both the tradition received from more recent history as well as that transcendent Tradition of the Catholic Church, recognizing that both of these, along with the signs of the current times, are the signs of the Holy Spirit and the main criteria for discernment with regards to our purpose and mission as a Catholic community serving the University of Pennsylvania. In that sense, this document is a humble attempt to express a lived experience of faith and can serve as an aid for students to understand their participation in the community, but nothing will replace that lived experience of faith, hope and love that is expressed by each generation of students. 


The Penn Newman Constitution

    Ratified October 2016 by Board and Professional Staff, approved by Exec

The Newman Tradition

The Newman Tradition is a rich one, centered around the mission of “Heart speaks to Heart”. However, in order to be able to achieve this mission and truly touch others and engage with their Catholic journeys in a meaningful way, one must understand the intricacies of why we, as the Newman Center are here.

Of course, that “why” is Jesus Christ. We are placed here to preach the Gospel and to bring the Good  News to those around us. We are here to love others as He loved and to live in accordance with His word. We derive value and meaning in life from having an intimate relationship with and knowledge of Christ, and He enriches our beings each and every day. To know Him is to love, and as a part of the Newman Center, we are called to bring people to a close encounter with Him through the faith.

In order to do this, the Newman Tradition establishes a ‘framework’ for how we can think about bringing people to a closer encounter with Christ. We consider the four types of relationships that we create and foster throughout our lives- our relationship with God, with ourselves, with others, and with creation. As we each nurture these relationships, we allow ourselves to encounter God and to understand how He works in each of our lives. These different types of relationships allow us to experience the love that God has for us, and they allow us to grow in the faith. They are gifts from Him, and as members of the Newman Center, we strive to help others develop these relationships and understand His role in our lives.

Finally, this brings us to the incarnation of these types of experiences, our driving mission- “Heart speaks to Heart”. Once we understand our own personal relationships with God, ourselves, each other, and creation, and we have seen God’s hands at work in our lives, we can then lean on our own experiences to help create ways to share what we have received with others. Through fostering intimate relationships with one another, cultivating a culture of personal apostolate, and engendering a strong Newman community, we can all come together to understand the faith. Creating intimate relationships with others allows us to understand each other and have an idea of their journey with God, and we can then work to help bring them to a closer understanding of their faith and journey to that point. It is for that reason that it is also important to cultivate leaders under this tradition, who can engage in such a personal apostolate and do what they can to create meaningful experiences with Christ’s love for others.

This is what the Newman Center strives to do each and every day. The events and traditions as described below serve to perpetuate the Newman Tradition and ensure that it continues on through all the students and staffers who step foot in the Center.

The Newman Center is an historic and important piece of the University of Pennsylvania’s campus.  Its rich legacy and programming connects Catholic students to each other and to the Church throughout the world.  The Newman Community has always strived to be a welcoming family that accepts students at all stages of their faith journey, but also challenges them to deepen and mature in their faith and helps them become agents of evangelization and reconciliation for the world (cf 2 Cor 5:19-20).  We have a commitment to welcome respectful debate and discussion, and variety of opinions, while always ourselves proclaiming the Truth as revealed to us by Christ and interpreted by the Church.

In order to facilitate discussion, give the community reason and opportunity to meet, and to grow by inviting new members to find their place in the community, the Newman Community holds certain events on a regular basis.  These events are staples of the Newman experience as it has become, and give new and old students consistent programming to look forward to.  These events are:

  • Weekly Newman Dinner & Thursday Night Events
  • Retreats
  • Weekly Connections
  • Pre-NSO Novus Freshmen Retreat
  • Operation Santa Claus
  • A semesterly Mass at some location on campus

Great care and discussion should be undertaken if planning to discontinue or replace any of these events.  These events offer students a variety of experiences and are the main events which year after year bring the community together to celebrate the faith and each other's companionship. Additionally, Newman leadership should continuously reflection on After Action Reports to guide them in the creation and implementation of new traditions and events at Newman.

Qualities of a Catholic Leader

The following is an exploration of the qualities necessary to be an effective Catholic leader. We provide these as a guide for future leaders of the Newman Center to reflect on as they undertake their journey.

  • Leads by example

    • Lives the catholic faith to the best of his or her ability

    • Exercises a disposition to generously use his/her own individual talents to serve others (Jn 13:12-15; Mt 25:14-30)

    • Lives by gospel values. (see Philippians 1:27)

    • Has a strong personal relationship with God

    • Has a mature/maturing knowledge of the faith. (see Heb 6:1)

  • Evangelizes and promotes Catholic culture

    • Has a Catholic worldview

    • Defends the Catholic faith, and is not afraid to publicly represent it in word and deed, integrating it into his/her life

    • Is welcoming to all

    • Reaches out to those who aren’t involved

    • Believes in the dignity of each and every person, including the weakest

    • Is sincere and passionate about the catholic faith

  • Has good managerial skills and overall leadership qualities

    • Has a mature understanding of the organization’s vision and is able to communicate it to others, “always ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks for a reason for his hope” (cf. 1 Pe 3:15). Is able to inspire others and form leaders to follow in his place.

    • Is able to honestly evaluate performance, distinguish between essential and non-essential qualities, “test everything and retain what is good” (1 Thess 5:21).

    • Has good communication skills and works well with others.

    • Has decision-making, problem solving, planning and organizational skills.

Leadership Structure

“To lead is to serve”

The call to lead is the call to conversion through the exercise of service. To each role, therefore, there should correspond a particular formation that aids the leader in a path of personal conversion and capacitation for the service for which they are responsible.

 

Executive Board:

The Executive Board is the highest authority of student leadership. Its members are the students that are most immediately responsible for embodying and incarnating the Newman Center’s Vision and Spirit. They are responsible for the effective planning and execution of activities, events, and programs according to the ideals and goals of the Newman Center. The members of the Executive Board are oriented and directed by the professional staff with regards to the Vision and Spirit, and they find support and guidance for its implementation from the staff. The professional staff finds support in the members of the Executive Board for the organization and execution of the programed events. Staff relies on the Board members as well for their larger potential and call to effectively represent the Catholic and Newman ideals in a more direct way on campus and in student life at the University of Pennsylvania. The Staff also counts primarily on the Board for help in the formation of future leaders, especially through the close collaboration with the members of the Executive Committee given the leaders are a direct bridge to the student community.

 

Responsibilities of all Board Members:

  • Attend 2 weekly 1.5-hour meetings (One Board Meeting and one Exec Committee)

  • Hold themselves and other Newman leaders accountable

  • Primary leaders in the incarnation of the vision, encouraging new ideas, setting goals for the future, and evaluating current performance.

  • Also held accountable for all responsibilities of the Executive Committee (listed below)

  • Work most closely with the Assistant Director and Director of Penn Newman.

  • Complete the corresponding formative responsibilities as proposed by the Director and Assistant Director.

 

President

The Newman President is responsible for leading and directing the student leaders in their apostolic, spiritual and formative initiatives. As the head of student leadership, she is responsible for incarnating the vision and spirit of the Newman Center and for helping the other board and executive committee members to do the same. As the foremost leader, she brings individual student efforts together into a cohesive unity and is ultimately responsible to the professional staff for the same. The president also runs the executive board and committee meetings.

 

Vice President

The Vice President supports and represents the President in her mission of unifying and evaluating student initiatives according to the Newman Center’s vision and spirit. He is also particularly responsible for the formation of leaders and the outreach to other faith communities and organizations on campus to support interfaith conversation and networking according to our common goals.

 

Secretary

The secretary is primarily responsible for the fluid and effective communication of the ideas, initiatives, and works that are developed during the meetings in such a way that all of the leaders are aware of the progress and status of past and current efforts as well as the proposed future initiatives of the entire leadership structure. Her role in communicating the spirit and content of specific meetings brings clarity and order to the leaders involved. She then is able to aid in the communication of the efforts of the entire Newman leadership towards the larger community at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Treasurer

The Treasurer is responsible for the reverent use and acquisition of the material goods that allow the Newman Ministry to exist. He is aware of and informs the Executive Committee about financial matters of the Newman Ministry. His role is to lead all members of the Newman Community so that they too can participate in the act of thanksgiving for what we have been given, learn to respectfully use and take care of those goods, and develop a proactive attitude to collaborate in the effort to acquire that which is necessary for the Newman Ministry to accomplish its goals.

 

Executive Committee:

Purpose: The Executive Committee, led by the Board, works to apply the Newman Center’s vision and incarnate it in each of their specific corresponding realities by proposing, planning, and organizing events. They also lead the larger Catholic community towards a maturation in the life of faith according to their respective roles.

 

General Responsibilities:

  • Attend one 1.5-hour meeting weekly (If absence is necessary, notify President and Secretary within 24 hours)

  • Presence at ALL major events such as Newman Nights, Newman Dinner, major social and service events, and other events as determined by the Executive Board1

  • Set-up/Clean-up at events

  • Staff the Newman Center for one weekly 90-minute shift on a weekday evening

  • Help out with Newman Dinners (Hospitality and/or Cleanup) a few times a semester. Schedule is made by the Assistant Director. If an Exec Committee member is unable to help with set up or clean up due to a class conflict, he or she is responsible for discussing this matter with the Assistant Director.

  • Represent Newman positively to the Penn community

  • Attend a 2-day Leadership Retreat, which typically takes place the weekend before returning to campus for second semester (January)

  • Complete the formative activities that correspond to each respective role as proposed by the Professional Staff and the Executive Board.

 

*President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer are included in the Executive Committee

 

Positions

(in No Particular Order)2

 

Outreach Chair:

The Outreach Chair looks to deepen in the evangelizing mission of the Church and help inspire and lead the Newman Community in an understanding, a maturation and an appropriation of the call to “go forth”3.

 

Communications Chair:

The Communications Chair works closely with the Secretary in order to communicate, in an effective and appealing way, the identity, mission, and activity of the Newman Community. She also works to create effective channels and networks of communication in order to facilitate the efforts of all of the other members of the executive committee.

 

Spirituality Chair:

The Spirituality Chair serves the Newman Community by helping each member develop a “life in the Spirit”. He does this above all by deepening in an understanding of the liturgy and helping to create the opportunities for each person to find his way towards the “Source and Summit” of the entire Christian life: The Eucharist4. The Spirituality Chair encourages and helps the entire community to “remain in Christ” (Jn 15:4ss), develop a life of prayer, and to find, in the intimate encounter with Christ, the Wellspring of Life (cf: Jn 4:10).

          

Programming Director:

The Programming Director serves Newman by coordinating events that help to enrich their faith experiences in a variety of ways. Typically held after Newman Dinners, these events are meant to shape the person in a spiritual way via casual, social events, lecture series, roundtable discussions and more events as they see fit.  

          

Small Groups Chair:

The Small Groups Chair, in collaboration with the Professional Staff, is responsible for overseeing, coordinating, and developing programs for the student-led small groups. She helps to make them into communities of faith where each person is able to grow and help each other grow.

 

Social Chair:

The Social Chair is responsible for seeking new ways to make Newman a positive, social environment for Penn Students. This Chair looks to create moments of encounter and inspire all with an attitude of community building.

 

Service Chair:

The Service Chair works to establish authentic opportunities for students to give themselves in solidarity to those in need (cf. Lk 10:29-37 and Mt 25:35-45). She inspires within the community an attitude of mercy, and by doing so helps each person to know his dignity as a child of God (cf. Mt 5:7).

 

Other Specifications

 

Board and Executive Committee: “Buddy System”

In order to bridge the gaps in communication between Executive Board and Executive Committee, the 2015 Newman leaders proposed a “Buddy System.” Often times, Board, in conjunction with the Assistant Director and Director, discuss new visionary ideas for the community, but these objectives are not practically applied in the planning and organization of events by Executive Committee due to lack of communication and collaboration. The Buddy System is simple, yet effective, when used as intended. Each Board member is partnered with 2 (or so) Executive Committee members. The Board member is the leader of these partnerships and is responsible for setting up formal meetings, informal meetings, and keeping lines of communication open. There is no set format for these partnerships and they are flexible to the needs of the team and community.  It is the Assistant Director’s role to ensure that the Board members are upholding this important responsibility throughout the semester. This is another way for us to unite our ideas and come together as Newman leaders, intentionally working toward the same mission. These are the partnership pairs that have worked best for us, taking into consideration the description roles of each position:

  • President: Small Group and Spirituality Chairs (both have a lot of room for growth and new development: visionary)

  • Vice President: Social Chair and Outreach Chair

  • Secretary: Communications Chair

  • Treasurer: Newman Night Chair and Service Chair

Role of Vice Chair

In some circumstances, the executive board, in conjunction with the Assistant Director and Director, may conclude that a vice chair is needed for one or more of the Executive Committee chair positions. The Vice Chair is intended to support and assist the Chair in his endeavors. If it is determined that a Vice Chair is needed, a meeting must be held with the Assistant Director, Director, Chair and Vice Chair to delineate the exact role expectations for Chair vs. Vice Chair. The distinctive responsibilities of each and how they can best work together must be discussed and agreed upon. Only then will the role of Vice Chair be fruitful. Vice Chairs are expected to attend all Executive Committee meetings.

Sub-Committees

A sub-committee, typically consisting of 2-3 people, serves as a support team for the Executive Committee Chair. A greater number of people does not always equal greater productivity, so it is crucial for Board and the Directors to decide if developing a sub-committee for a chair will be effective by discussing the purpose and their intentions. The only chairs, in our experience, in need of sub-committees are Social and Outreach. The Sub-Committee members are not invited to attend Executive Committee meetings. The Chair relays information from Executive meetings to their sub-committee members. The Chair can hold meetings with his/her sub-committee as he/she sees fit (this can be weekly, bimonthly, monthly). The committee’s role is more informal than Vice Chair. They serve to complete tasks to lighten the load of the Chair and to brainstorm ideas.

Attendance Policy

Board and Executive Committee members are expected to attend all meetings and be present at most (if not all) events. If a member should not be able to make a meeting or event, he or she must notify the President and Secretary at least 24 hours in advance.

 

****Due to lack of attendance at Newman events by Executive Board and Executive Committee Members, a points system is to be proposed Fall 2016 by the Board. Greek Life and many other organizations on campus utilize points systems. It is a tool intended to encourage participation and reward those who do attend events, not to punish those who do not. Of course, exceptions can be made for special circumstances through discussion with Assistant Director/Director****

 

General Policy for Events & Reserving Space

 

Early Action Report (EAR): in Google Doc format5

The EAR serves as the formal “proposal” for EVERY Newman-run event or activity. It is to be submitted by the Board or Executive Committee member planning the event. It also serves as the request to reserve space in the Newman Center, including the chapel and private rooms. In addition, it informs the Communications Chair how the individual leading the respective event wants the event to be publicized, whether that be via Facebook, Flocknote, flyers in the back of church, bulletin, banner for locust walk etc. With this information, the Communications Chair can effectively execute his/her responsibilities6. EARs must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the event so that information about the event can be published in the weekly parish bulletin and announced at Mass by priest.

 

After Action Report (AAR): in Google Doc format

The AAR serves as the formal “evaluation” of EVERY past event or activity organized by the Newman Community. It is to be completed and submitted by the Board or Executive Committee member that planned and executed the event/activity. It is to be emailed to the Secretary of the Executive Board no later than 1 week following the event. It allows the Board or Executive Committee member to reflect upon their work and event and outline what went well and what did not. It also serves as a discussion piece at the next Executive Board Meeting to see what we can improve upon in the future. In addition, it is a template/springboard for future Newman Leaders who want to organize a similar event. When a new chair fills the position, the old chair can pass a folder of these AARs onto the new leader for guidance. It prevents the same minor mistakes from being made over again. It is a way to evaluate and improve through first-hand experience.

 

[1] See Attendance Policy

[2] As the needs of the community change, the need for certain chairs may also evolve. These positions are not set in stone, but rather, should be adjusted as deemed necessary by staff and board.

[3] Please read: Evangelii Gaudium, 20-24 and Evangelii Nuntiandi, 15-20.

[4] See: Ecclesia de Eucaristia, 22.

[5] Copy of format attached to Constitution

[6] Read Communications Chair Responsibilities

Leadership Task List

BOARD:

 

President:

From a general point of view, the primary responsibility of the president is to oversee the functions of the board and executive committee. The president runs the weekly board and exec meetings, and ensures that all the chairs are actively managing their events and ensuring that the schedule happens according to plan. Additionally, the president serves as liaison between staff and the students on board and in the wider community. Overall though, the president serves to oversee the various functions of the Newman Leadership.

 

Vice President:

The Vice President supports the president in overseeing the various positions on board and exec. He/she helps to ensure that events are running according to plan and that all the events are aimed towards accomplishing the Newman mission. Additionally, the VP is the primary liaison between Newman leadership and other campus groups. He/she attends meetings for those other constituencies and promotes the Newman mission within the context of those various groups.  

 

Secretary:

The secretary is primarily responsible for taking minutes at the Executive Meetings and Board Meetings and attendance at the beginning of each meeting and at Newman events (as deemed appropriate by Board). Two days before each meeting, the secretary sends out the proposed outline for the meeting. Exec Board and Committee members then have 24 hours to add their points of discussion to the outline. After the meeting has ended, the secretary is responsible for sending the minutes out to the Board after Board meetings and to Board and the Executive Committee after the Executive meetings. The secretary is in charge of the Newman Google Folder and ensures that Newman leaders are submitting those documents on time (minutes, templates, early action reports, after-action reports, others). The secretary is in charge of creating the Newman Building staffing schedule for Monday-Thursday as well as staffing during finals exams.

 

Treasurer:

He or she is responsible for staying up to date and having knowledge of the Penn Newman budget, and sharing that information with other leaders as necessary.  They are to process any receipts and transactions relevant to the Penn Newman community at least once a week on a spreadsheet shared with the Assistant Director.  The Treasurer is also responsible for assisting the other leaders with money collection and accounting for their events (such as retreats or special dinners).  The Treasurer spearheads any and all efforts to design and sell Newman attire. He or she is in charge of managing the Newman Venmo account, informing the Assistant Director if a Newman Board or Executive Committee Member is consistently spending abnormal amounts of money (based on budget sheet), and staffing the cash box at Newman Dinner. The Treasurer needs to be at Newman dinner about 10 minutes early to start collecting money. If the treasurer is unable to fulfill this weekly duty for any reason, he or she is responsible for finding a replacement.

 

EXEC:

 

Outreach Chair:

  • Promote events and projects to both our established community and to the University at large

  • Engage other communities on campus

  • Partner with Vice President of Executive Board to attend interfaith and faith budgeting meetings on campus

  • Work with other religious organizations on campus to organize interfaith events

  • Lead efforts to reach the greater Catholic presence on campus, found beyond the Newman building (i.e. running campaigns for lent on locust walk)

 

Communications Chair:

  • Assist other Chair positions to promote their events via e-mail/Facebook and submit requests to Parish Secretary for information to be published in bulletin and to be announced at Mass by Pastor

  • Maintain the Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts

  • Update the picture and “commercial” slideshows used at Newman Dinner and other events

  • Design flyers and banners as needed/requested

  • Partner closely with Assistant Director to manage Flocknote and Newman listserv

  • All Early-Action reports[1] are submitted to Communications chair and Assistant Director is CC’ed to the email

 

Spirituality Chair:

  • Plan event that tend to the spiritual needs of the community, including Catholic Formation

  • Coordinate Mass on College Green once a semester and Mass in Roof-top lounge of one of the High Rises once a semester

  • Oversee the planning of retreats

  • Partner with pastor for liturgical celebrations and aim to unify Newman Community more closely with St. Agatha and James parish.

 

Programming Director:

  • Plan engaging discussion-based events regarding Catholic life, faith, and thought

  • Reach out to and work with other on-campus groups to plan joint-events that engage the members of both groups

  • Meet with Assistant Director each week to ensure that all Thursday programs are planned sufficiently (as deemed appropriate by Assistant Director)

  • Serves as main liaison with Catholic Collegium on campus

 

Small Groups Chair:

  • Oversee student-led small groups in close consultation with Assistant Director, including Connection Groups and Men & Women’s Marian Groups

  • Recruit Connection leaders and maintain necessary communication with/among them

  • Conduct a training session for new leaders each semester

  • Schedule and chair leadership meetings once or twice per semester (as needed)

  • Schedule time and location for each group to meet

  • Optional: Send out weekly updates to small group leaders with recommended prayers, religious readings or songs they may use for their upcoming meeting

 

Social Chair:

  • Coordinate all social events (Thursday night programming, holiday parties, movie nights, game nights)

    • This includes our large annual events such as End-of-the-Year BBQ (or formal etc.) and Thanksgiving Potluck

  • Work with the parish hospitality committee to organize donuts/coffee after masses and recruit volunteers as needed

  • Host 2 After-Mass Socials each month after the 9 pm masses. These can include anything from Sundae Bars (ice cream), Nacho cheese Night, Hot Chocolate Bar, Candy Stations, or themed socials (e.g. Pumpkin-spiced everything in October).

  • Seek new ways to make Newman a positive, social environment for Penn Students

 

Service Chair:

  • Coordinate weekly/monthly service program(s), as appropriate for the community (e.g. Christ in the City)

  • Ensure Newman is involved in the PRISM interfaith service day

  • Assign Chairs for and oversee large service events/projects, such as Locks of Love and Operation Santa Claus

  • Seek out opportunities for one-time service events with other campus organizations such as Civic House

  • Bridge the gap between Newman and PCSA (at this time) through joint service work; PCSA Liaison

[1] See “General Policies for Events and Reserving Space” on page 6

 

Newman Executive Board Appointment Process

 

Purpose: To select the new leaders of the Penn Newman Executive Board, who will serve on a calendar year basis.

Participants: All current Executive Board members that are not running and the Director and Assistant Director of Penn Newman gather at a Cabinet Meeting.

Roles:

  • Current Board: offers insight and suggestions

  • Assistant Director: offers insight, makes final decision in conjunction with the Director, and has the power to veto

  • Penn Newman Director: MC - Conducts the meeting, offers insight, makes final decision in conjunction with the AD, and has the power to veto

Decision Process: Consensus, reached at a Cabinet Meeting, held once a year before Winter Break, specifically on the last Newman dinner before Thanksgiving break.

Application Process: All Catholic Penn undergraduate students (except for seniors) are eligible to apply for Board positions two weeks prior to the Cabinet Meeting. Applications are sent to the Penn Newman Assistant Director along with a resume. The applicant may choose to submit a letter of recommendation should they feel it relevant or necessary. Current Board members are notified of candidates and are expected to interview them in conjunction with either the AD or Director before the selection meeting. Should the current Board deem it necessary, all candidates will be encouraged to go to a specific event prior to the selection process commencing, where the Board and Staff can see how they interact with the community. All applicants are encouraged to dialogue with the Director and/or Assistant Director beforehand so that they are able to clearly express their intentions and come to a better understanding of the implications and exigencies of the leadership position. These dialogues will also help the student mature in a discernment with regards to his/her application.

Agenda for decision making meeting      

  1. Confidentiality discussion and clarification of everyone’s roles:

    1. Current Board: offers insight and suggestions

    2. Assistant Director: offers insight, ratifies final decision and has the power to veto

    3. Director: MC, offers insight, ratifies final decision and has the power to veto

  2. Discussion of positions, needs and characteristics

    1. Led by Current Board

  3. Candidate Evaluations

    1. Clarification of what positions candidates are running for (*note, all applications should have been read prior to this meeting)

    2. Students and staff discuss the characteristics of each candidate in depth, with no intent of finalizing a decision for each candidate until the end of the meeting. Staff will ensure that each candidate receives a proper amount of discussion, and that no opinions on a candidate are invalidated or ignored. Ensure that all comments made are related to the guidelines established for the characteristics of each position so that discussion might be centered around interests and the needs of the role rather than an individual’s personal opinion on the matter.

      1. If necessary or helpful, staff members will set up an option on the Newman website were students in the wider community can both endorse a candidate or present any concerns. These are to be considered as a small part of the candidate evaluation process, and will only factor in where relevant in the discussions of the current Board and Staff members.

    3. Move on to the next position and candidate.

    4. When the meeting members appoint the new board members for positions, it is ratified or vetoed by professional staff and a final decision is reached.

Candidates are evaluated on their ability to serve on the board itself and in the individual positions they are running for.

 

Newman Executive Committee Appointment Process

 

Purpose: To select the new leaders of the Penn Newman Executive Committee, who will serve on a calendar year basis.

Participants: All current Executive Board who is not running is invited, New Exec Board, and the Director and Assistant Director of Penn Newman.

Roles:

  • Current Board: offers insight and suggestions; cannot make the final decision

    • Current President: create excel document outlining each of the candidates and the positions they have applied for in order to facilitate the meeting discussion

  • New Board:  offers insight, suggestions and makes final decision

  • Assistant Director: offers insight, makes final decision in conjunction with the Director, and has the power to veto

  • Penn Newman Director: MC - Conducts the meeting, offers insight, makes final decision in conjunction with the AD, and has the power to veto

Decision Process: Each candidate will be chosen via a discussion followed by a consensus. The Current Board will be present for the first half of the meeting to offer their insight and will then leave the meeting in order to allow the New Board, AD, and Director to make their decisions.

Application Process: All Catholic Penn Undergraduate students (except seniors) are eligible to apply for Exec Committee Positions immediately following the New Board selection meeting. Applications are sent to the Penn Newman Assistant Director. The New Board members are notified of candidates and are free to interview and dialogue with them before the Exec Committee Appointment Meeting. Note that formal interviews should be conducted in conjunction with a Current Board member. All applicants are encouraged to dialogue with the Director and/or Assistant Director beforehand so that they are able to clearly express their intentions and come to a better understanding of the implications and exigencies of the leadership position. These dialogues will also help the student mature in a discernment with regards to his/her application.

Agenda                       

  1. Confidentiality discussion and clarification of everyone’s roles:

    1. Current Board: offers insight and suggestions

    2. New Board:  offers insight, suggestions and makes final decision in conjunction with AD and Director

    3. Professional staff: offers insight, makes final decision and has the power to veto

  2. Discussion of positions, needs and characteristics

    1. Led by Current Board. New board is expected to ask questions, clarify expectations and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Should the new board have any ideas about how to clarify these roles or make them more effective, they should bring that up during these discussions to ensure then that the decision-making discussion is focused moving forward.

  3. Candidate Evaluations

    1. Clarification of what positions candidates are running for (*note, all applications should have been read prior to this meeting)

    2. Students and Staff discuss support or dissent for the candidate until consensus is reached. Students and staff discuss the characteristics of each candidate in depth, with no intent of finalizing a decision for each candidate until the end of the meeting. Staff will ensure that each candidate receives a proper amount of discussion, and that no opinions on a candidate are invalidated or ignored. Ensure that all comments made are related to the guidelines established for the characteristics of each position so that discussion might be centered around interests and the needs of the role rather than an individual’s personal opinion on the matter.

    3. No appointment is finalized until the conclusion of this meeting.

    4. Note that the Current Board can leave once they have given their insights into the positions and the roles as well as on the candidates they specifically interviewed. It is critical that the New Board (with the AD and Director) have say over the new Committee members.

    5. Move on to the next position and candidate.

    6. Amidst this process, the issue of sub-committees may arise, in which case:

    7. The newly appointed chair may receive recommendations on creating a sub-committee-- especially keeping in mind those applicants for Exec Committee that were not selected for chair positions. The chair must submit a proposal on whom they would like to reach out to before the end of the fall semester to the Assistant Director who will then review it with the Director. If in agreement, the AD will extend the invitation to sub-committee members to attend the Leadership Retreat in January.

    8. When new board appoints the new chairs for positions, it is ratified or vetoed by professional staff and a final decision is reached.

Candidates are evaluated on their ability to serve on the committee itself and in the individual positions they are running for.