Student Organizations

Executive Memorandum 10-020

July 15, 2010


From: Paul J. Zingg, President                                                                           


It is the goal of California State University, Chico to support the existence and activities of student organizations that are consistent with the mission of the university. This mission includes academic, cultural, social, educational, and professional pursuits of students. Such activities also help support our mission to serve the needs of Northern California.

Related Documents

Students and student organizations must adhere to a variety of laws and policies, including those listed here. To assist the reader navigational guides are provided from the linked page to specific sections related to the content of this Executive Memorandum.

  • The CSUC Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (EM 08-40), http://www.csuchico.edu/prs/EMs/EM08/em08_40.shtml.
  • CSUC Guidelines for Speech and Advocacy (EM 86-12), http://www.csuchico.edu/prs/EMs/EM86/em86_12.htm.
  • CSU Executive Order 1006 – Student Activities, http://www.calstate.edu/eo/EO-1006.pdf.
  • CSU Executive Order 1041 – Student Travel, http://www.calstate.edu/eo/EO-1041.html.
  • Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, http://ccr.oal.ca.gov/. Select “List of CCR Titles,” then “Title 5. Education,” then “Division 5. Board Of Trustees Of The California State Universities,” then “Subchapter 4. Student Affairs.”
  • The California Education Code, http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.html/edc_table_of_contents.html.
  • Standing Orders of the CSU Board of Trustees, http://www.calstate.edu/bot/documents/standing_orders.pdf.
  • The California Penal Code, http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html. Select “Penal Code.”

 

A. Structures Required of Student Organizations

To ensure that student organizations support the University’s mission while meeting its other commitments to be accountable and fiscally responsible the following structures are required of student organizations and must be communicated to the Student Activities Office (SAO) at least annually, and whenever a change occurs. The SAO is a resource for information on each of these provisions.

1. A Faculty or Staff Advisor. Each organization will have a statement describing the selection process, expectations, and role of the Faculty or Staff Advisor. The name and contact information of the Advisor will be submitted to the Student Activities Office annually and when any changes occur. University Auxiliary employees are not eligible to serve as Advisors for student organizations (see EO 1006.)

2. A Statement of Affiliations (if any). A CSU, Chico recognized organization choosing to affiliate with a national, state, or regional organization must maintain active control over the operation and activities of the local chapter. A student organization will not be recognized if, in fact, it is an agent for an off-campus group and its major or sole purpose is to support the off-campus group's access to University facilities and equipment. Federal and state statutes stipulate that copies of constitutions, bylaws, or articles of incorporation of off-campus affiliates must be placed on file in the SAO. Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations may limit the ability of student organizations to affiliate.

3. A Non-Discrimination Statement consistent with University policies. (See: EM 99-24, http://www.csuchico.edu/prs/EMs/EM99/em99_24.htm, and EO 1006).

4. An Anti-Hazing Statement. No individual student or recognized student organization may engage in or plan any hazing activity. The statement must include enforcement procedures.

The California Penal Code SEC. 3 Section 245.6 defines hazing.

Section 245.6(a) This section shall be known and may be cited as “Matt’s Law” in memory of Matthew William Carrington, who died on February 2, 2005 as a result of hazing. (b) As used in this section “hazing” or “haze” is conduct which causes, or is likely to cause, bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to another person in the course of the other person’s preinitiation into, initiation into, affiliation with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization. The terms “hazing” or “haze” do not include customary athletic, fire department, police department, military or quasi-military training, conditioning, or similar events or activities.

The California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Article 2, Standards for Student Conduct, Section 41301 (b)(8) also provides a definition of hazing.

 “Hazing, or conspiracy to haze. Hazing is defined as any method of initiation or pre-initiation into a student organization or student body, whether or not the organization or body is officially recognized by an educational institution, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university or other educational institution in this state (Penal Code 245.6), and in addition, any act likely to cause physical harm, personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm, to any former, current, or prospective student of any school, community college, college, university or other educational institution. The term "hazing" does not include customary athletic events or school sanctioned events. Neither the express or implied consent of a victim of hazing, nor the lack of active participation in a particular hazing incident is a defense.

Apathy or acquiescence in the presence of hazing is not a neutral act, and is also a violation of this section.”

5. An Alcohol Statement. Each organization will clearly state the organization’s expectations and guidelines concerning alcohol usage at organization events or gatherings. The statement must include enforcement procedures.

6. An up-to-date Student Organization Registration Form that includes contact information and identifies a Contact Person. Each organization will have a President and, if the organization has financial resources, a Treasurer. These two officers will each be enrolled in a minimum of six units each semester if they are undergraduates or three units if they are graduate students. These two officers must have a minimum GPA in each semester of 2.00. These two officers must not have earned more than 150 units or 125 percent of the units required for their baccalaureate degree objective (whichever is greater) if they are undergraduates, and 50 units or 167 percent of the units required for their graduate or credential objective (whichever is greater) if they are graduate students.

7. A Constitution describing (at a minimum) the:

  • Name of the student organization
  • Purpose, mission, values, and goals of the organization
  • Membership and voting criteria (Note that EO 1006 requires a minimum CSUC-student membership of five and limits voting rights of non-CSU participants in most cases.)
  • Recruitment policies and procedures
  • Duties and privileges of membership, including general expectations and responsibilities
  • Frequency of meetings
  • Establishment of officer positions, their duties, and authority
  • Procedures for selection and removal of officers
  • Policies and procedures for organizational decision making, including quorum definition(s), committee formation and authority, and financial policies and procedures
  • Processes for amending or revising the organization’s constitution and required statements
  • Dissolution process/procedure (including asset allocation) should it become necessary

8. A Statement on Academic Performance expected of organization members that is consistent with the purpose of the organization. This statement can address GPA expectations for members or the organization, and procedures for supporting academic performance and correcting deficiencies.

While the University does not encourage nor condone illegal or dangerous activities, individuals involving themselves in student organizations do so at their own risk. Members of student organizations are encouraged to make plans to protect the health and safety of members and participants in activities of the student organization. For some student organizations, insurance coverage may be required. (See CSU Executive Order 1006 – Student Activities, and CSU Executive Order 1041.)

CSU, Chico recognized organizations are expected to adhere to the provisions of this policy document, all other policies of the University, all Trustee policy, as well as all Federal, state, and local laws. In addition, student organizations must conduct their activities in keeping with the mission of the University.

B. University Support for Student Organizations

The University will officially recognize and support student organizations that are consistent with the University’s mission and adhere to the referenced requirements by:

  • Maintaining an office to provide information, assistance, advice, education, and training for student leaders.
  • Authorizing the use of University facilities, services, and resources through polices and procedures established for this purpose.
  • Encouraging the participation of student organizations in University programs and activities.
  • Creating opportunities for obtaining certain funds designated for these purposes (e.g. AS Activity Fee funds.)
  • Allowing the use of the University name for identification purposes, except in the establishment of off campus bank accounts.
  • Maintaining organization conduct policies and due process review procedures.
  • Maintaining policies for individual student conduct and due process review procedures.
  • Providing education and training for leadership development in student organizations.
  • Providing education and training for Advisors.

C. Additional Requirements for Social Greek Letter Organizations

University recognized fraternities and sororities must also comply with the following:

1. All members must be enrolled in at least 12 units at CSU, Chico.

2. All chapter houses and chapter events shall be alcohol and drug free; unless events are hosted at a third party vendor who is licensed by the state to serve alcohol.

3. Alcohol is not allowed before or during or after recruitment events.

4. Organizations must complete a pre-event planning form and submit it to Student Activities Office 48 hours prior to any event that expects more than 40 people attending or where alcohol will be served.

5. All chapters with chapter houses must file with Student Activities Office each fall semester the name and contact information for their landlord, property manager, and/or alumni corporation board.

6. All chapters must have a faculty advisor, a chapter advisor, and an active alumni board and register each of these annually with the SAO.

7. All chapters must annually submit a recruitment plan to SAO that reflects the national standard of values-based recruiting.

8. All chapters must belong to a university-sanctioned council.

9. Chapter members must sign an academic release form allowing the university to compile their academic record and submit it to the chapter advisor. The chapter advisor will submit the forms for all members to the SAO by the fifth week of each semester.

10. Chapters must have their new members attend the new member education workshops available throughout each semester.

11. Recruitment Policy: In order to be authorized by the university to recruit new members, the organization must be in compliance with the policies above and must:

  • Obtain university recognition (see above)
  • Only recruit new members who are full-time (at least 12 units) CSU, Chico students
  • Only recruit seniors, juniors, sophomores, and second-semester freshmen.
  • Begin recruitment after the third week of classes
  • Complete new member programs by the end of the eleventh week of the semester
  • Initiate new members by the end of the twelfth week of the semester. (Extensions may be approved by the VPSA for extraordinary purposes.)
  • Require new members to complete an application including: Name, Student ID, and Signature authorizing the university to release their academic standing and GPA to the Greek chapter for scholarship evaluation purposes.

12. In order to recruit first-time first-semester freshmen, social Greek letter organizations must be in compliance with the requirements listed above and also:

  • Have a chapter GPA that is 0.20 units above the all-university GPA for the previous semester
  • Recruit only first-time, first-semester freshmen that have a high school GPA that is 0.20 units higher than the average high school grades of the previous year’s incoming freshmen class. One week prior to initiation, chapters must require first-time, first-semester freshmen who are new members to complete a progress report. This report must be signed by each new member’s professors and must indicate satisfactory progress in all classes in order for the new member to be initiated.