AB 524 – Imposes New Obligations On Colleges And Universities For Campus-Recognized Sororities And Fraternities

CATEGORY: Private Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Private Education
DATE: Oct 18, 2022

Assembly Bill 524 (AB 524) enacts the Campus-Recognized Sorority and Fraternity Transparency Act (Act), which applies to private institutions of higher education, private postsecondary educational institutions, and independent institutions of higher education in California (Institution of Higher Education), with regard to campus-recognized sororities and fraternities.  A campus-recognized sorority or fraternity is a sorority or fraternity that has officially met the formal chartering and recognition requirements at the Institution of Higher Education where it operates, but does not include a collegiate honor society.

The Act requires an Institution of Higher Education to impose certain annual reporting requirements as a condition of its recognition of a sorority or fraternity and to suspend any sorority or fraternity that does not comply with such requirements.  Those reporting requirements include submitting to the Institution of Higher Education on or before July 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, the following information about the sorority or fraternity and its members for the preceding academic year:

  1. The number of active members;
  2. The number of new members added;
  3. The average grade point average of its membership;
  4. The average grade point average of its new members;
  5. The total number of community service hours it completed collectively;
  6. The total amount of money it fundraised;
  7. Its current recognition status;
  8. Its current conduct status, as determined by the institution;
  9. The addresses of all its affiliated chapter houses;
  10. The location, date, and time of any sanctioned event, as defined; and
  11. Any additional information the institution may require.

An Institution of Higher Education is required to compile and maintain the annual reporting information collected from the sororities and fraternities into an annual report that also includes a list of available mental health resources, the residence addresses of all campus-recognized sorority and fraternity chapter houses, and the following information for each sorority and fraternity for the academic year immediately preceding the reporting deadline:

  • The number of citations, or disciplinary actions taken, relating to misconduct at a chapter house or sanctioned event; and
  • The addresses of chapter houses and sanctioned events and names of sororities and fraternities where the misconduct occurred.

Misconduct is defined as the following criminal offenses reported to campus security authorities or local police agencies: (1) sex offenses, forcible or non-forcible; (2) arrests or persons referred for campus disciplinary action for liquor law violations, drug-related violations, and weapons possession; and (3) hazing (i.e., any method of initiation or preinitiation into the sorority or fraternity, which is likely to cause serious bodily injury to a student).

The Institution of Higher Education is required to publish the annual report on each campus’s publicly accessible Greek Life internet homepage (or its equivalent) in a prominent location on or before October 1, 2023, and annually thereafter.  Each annual report must be available on the campus Greek Life internet homepage or its equivalent for a minimum of 10 years.  The annual report must also be sent through a campus-wide email to all enrolled students on or before October 1, 2023, and annually thereafter.  However, fulfilling these reporting requirements does not constitute compliance with any other reporting requirements the Institution of Higher Education may have under applicable state or federal privacy laws, such as the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

(Adds Sections 66310 and 66312 to the Education Code.)

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