TGIF Guidelines

How to Organize a TGIF

Organizing a TGIF is actually super simple! Below, you will find a list of the basic things to remember when organizing a TGIF. If something is unclear, or you’re not sure what to do for a step, see the more detailed instructions below. If you have any questions that aren’t answered on the page, feel free to e-mail one of the contacts at the bottom of the page.

The Basics:

  • Reserve a room, normally Levine 307, here; make sure you get confirmation, and that you allow 30 minutes before and after the event for set up and clean up. If 307 is not available, Raisler Lounge is also large enough for hosting TGIF.
  • Order food (the budget is $400 total), making sure to include vegetarian options. Don’t feel like you have to spend the entire $400 on food — leftover money will be used to replenish the drink stash for future TGIFs.
  • Send Mike Felker an e-mail with the TGIF details (mfelker@cis.upenn.edu) for him to forward to the appropriate lists by the Tuesday before your TGIF.
  • Cool the drinks by coming up to the appropriate office and moving a few cases of drinks into the kitchen fridge the night before. Make sure to label the drinks (something like “FOR TGIF, DO NOT TOUCH”) and lock the kitchen.
  • Make sure that everything is ready by the announced time: the room is set up, the food is picked up/delivered, etc.
  • After the TGIF is over, clean up the room (restore it to how it was prior to the event), take the extra drinks back to 614, and turn off the lights/lock up the room.
  • Get reimbursed the following week, by filing using the Concur system.
  • Make sure to save all of your receipts and make sure that they are itemized receipts whenever possible.

The Details:

Save your receipts: Save your itemized receipts for all purchases: alcohol, food, anything else. You cannot get reimbursement without your receipts, and without an itemized receipt, the Business Office will have a difficult time reimbursing you.

Reserving a room: TGIFs normally last an hour and a half, so you should reserve the room for 2-3 hours. Start times vary, but between 4:30 and 5:30 is a good start time. So if you want TGIF to start at 5 PM, reserve the room from 4:30 to 7. (Select “Student (Not for an organization)” and Event Type: “Other: TGIF” when making the reservation.)

Alcohol/drinks: Be aware of the University’s alcohol policy. Beer, wine, and other non-hard alcohol (ciders, malt beverages, etc.) are preferred; sodas, water, and juice should also be purchased. We have a reserve of drinks that are drawn from, so you don’t need to order drinks for your TGIF unless you’d like something specific (like wine for a wine & cheese TGIF).

Buying food: Your total budget (including alcohol) is $400. You should order the food to be delivered 30 minutes before the TGIF starts. If you are ordering from somewhere that does not deliver, you can go to pick up the food and take a cab back (but make sure to remember you’ll need to spend around $10 for the cab ride, plus the extra time it takes to walk out there and ride back). Food should be purchased to feed around 40 people — make sure there are vegetarian options available. Make sure you save your receipts.

Buying alcohol: All alcohol must be purchased within Pennsylvania. Springfield Beer Distributors have a wide selection, have non-alcoholic options, deliver, are very helpful with suggestions, and take orders over the phone (215.546.7301). Make sure you save your receipts.

Cooling the drinks: If you use beer from the reserve, or you order the beer to arrive earlier in the week, it can be chilled by placing it in the 3rd floor kitchen the day before with a note on it (something like “FOR TGIF, DO NOT DRINK OR REMOVE”). Make sure to lock the kitchen and place a note on the door after the beer is in the fridge.

Sending out the e-mail: Send an e-mail to Mike Felker (mfelker@cis.upenn.edu) as soon as you have the room reserved, in order to give him enough time to send out the e-mail to the appropriate lists — by Tuesday night at the very latest. The e-mail should include the date, time, location, and food; nicely ask Mike to send it out to the appropriate lists.

Set up and during: It is highly recommended that you recruit a friend or two to help with set up. Half an hour before TGIF starts, head down to the reserved room and begin setting up the tables (normally two rows with chairs on both sides) and putting out the drinks. When the food comes, lay it out on a side table along with the drinks. If you are picking the food up, you should leave at least an hour ahead of time to ensure time for set up after you return with the food. As the organizer, make sure to monitor the event to ensure people behave responsibly (yes, seriously!).

Clean up: Half an hour before your reservation ends (or when everyone has left, whichever comes first) start cleaning up. This means recycling the bottles, throwing away trash, placing large containers (pizza boxes, etc.) near the garbage bins by the elevators, wiping down the tables if they are dirty, replacing the chairs and tables how you found them, etc. Also, bring the remaining drinks back to 614; if that’s not possible, keep them in your office over the weekend and bring them to 614 on Monday.

Reimbursement: Make sure you save all your receipts. To file for reimbursement, you will need to use the Concur system. You have two choices for uploading your receipts:

  1. If you have a smartphone that has the capability to take pictures and send e-mail, you can verify that e-mail address with the Concur system. Once that’s done, you can take clear pictures of the receipts, and attach them to an email sent to receipts@concur.com
  2. Alternatively, you can securely tape the receipts flat to a blank sheet of paper; use more than one sheet if you have to. You can then politely request that one of the administrative assistants scan them for you and send them to your email address.

More detailed instructions on how to file a reimbursement can be found here. TGIF falls under the category of Non-Travel Expense.

TGIF does not have to be “dinner” for everyone, although that is most often the case. If you have an idea but aren’t sure how to make it work, e-mail Antal. Prior TGIFs have included:

  • Pizza (about 16 large pies)
  • Fried Chicken (about 120 pieces plus sides)
  • Chinese (about 6 trays + rice)
  • Ice Cream
  • Chipotle (expensive — will take the entire budget)
  • Sushi (expensive — will take the entire budget)
  • Cookies and Hot Chocolate (100 cookies, 2 boxes of hot cocoa)
  • Cheese and Chocolate “samplers”

Contact in charge of TGIF: Antal Spector-Zabusky- antals@seas.upenn.edu

Graduate Program:

Your CIS Contacts:

Mike Felker – CIS Graduate Admissions
Graduate Coordinator for on-campus Master in Computer and Information Technology and Master of Science in Engineering programs
Office: 158 Levine
Phone: 215-898-9672
Email: mfelker@cis.upenn.edu

Britton Carnevali
Graduate Coordinator for PhD program
Office: 310 Levine
Phone: 215-898-5515
Email: brittonc@cis.upenn.edu

Joy McManus
Graduate Coordinator for ROBO
Office: 459 Levine
Phone: 215-573-4907
Email: joymc@seas.upenn.edu

Liz Wai-Ping Ng
Associate Director for Embedded Systems MSE program
Office: 313 Levine
Phone: 215-898-8543
Email: wng@cis.upenn.edu