CHAPTER 600 Student Affairs

620 Recognized Student Organizations

For purposes of this policy, Recognized Student Organizations (RSOs) include the campus student body organization and any other student organizations that have been officially recognized by California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (the “University” or “Cal Poly”).

RSOs provide organized student activities that function as part of the official University community. The Vice President for Student Affairs is responsible for the administration of this policy. Recognized Student Organizations may not operate independently of this and any other applicable University regulations, policies, or procedures. In accordance with the California Education Code and the California Code of Regulations, the sole, duly recognized student body organization at Cal Poly is the Associated Students, Incorporated (ASI). The University may engage the ASI to perform certain services on behalf of the University in relation to the administration of this policy.

621 Purpose of Policy

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621.1 Recognition of Student Organizations

A group of Cal Poly students may petition the University for official recognition as a Recognized Student Organization (RSO).

The University may grant, suspend or rescind official recognition of any student organization for any lawful reason, including failure to comply with this policy.

The University shall establish procedures for the granting, suspension and rescission of official recognition of RSOs and for any official acts of dissolution.

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621.2 Policy Statement

Minimum Requirements for Recognized Student Organizations

RSOs shall not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, political affiliation, national origin, ethnicity, color, age, gender, gender identity, 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 and sororities (Title 5, California Code of Regulations, Section 41500).

RSOs shall comply with the California State University Standards for Student Conduct as expressed in the California Code of Regulations (Title 5, §41301 et seq.).

All RSOs shall support the mission of the University.

Each RSO shall have an advisor who will be an employee of the University in good standing. “Good standing” shall mean compliance with the relevant provisions of this policy and any other pertinent laws or policies. Employees of auxiliary organizations are not eligible to serve as RSO advisors. A RSO advisor shall serve in a volunteer capacity without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation.

RSO Funds shall be held in trust by the campus through ASI unless granted a specific exception by the University Controller.

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621.3 Membership

A RSO shall consist of no fewer than five matriculated Cal Poly students and 100% of the student organization membership shall be matriculated Cal Poly students.

Each RSO shall have at a minimum a president and treasurer. Any such president and treasurer shall:

  • Comply with the California State University definition of Minor Student Representative Officers in Executive Order 1068
  • Be matriculated Cal Poly students
  • Maintain a minimum overall 2.0 grade point average each academic year
  • Be in good standing and shall not be on probation of any kind
  • Attend a minimum of two academic quarters during the academic year
  • If undergraduate students, earn at least nine student credit units per quarter while holding office, or, if graduate and credential students, earn at least four student credit units per quarter while holding office, and
  • If undergraduate students, earn no more than 225 student credit units or no more than 125 percent of the units required for a specific baccalaureate degree objective, whichever is greater, while holding office, or, if graduate students, earn no more than 75 student credit units or no more than 167 percent of the units required for the graduate or credential objective, whichever is greater, while holding office.

RSOs engage in activities that:

  • Are conducted by Cal Poly students and
  • Promote Cal Poly students’ knowledge about common interests and
  • Promote the social and cultural development of Cal Poly students and/or enhance the academic career of Cal Poly student members.

RSOs shall:

  • Strive to enhance the University mission.
  • Strive to project a positive public image of the RSO and the University.
  • Create beneficial opportunities for personal and professional development of Cal Poly students.
  • Engage in activities approved by the University.

RSOs shall not:

  • Supplant the purposes of any other University program, project, or department.
  • Engage in or promote activities that endanger or harm the health and safety of any persons or that endanger, damage, or harm University property, facilities, or assets.
  • Engage in or promote activities not allowed in the RSO charter or otherwise prohibited by the University.
  • Use funds collected by the RSO for purposes that result in the personal benefit of any member of the club or any other person or entity.
  • Engage in commercial for-profit activities.
  • Endorse any commercial products or services.
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621.4 Advisors

Each RSO shall have at minimum one advisor. Any such advisor shall:

  • Comply with RSO training requirements, and
  • Comply with procedures set forth by the Dean of Students Office.
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621.5 Recognition, Privileges, and Dissolution

The University shall establish procedures for the official recognition, operation, and dissolution of a RSO. The official notice of University recognition of RSOs shall be known as the RSO charter.

A RSO may petition the University for official recognition as a RSO upon a full disclosure of proposed activities and upon declaring the intent to comply with the language and spirit of this policy and the RSO charter. Such official recognition shall remain in effect for no more than 18 months. Previously-recognized RSOs in good standing must petition for recognition in subsequent academic years.

The University shall establish procedures for pre-evaluation of the risks associated with any proposed RSO charter and/or activities; and for providing appropriate risk management and insurance measures. RSOs may be required to provide funds for all or part of the cost of insurance or other risk management expenses.

The University shall establish procedures for dissolution of accounts of any RSO with an expired RSO charter or after any other official act of termination. Funds of dissolved RSOs will be added to ASI Club Funding for the following academic year.

RSOs, upon being duly recognized by the University and by remaining in good standing, may:

  • Use the Cal Poly name, marks, and symbols according to the Club Branding Guideline document and under the guidance of University Marketing officials.
  • Request to use University facilities under terms and conditions comparable to other non-instructional University programs.
  • Collect RSO membership dues and gifts.
  • Utilize monies collected by the RSO solely for lawful RSO activities.
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References for CAP 620

  1. Date approved by the President: January 29, 2019
  2. Effective Date: January 29, 2019
  3. Responsible Department/Office(s): Vice President for Student Affairs
  4. Revision History: January 4, 2007, January 29, 2019, February 13, 2019
  5. Related University Policies, Procedures, Manuals and/or Documents:
    1. Associated Students, Inc. Campus Administrative Policies
    2. Cal Poly Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities
    3. University Housing Resident Handbook and Community Standards Guidelines
  6. Laws, Regulations and/or Codes of practice referred to herein or related to this policy:
    1. California Code of Regulations, Title 5, Division 5. Board of Trustees of the California State University
    2. CSU Executive Order 1068 on Student Activities
    3. CSU Executive Order 1059 on Utilization of Campus Auxiliary Organizations
    4. Integrated CSU Administrative Manual (ICSUAM) 3141.01 on Administration of Student Organization Funds