Cal State LA Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures for University Recognized Student Organizations

INTRODUCTION

California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA), in alignment with its strategic plan provides opportunities for student engagement that nurture a welcoming and inclusive campus where students, faculty, and staff thrive and community is honored and cultivated. One of the most powerful means by which this is accomplished is through University recognized student clubs and organizations. Upon satisfying the procedures for Recognizing Clubs and Organizations, these student groups become eligible for a wide range of benefits through the University, Associated Students, Inc., and the University-Student Union. The extension of these benefits is, in part, conditioned upon the student organization’s agreement to conduct its activities in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, including the Student Organization Handbook, this Student Organization Code of Conduct, and the California State University Office of the Chancellor: Student Activities - Executive Order 1068 (EO 1068). Pursuant to EO 1068 campuses may establish codes of conduct for student organizations. The purpose of this Code is to communicate standards by which student clubs and organizations can achieve their fullest potential to align with the mission of the University, serve their members, and function in harmony with both on and off-campus communities.  

The officers, members, and advisors to student clubs and organizations are individually and collectively responsible for ensuring that all members understand and comply with the contents of this Code:

  1. Jurisdiction
  2. Authority and Delegation
  3. Standards of Conduct
  4. Procedures for the Review of Code Violations
  5. Investigation, Timelines, Meeting with Group, and Standard of Proof, & Notice 
  6. Sanctions Applied to Officially Recognized Clubs or Organizations
  7. Appeals
  8. Recognition Reinstatement

JURISDICTION

  1. These standards apply to any and all violations occurring:  
    1. On University property as outlined by Administrative Procedure 505; or 
    2. Any violation on off-campus property if that behavior:  
      1. Occurred as part of a campus-related or recognized event; or 
      2. Adversely affects the health and/or safety of members of the campus community at large; or 
      3. Is sufficiently severe or pervasive; or 
      4. Damages University-owned property; or 
      5. Is inconsistent and/or interferes with the mission of the University, campus policies and procedures or presidential orders.   
  1. The Dean of Students is the designee of the Vice President for Student Life and has been delegated authority and responsibility to monitor the administration of these procedures. The Dean of Students may designate the Associate Dean of Students: Wellness and Engagement, the Associate Dean for Student Conduct, or other members of the Dean of Students’ professional staff to investigate and adjudicate complaints against student clubs and organizations. During the pendency of any investigation undertaken pursuant to this section, the Dean of Students or their designee may impose an interim student organization recognition suspension and/or a cease and desist notice on a student club or organization. 
  2. California State University, Los Angeles, may impose sanctions for violation of, or an attempt to violate Cal State LA Campus Regulations, California statutes, federal statutes, or local ordinance(s). In addition, violation of the following Standards of Conduct may result in the imposition of sanctions: 
  1. Educational Development: A portion of an organization's activities should reflect the mission of the University, which is to “…cultivate and amplify our students’ unique talents, diverse life experiences, and intellect through engaged teaching, learning, scholarship, research, and public service that support their overall success, well-being, and the greater good.” An intentional effort should be made to enrich each member's educational development through the programs, activities, and priorities of the organization. 
  2. Individual Behavior: The personal behavior of each member impacts both the organizations and the University community. This makes it imperative for the individual to act ethically at all times, including demonstrating self-respect and integrity. All students, including organization members, are required to adhere to the California Standards for Student Conduct
  3. Community Relations: Organizations that conduct activities that impact the surrounding community should seek to maintain supportive, communicative, and positive relations with the community. The impression made by an organization on the community reflects upon the University as a whole. All members will conduct themselves so as to support a positive relationship with the community. 
  4. Financial Management: Members and officers shall handle all student organization funds judiciously, recognizing the need to comply with relevant financial policies and laws, and minimizing the transfer of debt responsibility. Members shall maintain the financial solvency of the organization and should avoid incurring debts on behalf of the organizations that cannot be, or are not, paid when due. All student organization banking shall take place in compliance with Section 3141.01 of the Integrated CSU Administrative Manual and the Cal State LA Student Organization Funds Administration Policy.
  5. Health and Safety: Members shall take basic precautionary measures to ensure individual and group safety through the implementation of risk management measures that demonstrate a concern for mental, emotional, and physical health and safety. Programs that provide educational information about the appropriate use of alcohol and drugs are strongly encouraged. All student organization events should be registered in compliance with the University’s event registration requirements and procedures and the Temporary Food Facility guidelines.  Organization members are required to adhere to the University’s Policy on Campus Violence, CSU Executive Order 1095, and the Standards for Student Conduct’s Prohibition on Hazing.   
  6. Leadership Development: The continued success of a student organization requires a regular succession of effective leaders. Organizations shall provide programs or resources for the development of the leadership skills needed in positions of service and responsibility. Current leaders should garner the ability to navigate through University procedures while developing opportunities for the mentorship and growth of future leaders. 
  7. Legal, Policy, and Procedural Compliance Responsibility: Organization members have a responsibility to know and uphold, all relevant federal, state, and local laws and University policies and procedures. Of particular importance are laws governing the use of alcohol and illicit drugs in addition to the University’s Administrative Procedure 019-Alcoholic Beverages.  Organization members are required to adhere to the University’s Administrative Procedure P003- Campus Posting Policy and Administrative Procedure P007 – Policy on Time, Place, and Manner of Free Expression
  8. Nondiscrimination: The Cal State LA community aspires to cultivate diversity, expect cultural competence, and actively seek perspectives and engagement from all constituents in our community, to develop just and equitable expectations. Consistent with stated University values, we encourage the recognition, awareness, and respect for persons of varying backgrounds and perspectives. Clubs and organizations must adhere to the System-wide Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Against Students (Executive Order 1097). 
  9. Self-Governance and Student Organization Recognition: Each organization shall adhere to the University’s Administrative Procedure 802- University Recognition of Student Organizations and CSU Executive Order 1068 which outlines recognition and officer eligibility requirements.  They shall have a University-approved constitution and operating procedure that will allow officers and members to effectively uphold the standards of this code. Activities of an organization shall be consistent with the approved constitution, and the organization shall have a university advisor.  Advisors must be Cal State LA employees and may not be auxiliary (e.g. University Student Union, University Auxiliary Services, or Associated Students, Inc.) employees. 

Action can be taken against a recognized student club or organization that allegedly violates this Code of Conduct. Reports of alleged violations of this Code should be filed in writing electronically with the Office of the Dean of Students at [email protected].  All valid reports will be investigated and responded to.  

Individual students suspected of violating the CSU Standards for Student Conduct should be reported using the Misconduct Report form, emailing [email protected], or calling Student Conduct at 323-343-3103. 

  1. A member of the campus community, who believes that a club or organization has violated the regulations as set forth herein, should immediately notify the Associate Dean of Students: Wellness and Engagement. The notice to the Associate Dean of Students must be submitted in writing electronically and must contain sufficient detail to allow the Dean of Students or his or her designee to investigate the allegations of misconduct or violation. Anonymous complaints of violations against an individual, club, or organization are insufficient for the Dean of Students or his/her designees to commence an investigation. 
  2. When possible, the individual(s), club, or organization shall be notified within ten (10) working days following receipt of the allegations. 
  3. The Associate Dean of Students: Wellness & Engagement or their designee shall meet with the officers of the officially recognized club or organization, the complainant, and witnesses. The meeting is designed to determine facts, gather information, and to attempt to informally resolve the matter. 
  4. The standard of proof to substantiate the allegations is a “preponderance of the evidence.” The preponderance of the evidence is a standard of proof that requires that facts and evidence supporting the complaint are more “likely than not” to have occurred. 
  5. The officially-recognized club or organization and any applicable national affiliates shall be informed of the results of the investigation and what if any, sanction(s) will be imposed upon the individual(s), the club, or the organization. 

Organizations found in violation of this code are subject to sanctions.  Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

  1. Warning – states that the student organization’s actions were inappropriate and a warning that future infractions shall not occur.   
  2. Restitution – orders compensation for loss, damages, or injury that may include service, monetary or material replacement.
  3. Apologies – orders the organization to send letters of apology to the appropriate parties. 
  4. Educational and remedial sanctions – orders attendance at education seminars by organization members or requires the organization to prepare a presentation(s) to educate others.
  5. Social restrictions – prohibit the student organization from holding social events for a specific period.
  6. Withdrawal of recognition – includes but is not limited to the student organization being denied use of their recognition benefits; use of facilities and services, eligibility for funding, and ability to host and hold events and meetings.  Withdrawal of recognition may be indefinite or for a specified time.   
  7. Suspension – suspends all privileges granted to the student organization for a specific time.  An organization under suspension must continue to fulfill the responsibilities required of the student organization and its respective governing council.  Suspended organizations may be permitted to participate in community service and leadership development programs and activities, as determined by the Associate Dean of Students: Wellness & Engagement.
  8. Suspension of specific privileges – suspends privileges of the student organization (as enumerated in the Student Organization Handbook) for a specific period. 
  9. Suspension in abeyance – places the organization on suspension, but the University does not implement the suspension.  The organization retains privileges but must meet specified conditions.  If the organization does not meet the conditions, the suspension immediately takes effect.
  10. Probation – places the organization on probation for a period of time during which the organization is expected to demonstrate exemplary compliance with University policies.  Probation may include conditions that the organization must meet to be removed from probation.  The probationary conditions may specify the sanctions to be imposed should the organization not comply with the term(s) of probation.   
  11. Alcohol restrictions – prohibit the student organization from having alcoholic beverages present at organization-related activities and/or at organization-related facilities for a specific period.   
  12. Community service – orders the organization to perform a specific number of hours of community service to be coordinated and/or approved by the Assistant Dean of Students: Wellness & Engagement. 
  13. Restriction of privileges of their respective governing councils – suspends privileges of the organization granted by the respective governing council for a specific period.   
  14. Total revocation of university recognition (e.g., the club or organization loses all privileges associated with university recognition) for a determined amount of time.
  15. Any sanctions that are listed under Article VI. SANCTIONS within the Chancellor’s Executive Order No. 1098 (or its successor) “Student Disciplinary Procedures for the California State University” that can be applied to individual students can also be applied, after due process, to members of a violating officially recognized club or organization.  If applicable these will be addressed and applied by the Assistant Dean for Student Conduct.    

When the investigation results in a finding of responsibility for a violation of the foregoing regulations and sanctions, the club or organization will be notified of the decision. Upon notification to the club or organization of the decision made by the Associate Dean of Students: Wellness & Engagement, the club or organization may exercise its right to appeal the determination of the University.  

This appeal shall be in writing to the Dean of Students within five (5) working days of receipt of the written decision from the investigating designee. Within five (5) days of the receipt of the appeal, the office of the Dean of Students may enforce the decision to impose a sanction, modify the terms of the sanction, or delete the sanction in its entirety. If an interim suspension during the pendency of the appeal, the interim suspension or cease and desist, if imposed, will remain in full force and effect.  

  1. The Dean of Students will only consider appeals from the officially recognized club or organization charged in a case. (Individuals charged with wrongdoing under Chancellor’s Executive Order for Student Discipline are subject to the process contained therein.) The appeal must be based on one or more of the following: 

    1. There is new evidence that was not available at the time the university designee rendered a decision. 
    2. The sanction is not supported by evidence for the determined violation. 
    3. The university designee substantially deviated from the procedures delineated in these standards.  
  1. The Dean of Students shall base their decision upon: 

    1. The report submitted by the University designee investigating the matter; 
    2. Any written appeal regarding the officially recognized club or organization submitted by the officially recognized club or organization; 
    3. Sanctions imposed in similar cases, and any previous cases of misconduct by the club/organization charged on file with the university; 
    4. Such other factors as the Dean of Students shall in their discretion deem relevant. 
  1. The Dean of Students may render any of the following decisions:

    1. Affirm the decision; 
    2. Modify the sanctions assigned;
    3. Refer the case back for a new investigation. 
  1.  The president of the organization and any applicable national affiliates shall be notified of the appeal decision via email. All appeal decisions are final. 

Student organizations that have had their recognition suspended or revoked must make a written formal request via email to be reinstated to the Dean of Students and the Center for Student Involvement before they can be considered to return to campus. This request must be initiated at least one semester prior to the start of the next academic term. 

  1. The Associate Dean of Students: Wellness & Engagement or their designee shall meet with the officers of the prospective club or organization to discuss the request for recognition reinstatement.
  2. The Dean of Students, the Center of Student Involvement, and any applicable campus student organization governing board will consider the request for recognition reinstatement based on the following criteria: 
    1. The suspended organization’s success in meeting or adhering to University’s sanctions, policies, and procedures
    2. The academic and individual student conduct status of prospective organization executive board and general membership
    3. Student interest, demand, and feasibility to meet University recognition requirements.  

Upon notification to the club or organization of the decision made by the Associate Dean of Students: Wellness & Engagement, the club or organization may exercise its right to appeal the determination of the University regarding its recognition reinstatement request following the Appeals section of these standards.