SPEC Sound provides, maintains, and rents out sound equipment in order to service student groups on campus. Past groups we have worked with include Management 100 teams, sororities, fraternities, SPEC committees, and cultural groups. Our committee members are trained to work as technicians for these events, using our inventory of high quality speakers and amplifiers. SPEC Sound also has funding allocated to subsidize equipment and labor costs for charity events. For more information regarding SPEC Sound, see below.
For more information regarding SPEC Sound, please read SPEC Sound’s Operational Policy Manual.
What is SPEC Sound?
SPEC Sound is one of 9 committees within the branch of student government known as SPEC, the Social Planning and Events Committee. We are a group of students who run sound for other student events on campus. Past events have included one of the Fling stages, Relay for Life, NSO Late Night events, Chi O Color Wars, Jazz & Grooves shows, cultural shows, and Management 100 Events. We also provide labor for showcases such as a cappella concerts and dance performances. We are one of two groups with permission to run sound in Wynn Commons, and Harrison Auditorium (the other being Visual Sound), and we tend to offer more reasonable prices.
SPEC Sound is led by co-directors Jenny Cahalane, Billy Clarke, and Anh Tran.
I want you to run sound for my event. How can I make this happen?
Fill out the Event Request Form, and we will get back to you with a quote and/or follow up questions within 48 hours of you filling out the form. The form is the fastest way for you to get a response from us. In the past, groups had to email email@example.com to request an event, but we will simply redirect you to the form. We receive an email notification when the event request form has been filled out.
We recommend that groups fill out the Event Request Form at least two weeks in advance of their event, because of the amount of time it takes to process a request, ask and receive responses to clarifying questions, and find a technician to work an event.
If you are requesting sound for an event that has many different kinds of acts (eg an a cappella group or two, dance performances, people making announcements/presentations, and/or will be playing music from a laptop or DJ), we recommend that you ask each of these groups individually what their requirements for equipment (eg types and number of microphones) and make a note of that in the form. This will minimize the number of follow up questions we have to ask you and the amount of set up time at the event itself. Please also be sure to select each of these kinds of acts under “Event Type” in the form. Groups should also have information on where power will be run from. Information on power can be requested from the facilities manager where the event takes place.
SPEC Sound reserves the right to deny our services to any group. This is largely up to the discretion of the directors, who must examine a variety of factors when determining whether or not we can provide the highest possible quality of service for your event.
How is pricing for the rented equipment determined?
There is no standard cost for any event. We assign a price to different packages of equipment that meet different needs of different events, and no event is exactly the same. We also bill for the number of hours of labor required, including a minimum of one hour each for set up and takedown. The cost of the labor depends on the type of setup your event needs. The more information you can give us about your event and equipment needs in the Event Request Form, the more quickly we can give you a quote.
You gave me a quote for my event, but I haven’t heard back as to who will be working my event. When will I get this information?
Because all SPEC Sound technicians are students, there’s no guarantee that we can find a technician who will be available to set up, work your event, and take down when your event takes place. We will let you know before your event is set to start if you have a technician or not. If you do not, we suggest you contact Visual Sound to get sound.
How can I pay you?
We accept cash, checks made out to “The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania,” and budget transfers. Cash and check payment must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs at least 48 hours prior to the event start time, or we will be unable to provide services for the event.
Prospective Committee Members
How can I join?
Joining SPEC Sound is super easy. There’s no application and no experience is necessary. Plus, we pay you by the hour when you work events!
First, sign up for the SPEC Sound group on goPenn. This will get you on our email listserv, where we send out information about committee meetings and send out events that need technicians.
Next, email is at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about getting trained getting on payroll. If you are an international student, you will have to apply for a social security number before we can pay you.
Last, come to our committee meetings! This semester, they are taking place Wednesdays at 8:30 PM, in the Office of Student Affairs
What will I have to do before I can start working?
In addition to getting yourself on payroll, there are some things you’ll have to do before you can work events for pay, so that we know you can run events by yourself.
Attend a training session, led by the directors
Shadow an experienced technician during an event
Work an event while being shadowed by one of the directors (you are paid for this event)
There is no minimum number of hours you have to work to be a part of the committee. You can work as little or as much as you want.
As a side note, know that if you are not physically capable of lifting around 50 pounds off the ground, you’re gonna have a bad time.
Why should I join?
SPEC Sound technicians get paid $13 or $18 an hour, depending on the size and set up for the event. In addition, you do not have to be work-study eligible to get paid for the work you do as a SPEC Sound technician.
SPEC Sound works a ton of awesome and exciting events on campus, many of which have free food. It’s a good way to get out of your own bubble and see what else is going on on campus, get free admission to cool events, and get paid.
Even if you’ve never done Sound before, you can join! We will teach you everything you need to know, and it’s a good chance to try some of the more fun, nitty-gritty technical stuff. You will learn and apply concepts such as microphone placement, setting up for bands, and mixing. Oh, and did we mention you get paid?