How to Start a New Organization and Maintain Previous Student Organization Recognition Status
Starting a new student club or organization at Cal State LA not only adds to the variety of communities available on campus but is also easy to do! Student organizations support student success through engaging students with each other, the campus community, and the greater Los Angeles region by fostering leadership development opportunities, an appreciation for diversity, community service outlets, and out-of-classroom experiential learning. The University encourages students to create organizations that allow them to explore their professional goals and personal development.
This page contains the forms and information you will need to successfully complete the New Student Organization Recognition process. It is through student organizations that Cal State LA’s spirit and traditions are created and preserved. Thank you for taking the initiative to begin a new student organization! (For more information please refer to Administrative Procedure 802.)
Please see below for more detailed information on how to gain or maintain student organization recognition for the academic year.
New & Returning Student Organization Recognition Process
If your student organization was recognized in the last academic year, you should follow the following steps to maintain recognition in the upcoming year.
During this time, all student organization leaders must complete the following in this order:
- Returning Student Org: Complete the Organization Transition Form (President only)
- Review these guidelines for how to transition.
- New Student Org: Complete the Organization Registration Form (President only)
- Submit organization officer/membership roster
- Submit the organization constitution (View this Sample Constitution and By-laws)
- Complete all Fall ODC Modules (President and Treasurer only)
- Complete the Officer/Advisor Acknowledgement Form (OAF) (all 5 officers and advisor(s))
Organizations who want to participate in the City of Orgs must complete all forms and ODC modules by the indicated deadline on Presence, and CSI will review all submitted ODC forms
- If all forms and ODC modules are submitted correctly and reviewed before City of Orgs, recognition will be granted, and the organization can participate in the City of Orgs event.
- If ODC forms and modules are completed after City of Orgs, and before the recognition period deadline, recognition for the academic year will be granted but the organization cannot participate in City of Orgs.
- All student organizations that complete the recognition requirements by the indicated deadline on Presence will maintain their recognition for the academic year.
- If some aspects of the ODC forms or modules are incomplete, CSI will deny forms until they meet all requirements successfully.
- If the recognition deadline is missed for completing all forms and ODC requirements, the organization will lose recognition and the benefits associated with that status for the entire Fall semester.
- Returning organizations that were deactivated for the Fall can seek recognition again in the Spring semester (see section below).
- Student organizations that gained/maintained recognition during the Fall semester do not need to complete ODC during the Spring semester.
- Spring ODC is only for NEW student organizations or for returning organizations who did not complete Fall ODC.
- The recognition period for NEW student organizations will be listed on Presence.
- During this time, NEW organizations must complete the following in this order:
- Complete all ODC modules (President and Treasurer only)
- Complete the Officer/Advisor Acknowledgement Form (OAF) (all 5 officers and advisor(s))
- CSI will review all submitted forms
- If all forms and ODC modules are submitted correctly and reviewed by the indicated deadline on Presence, recognition for the Spring semester will be granted and the new student organization can make use of recognition benefits.
- If some aspects of the forms or ODC modules are incomplete, CSI will deny forms until they meet all requirements successfully.
- If the recognition deadline is missed for completing all forms and ODC modules, the organization will not be recognized and must wait until the next recognition period during the following academic year.
- CSI will notify student organizations who gained/maintained recognition if they need to make changes to their rosters (due to newly elected officers or changes in membership or advisors) that they can do so by first completing the Organization Officer Change Form. This form will provide additional steps that need to be taken to complete the transition.
- This step helps ensure new officers are in place before the semester starts and allows the student organization to maintain its recognition.
- The notification will indicate a deadline by which the officer/advisor transition needs to be completed.
- CSI will review and approve all student organization updates.
- Once all updates have been reviewed and approved by CSI, the student organization will maintain its recognition status and may make use of its benefits, including but not limited to holding student organization meetings and events.
- In addition to meeting the Organizational Development Course requirement and submitting all required student organization recognition forms, student organizations must adhere to the following requirements in order to gain and maintain University recognition:
- Student organization officers must meet all University eligibility requirements for student officers, and all faculty and staff advisors must meet University eligibility requirements for advisors.
- Student organization officers are responsible for maintaining the financial solvency of the organization in accordance with all University policies and procedures. For more information, please refer to ICSUAM 3141.01 Administration of Student Organization Funds.
- In accordance with the CSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation (Nondiscrimination Policy), Cal State LA fraternities and sororities seeking or maintaining university recognition will be required to have 100% of their members complete the Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Resources Training (SMPRT) module on Presence. The President and Treasurer of Non-Greek clubs and organizations will be required to complete the SMPRT module as part of the ODC requirement. For Greek letter organization recognition requirements, please contact the Fraternity and Sorority Life Coordinator at [email protected].
- Report any revision of the name, constitution, and by-laws, or new officers of your organization to the Center for Student Involvement. All revisions and changes must be made in accordance with the procedures prescribed within your existing constitution and by-laws. A revised copy of your constitution and by-laws must be submitted to the Center for Student Involvement on Presence.
- All student organizations at Cal State LA that are affiliated with national or international umbrella organizations or headquarters must remain in good standing with those entities to maintain University recognition. For example, organizations that are suspended by their national or international headquarters will have their University recognition suspended as well.
- Follow all University Policies and Procedures found in Section 6 of the Student Organization Handbook.
For any questions regarding gaining or maintaining your organization's recognition at Cal State LA, please contact CSI at [email protected].
Cal State LA recognizes student clubs or organizations affiliated with a national scholastic honor society under the category University Sponsored Organizations. University Sponsored Organizations, unlike student organizations, invite members on the basis of scholastic achievement and may require skill-based, aptitude test requirements such as a minimum grade point average, academic discipline, unit requirements or classification (description as upper division, lower division, graduate student, etc.). University Sponsored Organizations must comply with all Cal State LA, CSU systemwide policies, procedures, and guidelines in accordance with EO 1068.
It is the responsibility of the sponsoring Advisor or Department to complete all the requirements for chartering and recognition from the campus. Formally chartered and recognized University Sponsored Organizations will be afforded all benefits and opportunities as provided to recognized student organizations. Membership may be defined by the affiliation with the national scholastic honor society; however, no students in University Sponsored Organizations can be denied membership on the basis of the nondiscrimination statement.
All Candidate (new) and Incumbent (returning) officers of the organization must meet the following minimum eligibility requirements established for Minor Student Representatives and Student Officers per CSU Executive Order 1068 and AP 802. When completing the Student Organization Officer Acknowledgement Form, officers, through their signature, provide consent to disclose student academic records. The statement listed on the form is as follows:
Under provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, and the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities of California State University, Los Angeles, my signature gives permission to the Registrar’s Office at California State University, Los Angeles to release academic information to the Director, Center for Student Involvement, regarding my G.P.A. and status as a currently enrolled or continuing student at Cal State LA. All academic information gathered on behalf of the Center for Student Involvement will be used for enrollment and G.P.A. purposes only per the Student Organization Officer Eligibility Requirements listed in the Student Organization Handbook, and be kept in strict confidence.
If you have any questions about this release of academic information, please contact the Center for Student Involvement.
- Must be matriculated and enrolled at Cal State LA.
- Must be in good standing and must not be on academic, disciplinary, or administrative probation.
- Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum overall 2.0 grade point average (GPA) each semester.
- Graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA each term to be considered in good standing.
- Undergraduate students must earn six (6) semester units per term while holding office.
- Graduate and credential students must earn three (3) semester units per term while holding office.
- Undergraduate students are allowed to earn a maximum of 150 semester units or 125 percent of the units required for a specific baccalaureate degree objective, whichever is greater.
- Graduate and credential students are allowed to earn a maximum of 50 semester units or 167 percent of the units required for the graduate or credential objective, whichever is greater.
Students holding more than this number of units are ineligible for holding student organization officer positions.
The Center for Student Involvement, in partnership with the University Registrar’s office, will conduct eligibility verification for president and treasurer positions every semester. This review process will be initiated after the completion of data collection from the Student Organization Officer Acknowledgement Forms that are required to be submitted.
If any officer is deemed ineligible, they will be notified by CSI after the University's census date regarding their status. In such cases, ineligible officers are required to vacate their positions as soon as possible, or by the mandated deadlines provided by CSI. This is crucial to maintain the organization's recognition and the benefits that come with that status.
It is important for student organization members to keep track of their eligibility and ensure they meet the criteria to hold their positions, in order to avoid any negative impact on their organization's status. Ineligible student organization officers should refer to the Guidelines fo Officer Changes.
Student Organization Advisor Eligibility
Each officially recognized student organization must have a university advisor who is either a faculty member or professional staff member who is an employee of Cal State LA or one of its auxiliaries. Part-time faculty and professional staff can serve as advisors. The Vice President of Student Life or designee may remove an advisor from their student organization-related responsibilities as needed to ensure that the educational purpose of student organizations is met, or in the interests of student health, safety, and welfare. Student organizations may have an advisory board composed of community members or alumni, however, at least one advisor must be a faculty or professional staff member of Cal State LA.
CSI, in compliance with CSU Executive Order 1068, conducts student organization advisor eligibility reviews and provides advisors with updated information and training on how to serve as an advisor. For more information regarding advisor eligibility requirements and resources please contact CSI at 323-343-5110.
California State University, Los Angeles affirms its commitment to equality of opportunity for all individuals. This commitment requires that no discrimination shall occur in any program or activity of the University on the basis of race or ethnicity (including color, caste, and ancestry), religion (or religious creed), nationality, citizenship, age, medical condition, genetic information, gender (or sex), gender identity (including nonbinary or transgender), gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran or military status, or disability (physical or mental), or any other legally protected classification that precludes a person from consideration as an individual.
Further, the University’s commitment requires that no retaliation shall occur because an individual filed a complaint of discrimination or harassment or some other way opposed discriminatory practices, or participated in an investigation related to such complaint. This policy is in accord with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, as amended, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Act of 1974, related federal and state laws, and related administrative regulations and executive orders.
If you feel you have been the victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation in connection with your association with the University, please contact the Office for Equity and Diversity. Your concern will be treated confidentially to the extent the law permits considered carefully and investigated promptly. Corrective action will be taken if required. No action will be taken against you for filing a good faith complaint.
Types of Organizations Recognized
Cal State LA is fortunate to have a variety of over 100 recognized student organizations on campus. Organizations are categorized to better communicate their general purposes and activities to interested students. The Center for Student Involvement describes organizations as belonging to one of the following categories:
- University-Sponsored Organizations/National Honor Societies
- Special Interest
CSI, along with several on-campus departments, has determined that sports clubs/club sports require significant time from personnel to monitor the health and safety of the participants during practices and tournaments. In addition, the role of the advisor/coach is far more extensive than for a non-sports club. Likewise, the lack of equipment, appropriate facilities, the cost of insurance, and funding for travel must also be considered. Given these factors, Cal State LA does not recognize sports clubs.