In addition to the two missions that form its name, the Nominations & Elections Committee is also charged with a third: education. The NEC informs the student body about the role of Penn Student Government (PSG), organizes outreach events to encourage participation across all branches of PSG, and coordinates social events to encourage inter-branch networking and collaboration.
PSG Late Night Mixer
Each year during New Student Orientation, the NEC organizes a social mixer for incoming students who are interested in Penn Student Government. It is an opportunity for freshmen and transfer students to familiarize themselves with the six branches of PSG. Traditionally, there is an activity for students to enjoy as the visit the tables of the different branches; the activity varies from year to year, and it can involve anything from pudding to games to music. Current PSG members are on hand to chat with new students and answer any questions they may have.
PSG Info Session
Not long after the PSG Mixer, the NEC hosts the PSG Info Session. Unlike the earlier event, which is casual in nature, the Info Session exists to formally introduce the six branches and their responsibilities. Each branch has the opportunity to present their aims and past achievements and encourage new students to run or apply. During the Info Session, all the details concerning joining PSG are discussed in depth, including which combinations of branch involvement are allowed.
State of the School
One of the duties of the NEC is to promote unity and cooperation among the six branches of PSG. Although they have distinct responsibilities, they also share a holistic identity. Late in the fall, the NEC organizes State of the School so the branches can highlight their current projects and future objectives. In particular, emphasis is placed on the way different branches have aims that intersect. PSG also uses State of the School to explore the ways in which student government can collaborate with different organizations on campus to further any common goals.
During the spring election cycle, student organizations on campus are free to endorse their preferred candidates. To ensure that the process is as effective as possible, the NEC hosts a Meet & Greet so that candidates have a chance to present their platforms directly to members of various student organizations, who in turn have the chance to explain the issues they consider most pressing. In the past, the Meet & Greet has taken the form of a dessert reception that follows one of the public debates.
In many ways, the PSG Formal stands in contrast with State of the School. The latter is a formal presentation that seeks to inform the student body of how PSG as a whole is functioning; the former is a casual occasion that allows PSG members to reflect amongst themselves. The Formal is the last official inter-branch event of the year, and it celebrates the successes and milestones that PSG members have reached together.