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Update on student group policies and accountability

Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students Mona Hicks and Associate Vice Provost for Inclusion, Community and Integrative Learning Emelyn A. dela Peña describe a collaborative effort with students to refine policies so they are brief, clear and consistent.

Dear students,

We are writing today with good news about changes that will simplify student org and group governance. This announcement is relevant to all undergraduate, graduate and professional students who are members of voluntary student organizations, Greek organizations, club sports or varsity athletics teams, or reside in Row Houses. The Stanford administrative offices that are leading this work are the Office of Student Engagement (OSE) and the Office of Community Standards (OCS).

These changes condense more than 45 previous student org policies into 10, and simplify our student group accountability protocol. We began this work shortly before the pandemic began and completed it in fall 2021. We would like to thank the many students who have been involved in working groups or who have provided feedback through comments submitted online or during outreach meetings conducted over the past two years. This message summarizes what we heard from you, the changes that are being made, and how you can learn more.

Student org policies

Before this process began, there were over 45 policies covering membership, events, travel, financial management and more. We reached out to students through a working group and other activities. Here’s what we learned: we needed brief, clear and consistent guidance.

Today, we are introducing “The Core 10 Policies” that are essential for every student organization to thrive. We would like to emphasize these policies are not new, but rather a streamlined version of our existing material. Violations will be addressed through the group accountability process described below. We invite you to review the Core 10 here.

Group accountability

Like individual students, student orgs and groups are held accountable to the Fundamental Standard and related policies. We set out to simplify our policies and have a common accountability process for all student orgs and groups.

Our process: We created a working group including students, and the group collected student feedback and conducted research.

  • We wanted to learn more about how students view group accountability. To do this, we developed an online portal where students could submit feedback and we hosted student forums.
  • We also researched group accountability processes at other universities and conducted informational interviews with these universities.

What we learned:  We needed a quicker process that consistently addressed problematic behaviors across groups and residences.

Our solution: A revised Student Group Accountability Process.

  • To speed up the process, we’re creating different avenues through which violations can be addressed, depending on their alleged severity and the group’s conduct history.
  • To improve transparency, the process outlines the possible avenues for adjudication and possible sanctions for each tier.
  • This is a learning and student-centered process that protects student safety and well-being and prevents harm to the university community.
  • You can read more here.

Effective dates

Both the Core-10 Policies and revised Student Group Accountability Process will take effect:

  • Jan. 13, 2022 for voluntary student organizations (which includes club sports) and fraternities and sororities. These groups were governed by our Organization Conduct Board group accountability process in the past.
  • Sept. 1, 2022 for varsity sports teams and Row Houses. These groups were not subject to our group accountability process in the past.

Opportunities to learn more

We would like to once again thank the many students who participated in our working groups and implementation plans. Your input drove our efforts to create a simpler and more equitable set of policies and practices. We know this was a huge lift during a difficult time, and we are committed to ensuring students understand these changes. We will offer training and informational sessions on the Core 10 and the new Student Group Accountability Process this winter.


Mona Hicks
Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students

Emelyn A. dela Peña
Associate Vice Provost for Inclusion, Community and Integrative Learning