February 16, 2016

SCampus Part G

RECOGNIZED STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

Section 1 – Recognition of Student Organizations

Recognized student organizations provide opportunities for students and other members of the university community to explore their academic, professional, political, social, recreational, artistic, cultural, spiritual or community service interests. In addition, student organizations provide a laboratory for the development of interpersonal, organizational and leadership skills in the members and officers. Such organizations exist to promote the educational mission of the university.

The existence of student organizations at the university is sanctioned by the Board of Trustees. The responsibility for recognition of student organizations falls within the Division of Student Affairs. Recognized student organizations are offered privileges, provided the organizations accept certain responsibilities. All student organizations must complete recognition paperwork through engageSC annually. In addition, national, regional and local social greek-letter organizations are recognized through the Office for Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development (Tutor Campus Center 330, (213) 740-1195) which may require additional processes and paperwork. All other student organizations are recognized through Campus Activities at Steven and Kathryn Sample Hall 410, (213) 740-5693.

The Board of Trustees has ultimate authority over student organizations and can, from time to time, direct the Division of Student Affairs on matters regarding student organizations.

I.  Privileges

All recognized student organizations may:

a.  Post notices on campus, within the posting policy.

b.  Receive and post messages on the student organization electronic mailing list.

c.  Post on the Trojan Information Kiosk.

d.  Use a campus mailing address and/or mailbox.

e.  Reserve campus facilities for events, programs and meetings.

f.  Apply for university funding (including student program fee monies).

g.  Conduct fundraising efforts within the stated Sales and Fundraising Policies of the university (see Section G.7. Sales and Fundraising). Student organizations (or individual members while acting in any capacity for the organization) may not: (i) conduct for-profit or commercial activities (or facilitate the for-profit or commercial activities of others), (ii) conduct a business (or facilitate conducting the business of others), or (iii) act as (or create the appearance of acting as) a liaison, representative, agent, facilitator, face or front for another business, person or entity. All recognized student organizations are permitted to fundraise on their own behalf. However, student organizations may only fundraise or pursue activities to benefit their organization, another student organization or an outside philanthropic agency or relief effort. No individual student(s) may receive any type of payment either in the form of money, discounts and/or goods and services.

h.  Receive a discount on selected facility and equipment rentals.

i.  Access organizational email and web accounts (the university will place the following disclaimer at the bottom of each organization’s website: USC does not control the content herein and takes no responsibility for any inaccurate, indecent or objectionable content, which is the sole responsibility of the student author). Students may not remove or otherwise take steps to defeat this disclaimer. Any attempt to do so will be cause for disciplinary action.

j.  Access banking services at the USC Credit Union and/or through Campus Activities.

k.  Use the name, logo or other trademarks of the university, while making clear to a reasonable person not from the campus that the organization is a student organization at the university and not the university itself. Use of the name, logo or other trademarks must be consistent with the USC Graphic Identity Program, including those specified in the Sales and Fund-raising Policies (see Section G.7. Sales and Fundraising).

II.  Responsibilities

In return, the university expects all student organizations to:

a.  Abide by all university policies, regulations and procedures as defined in this Student Handbook and elsewhere, all state laws, and any applicable governing regulations associated with a national affiliation;

b.  Limit its participation to students, faculty, staff, alumni and alumnae of the university;

c.  Limit its voting members and officers to currently enrolled USC students;

d.  Refrain from discriminating in membership decisions, elections and all other matters on the basis of race, creed or religion, sex*, age, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, medical condition and national origin. A statement to this effect should appear in the constitution of all recognized organizations.

*Except those exempted from Title IX compliance.

III.  Recognition Process

Recognition status runs for one academic year (August 1-July 31) regardless of when an application is approved. All student organizations must complete recognition paper through the online recognition portal, engageSC, annually.

Organizations that do not complete the recognition renewal process by the specified time will lose all privileges.

The name and email of the first person listed on the application will be made available to members of the USC community. This student will also receive official communications from Campus Activities and is expected to share any pertinent information with their organization. Only the organization’s email and website will be listed on the student organization website.

Recognized student organizations are required to upload the following information to engageSC:

  • Complete membership profile and roster
  • Constitution ratified by the membership
  • Names and contact information of at least ten members (beginning Spring 2017)
  • Name and contact information of the full-time faculty/staff advisor
  • Agreement to abide by all university policies
  • Proof of attendance by one officer at a mandatory meeting

Religious organizations seeking recognition must complete the guidelines outlined on the Office of Religious Life website prior to receiving university recognition. This must be uploaded to engageSC during the recognition process.

Fraternities and sororities seeking recognition must complete guidelines outlined on the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development website prior to receiving university recognition. This must be uploaded to engageSC during the recognition process.

Club sports seeking recognition must complete guidelines outlined on the USC Recreational Sports website prior to receiving university recognition. This must be uploaded to engageSC during the recognition process.

Student organizations may be affiliated with other off-campus organizations. If this is the case, the student organization must submit a copy of the constitution, articles of incorporation or other governance document of the external organization for university approval.

Policies are subject to change. Refer to the Campus Activities website for current policies and procedures. Where university policies or regulations conflict with student organization constitutions or bylaws, the university policies or regulations will govern.

Through this recognition process, the university accepts no financial, tort or other liability for the action of the student organization or its members. Recognition of a student organization may be withdrawn by the organization itself, by Campus Activities, or following a recommendation of the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards, for any violation of university regulations and policies governing students, student organizations or their actions.

IV.  Unrecognized Student Organizations

Any student who knowingly chooses to affiliate with a club, organization or group that is not officially recognized or has been suspended, disbanded or dissolved by the university, or any external authority, is subject to disciplinary action up to and including suspension and expulsion from the university.

Section 2 – Group Responsibility for Student Organizations

The Student Conduct Code’s overall general principles (Part B) incorporate the expectation that students will meet higher standards of conduct than the minimum to avoid disciplinary action, and also assert that university standards may be set higher than those found elsewhere in society. Consistent with these principles, USC has established the following policy to ensure that leaders and members of student organizations understand and accept responsibility for the actions of their organization and all of its members. The following policy applies to all student organizations.

Student organizations may be held responsible for the acts of individual members. Acts include but are not limited to the following types of circumstances:

  • when a member of an organization is violating state law or university standards and other members present fail to indicate their disapproval, or by their continued presence without objection implicitly condone the behavior;
  • when the acts grow out of or are directly related to the student organization’s activities or an environment created by the organization;
  • when the acts are those of guests of an organization, or by persons authorized or permitted to represent themselves as connected with the organization;
  • when an organization places prospective members in a subordinate status prior to achieving full membership, or imposes any kind of probationary period prior to full membership, and hazing occurs.

Liability on the part of the student organization may be mitigated if members of the organization take reasonable steps to prevent infractions of university regulations by their fellow members. Such steps will usually include clear establishment of standards (preferably in writing), documented education of members as to the standards established and documented enforcement of standards when violations occur. The specific steps necessary to avoid this liability (or to mitigate consequences) will vary according to the circumstances of the situation, the seriousness of the behavior, and the possible harms which could have arisen from the behavior. Where more serious behavior and harm is in question, the student organization has the duty to take clear and firm action that is reasonably calculated to prevent and/or cease the behavior in question.

It is the duty and responsibility of every member of every student organization to respond to the conduct of the other members when they are engaged in behavior which violates the law or university regulations. It is not the number of members involved in an activity that is crucial to a determination that the organization is responsible. The test is whether the activity is related to a student organization through one of the four sets of circumstances previously articulated, rather than a private activity by persons who happen to be members of the same student organization. The factors to be considered include whether the activity is one normally considered part of student organization life and whether the atmosphere in the particular organization encourages or condones the particular group activity of the members.

It is the duty of every organization to create the proper atmosphere to ensure that misconduct related to the student organization is inconsistent with membership in the organization.

The duty just defined is applicable not only to members who are engaged directly in the activity, but also to members not engaged in the activity who are present or who have knowledge of the activity. For instance, knowledge of involvement by other members in illicit activities is sufficient to invoke culpability. All members must be on notice that their misdeeds may result in the sanctioning of their student organization through the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards.

In addition to the group being held culpable, members and officers may be cited and held responsible as individuals for their role. In sum, the policy is that every student organization member has the duty to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent infractions of university rules growing out of or related to the student organization’s life. Policies which may be relevant in such cases include, but are not limited to, those involving:

  • Hazing
  • Discrimination
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Dishonesty
  • Misappropriation of organization or university funds.

For more information contact the Office for Residential Education, Student Union 200, (213) 740-2080; Fraternity and Sorority Leadership Development, Ronald Tutor Campus Center 330, (213) 740-1195; or Campus Activities, Steven and Kathryn Sample Hall 410, (213) 740-5693.

Section 3 – Student-led International Travel

The following set of policies and guidelines has been developed, with the approval of the Provost, to clarify university expectations for student organizations planning international trips.

For questions about this policy, contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

  • Sponsored programs consist of student organizations or groups of students working under the specific direction of a university school or department. These students have regular and ongoing direction and involvement from a USC staff or faculty member and the program is listed among the school or department’s schedule of programs.
  • Affiliated programs consist of: (a) recognized student organizations, or (b) groups that choose to affiliate with the university and are willing to comply with the requirements set forth below. Any recognized student organization that receives university funds, uses the USC name, and/or receives support or guidance from a university school or department, or individual faculty or staff member, can be classified by the university as an affiliated program.

All USC sponsored or affiliated programs must follow the guidelines below, which include general trip requirements/recommendations and descriptions of the roles and responsibilities of advisers and student coordinators:

I.  Complete the Overseas Roster Spreadsheet, as described at studentaffairs.usc.edu/ssa/ssa-overseas/.

II.  Designate coordinators and advisers.

a.  Student Coordinator

Pre-trip roles

  • Thoroughly explain mission and purpose of the trip to all prospective/selected participants.
  • Make final determination on eligibility for participation (this often entails a selection process with the possible involvement of a faculty/staff adviser).
  • Inform participants that they will be required to have USC travel insurance.
  • Coordinate the collection/submission of student information to University Health Insurance Coordinator within stated time frame.
  • Collect and submit required student travel participant data to Student Affairs (Student Support and Advocacy) no later than seven days prior to departure.
  • Collect and submit to departmental representative and adviser vital participant information: (1) university release; (2) medical authorization; and (3) emergency contact form.
  • Make travel clinic information available to all participants. (1) Schedule group appointment and (2) contact travel nurse to review immunization requirements.

Roles during the trip

  • Provide general leadership while on the trip. Act as primary decision-maker and group representative in all matters affecting the day-to-day experience of the trip.
  • Maintain contact with community partners and facilitate regular conversations between all parties to troubleshoot problems and determine solutions.
  • Assist with emergency response as needed.
  • In cooperation with faculty/staff adviser (if present), respond to student concerns and problems as they arise.

b.  Adviser

Each USC sponsored overseas student trip is strongly encouraged to include a faculty/staff adviser for the duration of the trip. An adviser may be any of the following:

  • An employee whose job requires them to go on the trip
  • An exempt employee with at least a 50% staff or faculty appointment
  • A non-exempt staff employee performing duties and taking personal vacation time

All employees traveling with students as advisers or volunteers on domestic or international trips are covered under workers’ compensation should they become injured or ill while on the trip, providing the injury is in the course and scope of the activities associated with the trip. In other words, if an employee takes a personal outing before or after the student trip they would not be covered by workers’ compensation. The type of trips for which the coverage is extended includes, but is not limited to: alternative spring breaks; trips involving sport clubs; trips involving religious groups; academic trips, either for credit or not-for-credit; and both domestic and international trips.

These employees will also be covered under the university’s general liability policy should they become involved in some legal action arising out of their involvement with the trips, unless the action is egregious or criminal or in some way is not otherwise covered under a general liability policy, or that the university cannot in good conscience defend.

Pre-trip roles

  • Meet several times with the student coordinator(s) before leaving USC to delineate the adviser role and allow for an open exchange of ideas and expectations between the advisers and student coordinators.
  • Assure the collection of vital participant information: (1) university release; (2) medical authorization; and (3) emergency contact form.

Roles during the trip

  • Respond to coordinator/participant concerns and problems as needed.
  • Possess a full set of student information forms and emergency procedures.
  • Serve as the official university representative in the case of an emergency.
  • Coordinate emergency response and all communications between university and others as needed.

c.  All groups must host at least one pre-trip orientation session that covers the following:

  • Travel details, living arrangements, and trip itinerary
  • Emergency procedures, health insurance, International SOS
  • Health and safety precautions
  • Expectations for appropriate behavior and participation
  • Country-specific information

d.  Transportation while on trip

Every effort must be made to secure transportation in the host country that is provided by licensed and insured vendors. USC’s affiliated travel agencies are available to provide assistance with these arrangements.

e.  Accommodations while on trip

  • Every effort must be made to identify and assure access to adequate services.
  • Identify emergency medical facilities.
  • Inform all participants of their expected living conditions prior to their departure.

f.  Communications while on trip

  • Determine the extent of adequate communications – either email, cellular or land line communications available.
  • Formulate a plan for communications and articulate the plan to all trip leaders prior to departure.

III.  Obtain Signatures on Required Forms. Each coordinator must collect all of the signed forms listed below from all students participating in their program. Both the on-campus coordinator and on-site coordinator should keep copies of these forms. Forms are available online.

a.  Know Before You Go Informed Consent Form. This document serves as a guide for students with different physical or learning abilities, those with medical conditions, and those with psychological issues in order to assist them in making an informed decision on selecting an overseas location that is appropriate for them.

b.  Medical Treatment Authorization. This form allows USC representatives to authorize medical treatment for a student who is incapacitated and unable to make such decisions on their own.

c.  Travel Release. This is USC’s standard release form to be used by all overseas programs.

IV.  Obtain Travel Insurance. All students on USC overseas programs (credit and non-credit programs) must be covered by either regular USC student health insurance, or the USC overseas health insurance plan, both of which include special health and emergency coverage by International SOS. Please see usc.edu/insurance/overseas-travel-resources/ for information about insurance options.

V.  Review Restrictions on Destinations for International Trips. At the discretion of the Provost and/or the Vice President for Student Affairs, specific intended destinations for USC-affiliated or USC-sponsored international trips may be restricted due to State Department travel warnings, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warnings or other indicators that might suggest conditions that are unhealthful or particularly dangerous for travel. Student groups planning international trips are advised to consult State Department and CDC resources early in the planning process to avoid the risk of choosing a destination that is subsequently denied by the university. It should also be recognized that the health and safety factors of a particular location can change drastically without warning, and organizations are strongly urged to take necessary precautions (such as trip cancellation insurance through a travel agent) in case it becomes necessary to change plans or cancel a trip on short notice.

VI.  Review Overseas Emergency Response Plan.

Coordinators and faculty/staff advisers must read and keep in their possession a copy of the USC Overseas Emergency Response Plan, available online. The first point of contact in an emergency is International SOS, USC’s contracted health and safety emergency service provider for overseas programs: (215) 354-5000, or (215) 942-8226, or phlopsmed@internationalsos.com.

VII.  Review Policies Concerning Standards for Student Behavior

As is the case with USC study abroad programs, all Student Handbook polices are in effect for sponsored and affiliated student-led trips abroad. Coordinators, all trip participants, and faculty/staff advisers should familiarize themselves with the Student Conduct Code, and the Student Misconduct policy. It is the responsibility of coordinators and faculty/staff advisers to inform prospective/selected participants that all university policies apply to trips abroad.

VIII.  Contractual Agreements

No student or student organization may enter into direct contractual agreement in USC’s name with outside vendors (travel agencies, tour operators, etc.). Check with the appropriate administrative unit (Vice President for Student Affairs or specific dean’s offices) for clarification of required procedures.

For more information and resources for student organizations, visit the Campus Activities website.

Section 4 – Facilities

I.  General Policies

Recognized student organizations are offered priority use of all Student Affairs venues. However, other reservations that are made prior to student reservations will not be cancelled to accommodate these higher priority programs. Recognized student organizations may also request to use classroom space, but academic scheduling has priority in these venues. Anyone using USC venues must be in compliance with university regulations regarding time, place and manner. Activities, programs or events must not interfere with other university functions. If any unscheduled activity interferes with an official university function or any other scheduled activity, it may be discontinued at the direction of the Division of Student Affairs.

Scheduling reservations shall be made on a first-come, first-served basis according to organization type, and the university cannot and does not guarantee that facilities suitable for all group needs will be provided. Requests should be made early enough to allow adequate time for processing the request, planning the event, payment of fees and advertising. No advertisement can take place before written confirmation is received.

No requests may be finalized or confirmed until arrangements have been made and approved by all USC departments having vested interest in the event, including but not limited to the Division of Student Affairs, USC Bookstores, USC Hospitality, USC Transportation, the Department of Public Safety and Fire Safety.

The University of Southern California reserves the right to cancel any event if fees are not paid by the required due date, if the group does not comply with USC policies and procedures, or if USC officials cannot ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff and/or visitors.

II.  Reserving Venues

Reservation request forms for Bovard Auditorium, Ground Zero Performance Café, Ronald Tutor Campus Center, outdoor venues and advertising spaces are available online.

All reservation requests for table, banner and light pole spaces must be made by submitting reservation request forms at least four weeks prior to the event. Event requests for Bovard Auditorium, Ground Zero Performance Café, Ronald Tutor Campus Center, and the outdoor parks and plazas must be submitted to Trojan Event Services no later than 4 weeks prior to the event. Telephone requests are not accepted. The venue requested becomes officially confirmed only when written approval is issued.

For complete policy details, see http://sait.usc.edu/scheduling/. An online schedule is also available at this site.

III.  Programming Venues

The Division of Student Affairs operates the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, Bovard Auditorium, Ground Zero Performance Café and all outdoor areas in the center of campus. These venues may be scheduled through Trojan Event Services.

Bovard Auditorium

Bovard Auditorium is a multiuse lecture/performing arts venue that seats 1,230 people with stage dimensions of approximately 37 feet by 42 feet. Information about Bovard Auditorium can be found online.

Ground Zero Performance Café

Ground Zero Performance Café is a student-run coffeehouse available for concerts, lectures and performances. Located on the southeast corner of campus between Marks Hall and Trojan Residence Hall, Ground Zero is a great place to hold an event or just hang out. Venue information can be found online.

Outdoor Programming Venues

Trojan Event Services provides outdoor programming areas for use by recognized student organizations, campus departments and invited guests on a reservation basis. The programming areas include:

  • Alumni Park
  • Argue Plaza
  • Associates Park
  • F. Hutton Park
  • Founders Park
  • Crocker Plaza, Herbert Plaza, Pardee Plaza, Queens Courtyard, Bogardus Courtyard
  • Hahn Plaza/Tommy Trojan
  • Sections of Trousdale Parkway and Childs Way adjacent to the above locations
  • Meyer Plaza
  • Von KleinSmidt Center
  • McCarthy Quad and Fred Fagg Jr. Gardens (the barbeque grill area)

Ronald Tutor Campus Center

The Ronald Tutor Campus Center is a multiuse facility that features many reservable meeting and event spaces in addition to several non-reservable lounges and study spaces. For details on available venues and reservation policies, visit trojanevents.usc.edu. Programming spaces include:

  • The Grand Ballroom
  • Tommy’s Place (available for rentals on a case-by-case basis)
  • The Rosen Family Screening Theater
  • The Forum
  • More than 15 other meeting rooms

Alternate campus venues that are not managed by Trojan Event Services include:

  • Archimedes Plaza/Engineering Quad (USC Viterbi School of Engineering, (213) 740-4530)
  • Annenberg G21 Auditorium (USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, (213) 740-5297)
  • Breezeway and Bridge South Lawn (USC Marshall School of Business, (213) 740-6886)
  • Bing Theatre, (213) 740-1293
  • Childs Way sidewalk in front of the Bookstore (Bookstore, (213) 740-BOOK)
  • Cromwell Field, Cromwell Track, Dedeaux Field, Fagg Park, Howard
  • Jones Field, Intramural Field, Lyon Center, McAlister Athletic Field, P.E. gym and pool, and tennis courts (Recreational Sports Department, (213) 740-5127)
  • Lewis Hall (USC Price School of Public Policy, (213) 740-0397)
  • Theatres (contact the appropriate theatre for scheduling procedures)

IV.  Sound Amplification Policy

General Policies

To maintain the academic environment at the university, the use of amplified sound equipment in open areas must be approved by Trojan Event Services. Amplified sound is defined as any form of equipment (i.e., microphone, speakers, amplifiers, bullhorns, musical instruments) used to increase sound levels or any object that does not require equipment to project its sound. In some cases, large group singing is also considered amplified sound. Events involving high sound levels may not be scheduled during regular classroom instruction if the possibility of interference exists. Any recognized student organization or university department may reserve one of the designated open spaces for sound amplification.

The use of outdoor areas for amplified events is limited by the nature of the given area and the probability of interference with official university functions. In general, moderate amplification (not more than 90 decibels, “A” weighted, measured 45 feet from the front center of the stage) is allowed at Hahn Plaza (adjacent to Tommy Trojan) from noon to 1 p.m. Monday – Friday. A sound check will be permitted from 11:50 a.m. to noon. All other requests for amplified sounds will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Trojan Event Services. All outdoor venues and events after 5 p.m. will be considered for approval by Trojan Event Services.

V.  Reservation Procedures

All reservation requests are processed through Trojan Event Services, (213) 740-6728.

Reservation request forms are available online. Reservations will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis according to your organization type.

Scheduling procedures for tables, banners, display cases and the Trousdale and tutor Campus Center Plaza light posts are addressed under Section D (Advertising, Promotion and Literature Distribution policies). All other areas are addressed in this policy.

Individuals or groups are responsible for any damage they cause. Repair or replacement costs will be charged to the group reserving the facility at the time damage is incurred.

Trojan Event Services reserves the right to relocate any event for reasons including, but not limited to, states of emergency, official university functions, an event exceeding room capacity and/or facility repair.

VI.  Classrooms

Classrooms may be reserved by contacting the USC Classroom Scheduling Office, at (213) 740-4612, or classroom.scheduling@usc.edu.

VII.  Filming

School of Cinematic Arts students wishing to film in any of the listed venues must submit the completed SCA location release form to Trojan Event Services at least 24 hours in advance of their film shoot.

Students or recognized organizations wishing to film must obtain and complete a non-SCA film shoot form from Trojan Event Services at least 24 hours in advance of their film shoot. Student filmers are subject to venue fees.

Commercial filming is booked through the USC Campus Filming Office at (213) 740-6951. Fees are determined by the Filming Office.

VIII.  Cancellation of Scheduled Events

a.  Groups reserving tables, banner space or display cases must cancel at least 2 working days prior to the meeting or event. Groups reserving Bovard Auditorium, Ground Zero Performance Café, Ronald Tutor Campus Center, or any outdoor parks or plazas must cancel by the cancellation date listed for each venue in the Performance Venues Terms and Conditions. Failure to cancel an event will result in a violation and may incur charges for set-up and/or staff. Charges may be applied for late cancellations.

b.  If any unscheduled activity interferes with an official university function or any other scheduled activity, it may be relocated or discontinued at the direction of the Division of Student Affairs.

c.  Trojan Event Services and/or Student Life and Involvement staff reserves the right to cancel any scheduled event, in whole or in part, due to lack of payment of fees; failure to show within 15 minutes of the specified event start time; complaints received for disturbing academic classes or other events.

d.  Groups reserving space are responsible for the behavior of its members and guests. Inappropriate or disrespectful behavior may result in the cancellation and/or suspension of future reservations.

e.  Failure to comply with university policies and procedures may result in the cancellation and/or suspension of future reservations and/or scheduling privileges.

IX.  Violations

Non-compliance with any of Trojan Event Services guidelines will constitute a violation. The first violation constitutes a written warning. The second violation will result in a fine determined by the nature of the violation. The third violation can result in the loss of all Trojan Event Services privileges.

Section 5 – Camping

University grounds and facilities may not be used for the purposes of camping, which includes but is not limited to the use of tents or temporary, makeshift or portable structures intended for living or sleeping.

On an exceptional basis, the Vice President for Student Affairs or appropriate designee may grant permission for USC students to erect tents with the following stipulations:

  • Tents may only be erected for an approved number of days, normally three to five days when school is regularly in session;
  • Tents must be broken down (disassembled) from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
  • A maximum of three tents (designed for no more than two persons) may be erected on campus when an exception is granted;
  • The presence of tents may not interfere with normal university operations and may not damage university property (e.g., stakes in the ground);
  • The location of tents may not impede pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

Section 6 – Social Events

Guided by the University of Southern California’s Principles of Community, the university supports opportunities for students to promote an array of diverse views and to positively enhance the campus community through events and social programs. USC has adopted guidelines for major social and sponsored events in an effort to enrich the academic experience while maintaining the importance of safety and security within the campus community.

Scope

I.  Activities governed by this policy have the following characteristics:

a.  alcohol is present or

b.  there is amplified sound (either live or recorded)

II.  This policy is not designed to discourage events which:

a.  directly support the academic mission of the university;

b.  expand the cultural awareness of USC students; or

c.  are primarily intellectual or educational in nature.

Regulations

I.  All university recognized social events must be scheduled following procedures of the university, and all required clearances must be obtained.

II.  Social events where alcohol is NOT provided by the host student organization are permitted Sunday through Thursday until midnight and Friday through Saturday until 2 a.m. Alcohol is prohibited at university dances sponsored by recognized student organizations.

III.  Social events where alcohol is served by the host student organization are ONLY permitted Thursday until midnight and Friday and Saturday until 2 a.m. Alcohol service must end by 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

a.  Distribution of alcohol to persons under the age of 21 is prohibited.

b.  Alcohol must not be the main “focus” of the event.

c.  When alcohol is served, it is required that sufficient quantities of non-alcoholic beverages and food must be available.

d.  The alcohol approval form (available on the Trojan Event Services website) must be completed by the host student organization and received by Trojan Event Services with designated approval  signatures before the event.

IV.  All members of the USC community are expected to abide by all federal, state and local laws, including those governing alcohol consumption and distribution. Under California law, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase alcohol or to possess alcohol in a public space. It is also illegal for anyone to furnish alcohol to an individual under the age of 21.

V.  Amplified sound cannot exceed 90 dBA when measured 50 feet from the source.

VI.  No social events may take place during university study days or final exams.

VII.  All aspects of social events must be advertised in accordance with Section D.6. Advertising, Promotion and Literature Distribution.

VIII.  Fencing, staffing, identification checks, and the need for other security requirements will be determined by Trojan Event Services, using considerations including but not limited to: history of event, scale of the event, nature of the event, liability and risk, health considerations, construction, and sponsorship.

IX.  Outdoor events and social dances must adhere to the guidelines detailed on the Outdoor Events and Social Dance Policy, available at the Trojan Event Services website.

Section 7 – Sales and Fundraising

All recognized student organizations are permitted to fundraise.

I.  Prohibited Activities

Student organizations (or individual members while acting in any capacity for the organization) may not:

a.  Conduct for-profit or commercial activities (or facilitate the for-profit or commercial activities of others)

b.  Conduct a business (or facilitate conducting the business of others), or

c.  Act as (or create the appearance of acting as) a liaison, representative, agent, facilitator, face or front for another business, person or entity.

This should not be confused with fundraising. All recognized student organizations are permitted to fundraise on their own behalf. However, student organizations may only pursue fundraising activities to benefit their student organization, another university student organization, or an outside philanthropic agency or relief effort. No individual student(s) may receive any type of benefit or payment in connection with any of these activities, either in the form of money, trade, discounts and/or any other goods or services.

II.  Process

a.  If your organization is recognized and wants to fundraise, a student representative must complete the Fundraising Approval Request Form found on the Trojan Event Services website.

b.  Identify the type of fundraising event your organization is planning.

i.  Food sale – Approval signature required from the director of USC Hospitality, (213) 740-6285. Note: All food must be supplied by a food-licensed kitchen/grocer/distributor. No “homemade” items will be approved. Food product sales must be accompanied by permission from USC Hospitality. The event registration form section for USC Hospitality must be signed. Sales are limited to a maximum of two, one-week periods per semester. Sales weeks must be held at least four weeks apart.

ii.  Item sale – Approval signature required from the University Bookstore. USC recognized student organizations, departments and athletic teams must obtain final permission to sell products on campus from the USC Bookstores, Administrative Offices, located on the fourth floor, (213) 740-9254, or send a facsimile to (213) 740-5203 (FAX), MC 2540. Permission is granted on the bookstore signature portion of the event registration form.

iii.  Donation collection for organization

iv.  Charity collection/non-profit collection – a letter is required from the agency/organization receiving the funds raised stating that they are aware of this fundraiser and will be accepting the money. This letter must be on the agency’s official letterhead and submitted with this request. Please see the policy on Non-Profit Collections below.

v.  Other types – We will review and approve events to determine the signatures required.

c.  Appropriate signatures from the University Bookstore and/or USC Hospitality are required prior to requesting the final signature from Campus Activities.

III.  Non-Profit Collections

Recognized student organizations collecting money/donations for specific non-profit organizations must meet with Campus Activities at least two weeks prior to the event and supply Trojan Event Services with a written letter from the non-profit organization stating their agreement to accept donations prior to the scheduled collection of any goods or funds.

IV.  Raffles or Lotteries

In the state of California, raffles and lotteries are illegal if a person is required to purchase a ticket or make a donation in order to be eligible to win the contest.

V.  Free Drawings

Free drawings are legal when rules conforming to the California State Law are followed exactly. These rules are:

a.  The drawing must be in connection with an event or a recognized student organization.

b.  The ticket must have the following information printed on it:

i.  Date, time and location of drawing

ii.  Name of sponsors and beneficiary of fund-raising

iii.  Donation or purchase of ticket is not required to be eligible to win

iv.  Winner need not be present at drawing (not required but advised)

c.  Free tickets (a minimum of one per person) must be available.

d.  Each solicitor must know that free tickets can be obtained and how to obtain them.

e.  The word “drawing” or “free drawing” is required; do not use the word “raffle” on the ticket or in advertisements.

VI.  Silent Auction

The same rules apply for coordinating a silent auction as would apply for a free drawing.

a.  The drawing must be in connection with an event or a recognized student organization.

b.  The bid sheet must have the following information printed on it:

i.  Date, time and location of drawing

ii.  Name of sponsors and beneficiary of fund-raising

iii.  Donation or purchase of ticket is not required to be eligible to win

iv.  Winner need not be present at drawing (not required but advised)

c.  Do not use the word “raffle” on the ticket or in advertisements.

VII.  Student Organization Co-Sponsorship

As many student organizations co-sponsor events with outside agencies, it is important to be aware of what constitutes a co-sponsorship.

A student organization hosting an event with an outside organization must be aware that:

a.  The student organization must be the primary contact for Trojan Event Services.

b.  The main contact from the student organization must be a current, full-time student and member of the student organization.

c.  The money must be paid by the student organization and not the outside agency for any fees owed to the university.

d.  The student organization must be the primary name listed on all advertisements and promotional materials.

e.  The main contact from the student organization must be present at all meetings and walkthroughs as the primary producer of the event.

f.  Student organizations may not bring a business to campus as a vendor. Businesses can only come to campus if a pre-existing event is occurring.

g.  All money made from the event (if any) must follow the guidelines listed in this Student Handbook.

h.  The primary target audience for the event must be USC students.

i.  Student organizations co-sponsoring events with university departments will only be considered the primary producing entity if all of the above conditions apply. Student organization policies only apply to events for which the above conditions are met.

VIII.  Misrepresentation (Fronting)

Individual students and/or employees of the university may not reserve space for personal or commercial purposes. Additionally, student organizations may not act as agents for university departments, off-campus persons or organizations in order to receive student rates for the space.

University departments may not act as agents for off-campus vendors or organizations to receive department rates for the space. Sponsoring organizations that reserve space for the purpose of allowing off-campus vendors or organizations to advertise or sell items will be held responsible for misrepresenting themselves and their organizations.

IX.  Vendors

The Division of Student Affairs and Trojan Event Services are responsible for vendor sales on campus. No other department or organization, with the exception of the USC Bookstores and the Athletic Department, is permitted to bring outside vendors to campus. Outside vendors are prohibited from selling on campus without prior permission from Trojan Event Services and must meet the criteria outlined below. Reservation requests for vending locations are available online.

a.  Approval for on campus sales will only be considered for those vendors whose products or services:

i.  Provide significant positive value to the quality of campus student life.

ii.  Are not in competition with vendors holding current university-wide contracts.

iii.  Are not duplicative of goods and/or services currently available through established on-campus sources.

iv.  Are not alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia.

v.  Are not considered obscene as defined by community standards.

vi.  Are not for products or services which undermine the academic integrity of the university.

vii.  Are not counterfeits of brand-name goods.

b.  Appropriate approvals must be obtained from the USC Bookstores, Trademarks and Licensing (only if the product bears a USC emblem) and/or USC Hospitality. The USC Bookstores requires a sample of the merchandise to be sold as well as a copy of the Vendor Agreement before approval will be granted; final approval must be given by Trojan Event Services. USC Bookstores reserves the right to refuse approval of the sale if the merchandise or service competes with bookstore business.

c.  Sales are only permitted in one of two official vendor spaces along Trousdale Parkway.

d.  Vendors must use the 10 feet of frontage space within the designated vendor canopy. Vendor displays extending outside of the 10 foot by 10-foot canopy will be fined an additional $25 for every square foot they extend beyond the space.

e.  Vendors may not be on campus during any official university event, such as orientation or final exam period.

f.  In extenuating circumstances, vendors associated with special events must have the approval of Trojan Event Services at least three weeks prior to the event. A list of vendors participating in the special event must be provided to Trojan Event Services at least two weeks prior to the event. Written permission and appropriate identification will be provided for those vendors associated with the special event.

All approved vendors must obtain written permission from Trojan Event Services and must keep their written permission, a valid seller’s permit (issued by the State Board of Equalization) and appropriate identification visibly displayed with them at all times on campus.

 

X.  USC Emblem Products

USC emblem products intended for sale during fundraisers must be manufactured by a vendor that is licensed by USC. A licensed vendor has a contract with USC that specifies quality standards and services and recognizes that USC insignia are protected trademarks.

A list of licensed product manufacturers may be obtained from the Trademarks and Licensing Services website, (213) 740-5222.

XI.  Conflict of Interest

The university does not enter into purchasing contracts with students, faculty or staff or members of their immediate families. No employee, officer or agent shall participate in the selection, award or administration of a contract if they, their immediate family or partners, or organization to which they, their immediate family or partners belong or has any arrangement concerning employment with any vendor under consideration. Any violation of this policy by a USC employee or agent will be subject to disciplinary action.

XII.  Campus Tour Policies

A campus tour is any event that brings a non-university affiliated company or business onto campus solely to market its products or services. Often, campus tours will approach student organizations about booking their event on campus in exchange for money. The university does not permit student organizations to earn money in this capacity. Trojan Event Services is permitted to accept four requests for Campus Tours per semester. USC Undergraduate Student Government (USG) is the only student organization at USC that is permitted to book campus tours. USG is limited to booking two campus tours per semester. All other student organizations are not permitted to bring campus tours to USC. The other two tour dates per semester may be used by university departments. Priority is given to tours that are not for profit and are for educational purposes (as opposed to marketing and sales).  All campus tours must be approved by Campus Activities. Campus tours may not bring any merchandise or materials to campus that are in direct conflict with an existing USC on-campus vendor.

If the university suspects that a student organization or department is in violation of these guidelines, its event may be charged off-campus rates for the venue, and/or be canceled and the student organization will forfeit any deposits.

Section 8 – Hazing

I.  Compliance with Applicable Rules

All students and student organizations will observe and fully comply with California law and university policy against hazing. In addition, all students and student organizations are expected to adhere to related regulations set forth by their respective inter/national, regional or local organizations and university department. It is the responsibility of the students and officers of organizations to be informed of all the regulations and to ensure they are brought to the attention of the rest of the membership.

II.  Policy Statement

Students and student organizations shall not engage in any activity that is considered hazing by university standards, or as defined in California Penal Code 245.6, which defines hazing as, “any method of initiation or preinitiation 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.  The term hazing does not include customary athletic events or school-sanctioned events.”

III.  Prohibition of Hazing

In addition to California law, the university’s policy with respect to hazing prohibits students from engaging collectively or individually in any of the following practices as a part of any programs or general activities. This list is intended to provide examples of hazing; as it is impossible to anticipate every situation that could be defined as hazing, this list should not be considered to be all-inclusive.

a.  Forced excessive or strenuous physical activities.

b.  The application of foreign substances to the body.

c.  Activities such as scavenger hunts, which result in illegal or otherwise prohibited activity, such as pledge ditches, kidnaps and the like.

d.  Depriving students of sufficient sleep (eight consecutive hours per day minimum).

e.  Not providing decent and edible meals (no unusual combinations or preparation, colored foods, etc.).

f.  Depriving students means of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily cleanliness (including a minimum of one shower per day).

g.  Depriving students means of communications, such as their cell phones.

h.  Forcing, coercing or permitting students to eat an excess of substances such as raw meat, onions, peppers, etc.

i.  Forcing, coercing, or permitting students to drink excessive amounts of liquids including alcohol, salt water, water, etc.

j.  Nudity or forcing or allowing students to dress in a degrading manner.

k.  Branding any part of the body.

l.  Psychological hazing, which is defined as any act or peer pressure which is likely to: (i) compromise the dignity of any student affiliated with the organization, (ii) cause embarrassment or shame to any student affiliated with the organization, (iii) cause any student affiliated with the organization to be the object of malicious amusement or ridicule, or (iv) cause psychological harm or emotional strain.

IV.  Reporting Hazing

Anyone with information about a possible hazing incident has a responsibility to report it to the Department of Public Safety at (213) 740-6000 or dps.usc.edu. Additional opportunities for reporting hazing include the LiveSafe smartphone app, Trojans Care for Trojans, organization adviser, or university representative.

Students and/or student organizations engaging in activity which is considered hazing as defined by California law may be reported to the Los Angeles Police Department.

V.  Loss of Recognition and Probation for Recognized Student Organizations

Following a proved allegation of hazing, individual members and officers of the organization may be subject to disciplinary action by the university, up to and including suspension and permanent dismissal from the university. Additionally, the student organization may lose its recognition/registration with the university. Loss of recognition/registration may begin immediately after a decision finding hazing is finalized by the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards. In order to regain recognition/registration a student organization may be required to suspend activities such as:

  • recruitment of new members
  • changes in membership status
  • social functions
  • officer elections
  • participation in voting groups of associated organizations (e.g., student assemblies, councils, etc.) or participation in their sponsored events
  • participation in intramurals and accumulation of award points
  • use of university facilities, including office space, meeting space or residence
  • all operations of the student organization
  • Internet access (email and website)

The restoration of recognition/registration with the university will be followed by a period of probation for the organization. Probationary status for the organization may include some of the limitations imposed during suspension and may also involve projects, programs and/or other criteria to be met by the organization. These stipulations will be designed to promote positive development of the organization.

Please refer to Section B.11. Behavior Violating University Standards and Appropriate Sanctions for additional information.