Student Involvement & Career Center

Image: Photos of the diverse SF State Student community getting involved in various activities such as joining organizations and participating in the SF State Greek Life. Also pictured is the Student Involvement and Career Center Logo.

Student Organizations Conduct & Policies

The links and information below are for University and CSU policies that are applicable to recognized student organizations on campus.


Student Organization Handbook

The SICC Student Organization Handbook documents current SF State policies and procedures, including liability, safety and security, event planning, fundraising and much more. The Handbook is a guide and resource for all student organizations and University departments.

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Standards for Student Conduct Title V, 41301

I. Student Responsibilities

The University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students, faculty, and staff. Each member of the campus community should choose behaviors that contribute toward this end. Students are expected to be good citizens and to engage in responsible behaviors that reflect well upon their university, to be civil to one another and to others in the campus community, and contribute positively to student and university life.

II. Grounds for Student Discipline

Student behavior that is not consistent with the Student Conduct Code is addressed through an educational process that is designed to promote safety and good citizenship and, when necessary, impose appropriate consequences. The following are the grounds upon which student discipline can be based:

  1. Dishonesty, including:
    1. Cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty that are intended to gain unfair academic advantage.
    2. Furnishing false information to a University official, faculty member, or campus office.
    3. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of a University document, key, or identification instrument.
    4. Misrepresenting one's self to be an authorized agent of the University or one of its auxiliaries.
  2. Unauthorized entry into, presence in, use of, or misuse of University property.
  3. Willful, material and substantial disruption or obstruction of a University-related activity, or any on-campus activity.
  4. Participating in an activity that substantially and materially disrupts the normal operations of the University, or infringes on the rights of members of the University community.
  5. Willful, material and substantial obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or other traffic, on or leading to campus property or an off-campus University related activity.
  6. Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior at a University related activity, or directed toward a member of the University community.
  7. Conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person within or related to the University community, including physical abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, or sexual misconduct.
  8. 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.
  9. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia, (except as expressly permitted by law and University regulations) or the misuse of legal pharmaceutical drugs.
  10. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by law and University regulations), or public intoxication while on campus or at a University related activity.
  11. Theft of property or services from the University community, or misappropriation of University resources.
  12. Unauthorized destruction, or damage to University property or other property in the University community.
  13. Possession or misuse of firearms or guns, replicas, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, knives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals (without the prior authorization of the campus president) on campus or at a University related activity.
  14. Unauthorized recording, dissemination, or publication of academic presentations (including handwritten notes) for a commercial purpose.
  15. Misuse of computer facilities or resources, including:
    1. Unauthorized entry into a file, for any purpose.
    2. Unauthorized transfer of a file.
    3. Use of another's identification or password.
    4. Use of computing facilities, campus network, or other resources to interfere with the work of another member of the University Community.
    5. Use of computing facilities and resources to send obscene or intimidating and abusive messages.
    6. Use of computing facilities and resources to interfere with normal University operations.
    7. Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
    8. Violation of a campus computer use policy.
  16. Violation of any published University policy, rule, regulation or presidential order.
  17. Failure to comply with directions of, or interference with, any University official or any public safety officer while acting in the performance of his/her duties.
  18. Any act chargeable as a violation of a federal, state, or local law that poses a substantial threat to the safety or well-being of members of the University community, to property within the University community or poses a significant threat of disruption or interference with University operations.
  19. Violation of the Student Conduct Procedures, including:
    1. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information related to a student discipline matter.
    2. Disruption or interference with the orderly progress of a student discipline proceeding.
    3. Initiation of a student discipline proceeding in bad faith.
    4. Attempting to discourage another from participating in the student discipline matter.
    5. Attempting to influence the impartiality of any participant in a student discipline matter.
    6. Verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of any participant in a student discipline matter.
    7. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under a student discipline proceeding.
  20. Encouraging, permitting, or assisting another to do any act that could subject him or her to discipline.

III. Application of this Code

Sanctions for the conduct listed above can be imposed on applicants, enrolled students, students between academic terms, graduates awaiting degrees, and students who withdraw from school while a disciplinary matter is pending. Conduct that threatens the safety or security of the campus community, or substantially disrupts the functions or operation of the University is within the jurisdiction of this Article regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus. Nothing in this Code may conflict with Education Code section 66301 that prohibits disciplinary action against students based on behavior protected by the First Amendment.

IV. Procedures for Enforcing this Code

The Chancellor shall adopt procedures to ensure students are afforded appropriate notice and an opportunity to be heard before the University imposes any sanction for a violation of the Student Conduct Code.

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Non-Discrimination & Open Membership

As a condition of recognition, all student organizations must comply with the California State University’s non-discrimination and open membership policies outlined in Executive Order 1068 for recognized student organizations. Below are excerpts from CSU Executive Order 1068.

Non-discrimination: No campus shall recognize any fraternity, sorority, living group, honor society, or other student organization that discriminates on the basis of race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, color, age, gender, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or disability. The prohibition on membership policies that discriminate on the basis of gender does not apply to social fraternities or sororities or other university living groups.

Open membership: No campus shall recognize any fraternity, sorority, living group, honor society, or other student organization unless its membership and leadership are open to all currently enrolled students at that campus, except that a social fraternity or sorority or other university living group may impose a gender limitation as permitted by Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 41500. Student organizations may require applicants for leadership positions to have been members for a specified period of time, and may require officers to compete for those positions in elections of the membership.

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Hazing

The State of California and San Francisco State University have expressly and repeatedly asserted their opposition to hazing and pre–initiation activities which do not contribute to the positive development and welfare of new members. Whether on or off campus, planned or spontaneous, California law makes it a criminal offense for anyone to participate in hazing. Students are entitled to be treated with consideration and respect. No individual shall perform an act that is likely to cause physical, psychological or social harm to any other person within the University community on or off campus.

The following actions are expressly forbidden:

  1. Physical abuse, commonly known as hazing, including, but not limited to, paddling, slapping, kicking, choking, scratching and exposure to extreme water temperatures, (i.e. cold or hot showers);
  2. Excessive mental stress, including, but not limited to, placing of prospective members of a group or organization in ambiguous situations which lead to confusion and emotional stress;
  3. Verbal abuse, including, but not limited to, shouting, screaming, or use of derogatory, profane or obscene language.

Defining Hazing and Consequences

SEC. 3. 245.6.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Any person who hazes or conspires to participate in hazing is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100), nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by both fine and imprisonment.
  4. Any person who hazes or conspires to participate in hazing which results in death, great bodily injury, or great psychological injury is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.
  5. An organization is guilty of violating subdivisions (b) or (c) if the organization's agents, directors, trustees, managers, or officers authorized, requested, commanded, encouraged, participated in, ratified, or tolerated the hazing.
  6. The implied or expressed consent of the person or persons against whom the hazing was directed shall not be a defense to any action brought under this section.
  7. This section does not apply to the person against whom the hazing was directed.
  8. This section shall not, in any manner, limit or exclude prosecution or punishment for any other crime or any civil remedy.
  9. The person against whom the hazing is directed may commence a civil action for injury or damages, including mental and physical pain and suffering that results from the hazing. The action may be brought against any participants in the hazing, or any organization whose agents, directors, trustees, managers, or officers authorized, requested, commanded, encouraged, participated in, ratified, or tolerated the hazing. If the organization is a corporation, whether for profit or not, the individual directors of the corporation maybe held individually liable for damages.

University Consequences for Hazing

Should the university become aware of such abuses on the part of the student organization or any of its members, the University will immediately suspend the organization indefinitely pending the results of the University’s internal investigation. The organization/group will also be referred to the District Attorney’s Office. In the event the charges are substantiated, the University will invoke appropriate corrective action against the individuals as well as the individual group or organization involved.

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Alcohol and Illegal Drugs

San Francisco State University expects the campus community as well as external groups to be aware of all state and local laws with reference to possession, serving and consuming of alcohol; to inform decisions about alcohol and drug use; and to be responsible for the consequences of those decisions.

Current California Law-Alcohol

  • Every person who sells, furnishes, gives or causes to be sold, furnished or given away, any alcoholic beverage toany person under the age of twenty-one years is guilty of a misdemeanor. (California Business and Professions Code, 25658)
  • Every person who sells, furnishes, gives, or causes to be sold, furnished or given away, any alcohol beverage to any habitual or obviously intoxicated person is guilty of a misdemeanor. (California Business and Professions Code, 25602)

Illegal Drugs

The sale, manufacture, distribution, use, or possession of illegal drugs is against San Francisco State University policy. This policy applies equally to all administrators, faculty, staff and students.

University Administrative Sanctions for Violation of the Illegal Drug Policy

  1. The manufacture, use or possession of illegal drugs* by a member of the University community will normally result in either probation, suspension from, or severance of, the relationship with the University. Sale or distribution there of will normally result in severance of the relationship with the University. This policy applies within or upon the grounds, buildings or any other facilities of the University or at University sponsored activities off-campus. Penalties for possession off-campus at a non-University sponsored activity will be considered, if the amount of possession is considered sufficient for intent to sell.
  2. All California Penal Statutory Laws will be enforced and must be complied with. Counseling and Psychological Services Center and Counseling and Psychological Services’ Prevention Education Programs / C.E.A.S.E. are available to assist employees who wish to seek professional help in finding appropriate referrals. Employees of the University are encouraged to refer students to these services for assistance with substance abuse issues.

Student Organization Sponsored On-Campus Events

Alcohol service is not permitted at student organization sponsored events on the SF State campus or any related properties.

Student Organization Sponsored Off-Campus Events

Student organizations should not serve alcohol at events off campus.

Organization Accountability

Violations may result in student organization privileges being revoked, including recognition. Any alleged violation will be reviewed and based on initial investigation, forwarded to the Student Organization Hearing Panel for review and possible sanctioning. Written documentation will be placed in the student organization’s file and notification will be forwarded to Judicial Affairs.

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Campus Time, Place & Manner Policy–Executive Directive #89-13

All use of university properties and services by registered student organizations must comply with applicable campus time, place and manner regulations outlined in University Executive Order 89-13 (visit here to access University Executive Order 89-13).

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Banking Policy

Any and all bank accounts for recognized student organizations must be at the Patelco Credit Union. Any organization accounts at other financial institutions must be closed and the funds deposited in a new account at Patelco Credit Union no later than February 25, 2011. Student organizations that continue to have accounts at other financial institutions after February 25, 2011, are subject to disciplinary action (http://www.sfsu.edu/~sicc/socb.html). This change in policy will not affect any funding and financial procedures already in place with Associated Students, Inc. In addition to requiring that all student organizations bank with Patelco, the safeguards below have been established in collaboration with Patelco Credit Union.

  • President, Financial Officer/Treasurer and Advisor for all organizations will have access to the account. These are the only three people that will be able to have access to the account.
  • The Student Organization Account Authorization Update Form will now take the place of the requirement to have the advisor write a letter to add/remove signers on the account. This form is available in the Files module in every OrgSync portal for organizations.
  • The Student Organization Account Authorization Update Form must be completed annually at minimum (September 30th is the deadline) and if the president, treasurer and/or advisor change throughout the academic year.
  • There is a maximum cash withdraw of $50 per day per account on all student organization accounts

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Use of University Name & Logo

The name of the University, abbreviation or logo may not be used as part of a student organization’s name, logo and/or to promote student organization-sponsored events and/or programs. In addition, student organizations are not eligible to use the University logo under any circumstances. Student organizations may indicate that their respective organization resides at San Francisco State University (i.e., Culinary Club at SF State). The name should reflect the type of student organization and clearly differentiate the club as a student organization and not a University department or program. The choice of language within the name should remain reflective of the University’s mission.

Student organizations may not use the name of the University off campus.

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Organization Misconduct & Collective Responsibility

Student organization members are expected to follow the Student Conduct Code and all University policies and procedures for student organizations. In situations of collective responsibility, where organization members break policy and/or law, the organization may be held accountable for members’ actions.

It is expected that each organization will establish and enforce policies to achieve responsible group governance. While members may be held accountable for their actions individually, corrective actions may also be imposed upon an entire organization for individual members’ actions when the behavior is inconsistent with SF State policies. Student organizations may be held accountable if a substantial number of organization members (3 or more) or officers (2 or more) participate in or are aware, in advance, of the intended misconduct and fail to take appropriate steps to prevent it from taking place. Each case will be reviewed by SICC and may be forwarded to the Student Organization Conduct Board. Problems with individual members may also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct (SSB 403) for review.

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