Student Organization/Club Conduct Procedures

Report a Student Organization/Club Complaint

Recognized Student Organization Code of Conduct (RSOCC)

(Inspired by Cal Poly,

Effective Date Fall 2023

SF State is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy living and learning environment for students and employees. All campus community members should engage in activities that contribute toward this end. Student organization behavior that is not consistent with standards set by San Francisco State University and the California State University is addressed through an educational process that is designed to promote safety and good citizenship, and when necessary, impose appropriate consequences.

In order to be a recognized student organizations by San Francisco State University, every group must formally be registered and approved by a process administered by the Dean of Students Office and Student Activities and Events. Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) are subject to all University policies and rules and are responsible for the conduct of their members. Policies and procedures developed by external Greek councils or other external organizations are managed separately as outlined by their respective organizations and do not preclude action under this Recognized Student Organization Code of Conduct (RSOCC). In accordance with California State University (CSU) Student Activities Policy1, SF State’s president has the responsibility for implementing campus policies, procedures, and/or guidelines for student organizations and activities. This RSOCC is in compliance with Student Activities, EO 1068, and sets forth the Code of Conduct for SF State RSOs. All campus RSOs are subject to this Code of Conduct. This RSOCC complies with all student organization requirements described in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Sections 41500 (Withholding Recognition), 41501 (Definition of Recognition), 41503 (Filing Requisites), and 41504 (Penalties)2; California Assembly Bill 5243; CSU Executive Orders 8684 and 11095 regarding Alcohol; CSU Executive Order 1068 (Student Activities); and the SF State Alcohol Policy6.

Authority and responsibility for administering this RSOCC is delegated by the campus President to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Dean of Students, the Student Conduct Administrator, and the Director of Student Engagement and Transition.

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 Code, regardless of whether it occurs on or off campus. Nothing in this code is intended to conflict with California Education Code Section 663016 that prohibits disciplinary action against students based on behavior protected by the First Amendment.

Equal Access

SF State RSOs shall not discriminate either in the content of bylaws or in practice against any person 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) (hereafter referred to as the nondiscrimination statement)8.

The prohibition on membership policies that discriminate on the basis of gender does not apply to fraternities and sororities; there is a limited exception that a social fraternity or sorority may impose a gender limitation as permitted by Education Code Section 66273. 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.

Member Responsibilities

Members of RSOs are expected to be good citizens and to engage in responsible behaviors that reflect well upon their student organization and the University. SF State has established this Code of Conduct to ensure that all student organization officers and members understand and accept responsibility for their actions, and the actions of their members and guests. Consequently, violations of this code, could subject individuals and affiliated entities to the Student Conduct Process and/or referral to local legal authorities.

Application of This Code

The Office of Student Conduct (OSC) and Student Activities and Events (SAE) will exercise jurisdiction over the conduct of all recognized student organizations, including fraternities, sororities, and sports clubs.

Action by the OSC and SAE does not preclude action by one of the independent Greek councils, Associated Students, Inc., or other external governing bodies.

Sanctions for the conduct listed below may be imposed on student organizations found responsible for violating this RSOCC. The Office of Student Conduct uses a preponderance of evidence standard when making determinations regarding violations of this RSOCC in accordance with the policy and procedures set forth in CSU Student Conduct Process, Executive Order 10989. Misconduct by members of student organizations may also subject the members, in their role as a student, to discipline under the CSU Student Code of Conduct.

Individual student discipline is addressed through the Office of Student Conduct directly or legal authorities; this Code focuses on discipline against the organization.

Interim Sanctions

The Dean of Students or designee may immediately impose interim sanctions where there is reasonable cause to believe that such an action is required to protect the health, safety, and well-being of members of the campus community, to protect University resources and property, and/or to ensure the maintenance of order. This may include, but is not limited to, cases involving hazing, incidents involving injury or violence, sexual misconduct, illegal alcohol or drug activity, or an ongoing pattern of serious violations. Interim sanctions may include a temporary suspension of official recognition and/or restrictions on specific activities including, but not limited to, social probation, participation in campus events, hosting activities, conducting meetings, and recruiting members. Interim sanctions may remain in effect until a final sanction decision has been reached at the discretion of the Dean of Students or designee.


OSC and SAE have the responsibility for handling all allegations of RSO misconduct on behalf of the University. When SAE receives a report or information about a student organization’s alleged misconduct, interim sanctions and an investigation may occur if warranted (as determined by SAE). SAE will send the president or chair of the student organization a written letter to schedule an informal conference as well as to notify the president or chair of the allegations and the range of potential sanctions. Allegations involving discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation based on a protected status, or allegations of sex/gender discrimination, harassment, retaliation, sexual misconduct, dating or domestic violence, or stalking, will be handled by the campus Title IX Coordinator/DHR Administrator in accordance with the policy and procedures set forth in the CSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation (Nondiscrimination Policy)10, in coordination with OSC and SAE.

During the informal conference, SAE will meet with the president or chair of the RSO to discuss the allegations and charges, as well as the possible sanctions. The RSO president or chair may have one advisor of their choice. The RSO charged may elect to be accompanied by an advisor of their choice to a meeting, interview, or hearing regarding the allegations, subject to the same limitations set forth in the Student Conduct Process, Article II. C (pertaining to individual student conduct proceedings). The advisor may not answer questions regarding the subject matter of the proceedings for the RSO charged. When the alleged violation is a felony, a single attorney is permitted, meaning the RSO charged may elect an attorney as an advisor. However, any advisor is limited to observing, consulting with, and providing support to the RSO. RSO Code of Conduct matters do not fall under the definition of a legal processes and attorneys may not participate directly in the process. If the RSO is found responsible for misconduct by SAE, the Director of SAE or the Student Conduct Administrator will issue a written notice to the RSO president or chair setting forth the final charges and related sanctions. Conduct outcome letters are Administrative Actions and, therefore, are not required to be memorialized with a signature by the RSO president or chair. An opportunity to speak about the proposed sanctions will be provided to the RSO president or chair prior to the Outcome Letter being submitted; this is the only time when the Organization leader will have an opportunity to mention potential errors in the investigation or reporting. There is no appeal process for RSOs.

The RSO president or chair may view their organization's disciplinary file by contacting the Director of SAE or OSC. Organization conduct files will not be released during an open investigation. Conduct files may contain the following documents: photographs, supporting documents, memos, police reports, and official letters submitted to the RSO president or chair. Each case is unique, and not all files will contain each of these components. If necessary, SAE or the OSC may redact documents to protect any student/witness identities or information as appropriate. Investigation notes are considered for private use only and will not be released. RSO disciplinary files must remain with SAE or OSC, cannot be photographed, and will not be sent to RSO president or chairs via email. These files are part of the RSO's records indefinitely.

Unacceptable Student Organization/Member Conduct

The following conduct is unacceptable and may subject the student organization to disciplinary sanctions:

  1. Dishonesty, including:

    1. Furnishing false information to a University official, faculty member, or campus office.
    2. Forgery, alteration, or misuse of a University document, key, or identification instrument.
    3. Misrepresenting the organization to be an authorized agent of the University or one of its auxiliaries. Recognized student organizations and their operations are legally separate, independent organizations, do not represent the University, and are not agents of the University.
  2. Unauthorized entry into, presence in, or use of any facility, property, or equipment owned or operated by the University or a University auxiliary organization, including but not limited to violation of visitation policies of University or University auxiliary owned or operated student residential facilities.
  3. Disruption. Willful, material, and substantial disruption or obstruction of University operations, University-related activities or on-campus activities; or sponsoring or encouraging activity that substantially and materially disrupts the operations of the University or that infringes on the rights of members of the University community.
    1. Any violation of the Time, Place, and Manner (TPM) Policy (Executive Directive 89-13)
  4. Noise
    1. Violation of municipal noise ordinances. E.g. San Francisco County or other city jurisdiction.
    2. Violation of municipal unruly gathering ordinances.
    3. Excessive noise which disrupts the campus or surrounding community, including violation of campus amplified sound policy, Executive Directive 89-1311.
  5. Obstruction. Willful, material, and substantial obstruction of the free flow of pedestrian or other traffic, on or leading to or from campus property, or an off-campus University authorized activity.
  6. Disorderly Behavior. Disorderly, lewd, indecent, or obscene behavior at a University-related activity, or directed toward a member of the University community.
  7. Health & Safety. 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, sexual misconduct, throwing bottles or objects that could result in personal injury, or where three or more members of a student organization engage in group violence or taunt others to engage in violence.
  8. Hazing and Conspiracy to Haze. Hazing is defined as any method of indoctrination, 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 245.612), 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. Drugs. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs or drug-related paraphernalia (except as expressly permitted by law and University regulation) or the misuse of legal pharmaceutical drugs at an organization-related event or facility.
  10. Alcohol. Use, possession, manufacture, or distribution of alcoholic beverages (except as expressly permitted by law and University policy) or public intoxication while on campus or at a University-related activity (see SF State’s Alcohol Policy13 regarding on-and off-campus use, service, sale, and consumption for more detailed information).
  11. Theft or Misappropriation of University Resources and Property.
    1. Theft of property or services from the University community, or misappropriation of University resources. Unauthorized removal of University property from common use areas.
    2. Possession by the student organization or presence at organization-related activities or facilities of stolen property or University property that has been removed without University authorization.
  12. Property Damage. Unauthorized destruction, defacement or damage to University property or other property in the University community, including removal, alteration, or damage to University signs or banners.
  13. Weapons. Possession, use, or misuse of firearms or guns, replicas, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, knives, other weapons, or dangerous chemicals at a University-related activity or at a student organization facility, function, or activity.
  14. Misuse of Computers. Misuse of University 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 of 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 policy.
  15. Commercial Purpose. Unauthorized recording, dissemination, or publication of academic presentations (including handwritten notes) for a commercial purpose.
  16. Violation of Policies. Violation of any University policy, rule, regulation, or presidential order. E.g. TPM or Administration of Student Organization Funds.
  17. Failure to Comply. Failure to comply with directions or interference with any University official or any public safety officer while acting in the performance of their duties.
  18. Violations of Law. Any organization-related act chargeable as a violation of 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 this RSOCC, including:
    1. Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information related to a student organization discipline matter.
    2. Disruption or interference with the orderly progress of a student organization disciplinary matter.
    3. Attempting to discourage a person from participating in a student organization disciplinary matter.
    4. Attempting to influence the impartiality of any participant in a student organization disciplinary matter.
    5. Verbal or physical harassment or intimidation of any participant in a student organization disciplinary matter.
    6. Failure to comply with the sanction(s) imposed under a student organization disciplinary proceeding.
  20. Aiding and Abetting. Aiding, abetting, encouraging, permitting or assisting a student or student organization to do any act that would violate a University policy or applicable law or that could subject the student or student organization to discipline.
  21. Debts. Failure of the organization to pay when due debts owed to the University or a University auxiliary organization.
  22. Discrimination. Discrimination in membership policies 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 to other university living groups).
  23. Student Organization Events.
    1. Disruption or interference with an approved RSO event, activity, speaker, program, presentation, demonstration, etc.
    2. Failure to comply with event approval conditions imposed by the SAE or other University offices.
    3. Failure to comply with the policies governing student organization events held on campus or funded by the University or a University auxiliary organization.
    4. Failure by a fraternity or sorority to comply with any event policy.
  24. Use of SF State name and logo. Unauthorized use of San Francisco State University or SF State name, logo, or symbols, or use not in compliance with University policies and authorization.


Student organizations that violate the RSOCC are subject to sanctions and/or formal referral to the Office of Student Conduct and/or legal authorities. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:

  1. Withdrawal of recognition – includes but is not limited to the student organization being denied use of University facilities, use of the University name, and use of Associated Student facilities and services. Withdrawal of recognition may be permanent, indefinite, or for a specified time.
  2. 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.
  3. Suspension of specific privileges – suspends specific privileges of the student organization for a specific period of time.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Reprimand – states that the student organization’s actions were inappropriate and a warning that future infractions shall not occur; this will be documented within the RSO official record.
  7. Restitution – orders compensation for loss, damages, or injury that may include service, monetary, or material replacement.
  8. Educational and remedial sanctions – orders attendance at education seminars by organization members or requires the organization to prepare presentation(s) to present to and educate others.
  9. Social restrictions – prohibits the student organization from holding social events for a specific period.
  10. Alcohol restrictions – prohibits the student organization from having alcoholic beverages present at organization-related activities.
  11. Community service – orders the organization to perform a specific number of hours of community service to be coordinated and/or approved by the Office of Dean of Students.
  12. Fines – requires the student organization to pay fines not to exceed $1000, to be used for educational or charitable purposes or to be paid directly to a charitable organization or a designated University or Associated Students program.

Recognition Reinstatement

Student organizations with recognition suspended or removed for a specified period of time must make a formal written request to be reinstated to the Dean of Students or designee before recognition will be considered. If the sanction was a permanent removal of recognition, the RSO may not make such a request.

Useful Web Links

  1. Student Activities, Executive Order 1068
  2. California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Section 41500, et seq.
  3. AB 524; Sections 66310-66312 of California Education Code
  4. Executive Order 868
  5. Executive Order 1109
  6. Time, Place, and Manner, Executive Directive 89-12 -
  7. California Education Code Section 66301
  8. CSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation (Nondiscrimination Policy)
  9. Student Conduct Process
  10. CSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation (Nondiscrimination Policy)
  11. Time, Place, and Manner, Executive Directive 89-13 -
  12. California Penal Code 245.6,
  13. The Alcohol and Drug Policy, Executive Directive 89-12 -