Guidelines for Official Recognition of University Based Student Organization

Committee for Accreditation of Student Organizations (CASO)

Last Updated 21 November 2023

Student organizations have been formed in various Colleges and Universities to allow students to group themselves to pursue a common interest or goal. These organizations allow students to grow socially and academically through the different projects and activities it undertakes.   Student organizations help students develop leadership and communication skills that would help them become well-rounded persons. The University also sees student organizations as attendant avenues for the development of students imbued with an abiding sense of responsibility to their people and nation, the skills and mindsets to improve human life, and a commitment to the freedom and welfare of all [3].

The UP System Code [9] recognizes the rights of students as constituents of the University to freely, individually, and collectively express their views on issues of institutional policy and matters of interest to the student body. At UP Open University (UPOU), the need for student organizations has been increasingly evident as many of our students express the need to form groups that are accredited by the University. This can be observed primarily in students of undergraduate programs who create groups on social media, study groups, and participate in University activities. UPOU also recognizes the role of student organizations in providing inclusive and flexible pathways to lifelong learning. Hence, it is timely that the University creates guidelines for accrediting Student Organizations.

I. Definition of Terms

  • A student organization comprises at least ten (10) UPOU students with common interests and goals.
  • A member is an officially enrolled UPOU student.
  • A student organization’s membership shall be composed of at least fifty percent (50%) enrolled students of UPOU and whose primary officers are students of UPOU.
  • Term of Office is the duration the officer serves a specific position in the organization.
  • Student Organization Activities are projects, programs, and events organized by members of student organizations onsite and offsite.

II. Organizational Structure

Student organizations and activities are under the Office of Student Affairs (OSA), Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA).

The Committee for Accreditation of Student Organizations, abbreviated as CASO is composed of six (6) members represented by their respective leadership positions: the Director of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) as ex-officio chair, Deans of the Faculties of Study shall also serve as its members along with the Student Regent from the UP Office of the Student Regent (OSR) and the Chairperson of the University Student Council (USC).

The CASO shall standardize the criteria for the accreditation activity, prevent duplication or significant overlap in the existence of organizations, and ultimately ensure student representation and participation in the student organization process.

The responsibilities of the CASO are as follows:

  • (a) Serve as a panel in vetting application forms and other official documentation matters of student organizations;
  • (b) Handle the accreditation process and system for accreditation;
  • (c) Handle arbitration and appeals;
  • (d) Evaluate applications for fundraising activities;
  • (e) Develop policies and reports on the state of the student organizations; and
  • (f) Consult with the Union of Student Organizations regarding these policies and guidelines changes.

III. Scope of the Guidelines

The following Guidelines Governing the Accreditation of Student Organizations in UPOU shall apply exclusively to govern the accreditation and activities of student organizations, fraternities, sororities, and other associations of students organized for purposes not contrary to law.

These rules, however, shall not apply to the University Student Council (USC) and the Student Publication, whose organizations and activities are subject to rules approved by the Board of Regents (BOR) and the authority of the Chancellor as delegated by the BOR.

IV. General Policies

A. Classification of Student Organizations

  • Student organizations must fall under at least one of the following:
    1. Academic-based organizations
    2. Socio-civic organizations
    3. Political organizations
    4. Religious groups
    5. Sports and Recreational Activities
    6. Sororities
    7. Fraternities
    8. Profession-based organizations
    9. Focused Interest group
  • In addition, organizations can also be classified based on the scope of membership:
  • Type of organization Membership
    University Organizations Student organizations whose members belong to two or more Faculties of Study at UPOU.
    Faculty-based Organizations Student organizations whose members primarily belong to one Faculty of Study at UPOU.
    Program-based Organizations Student organizations whose members primarily belong to one degree program at UPOU

B. Accreditation of Student Organizations

  • Any student organization seeking to use the name of UP or UPOU to the name of the organization and operate legally should be recognized by the University.

C. Qualifications and Responsibilities of Faculty Advisers and Officers

  • Advisers
  • Every organization must have at least one faculty adviser with the following qualifications :
    • Regular/affiliate faculty members with at least one (1) year of teaching experience.
    • Full-time non-teaching staff with two (2) years of experience in UPOU could be co-adviser of a student organization.
  • UPOU regular faculty members or affiliate faculty members and non-teaching staff must consult with their Faculty Deans and immediate supervisors before accepting the advisory of a student organization.

    The Faculty Adviser’s and Co-Adviser’s roles are to provide professional advice on student organization’s thrusts and activities and monitor compliance with both on- and off–campus activities to university policy and guidelines on student organizations.

  • Officers
  • The academic qualifications of officers are the following:
    • A bonafide student of UPOU and in good academic standing;
    • Officers of all other organizations are required to have a weighted average of 3.00 for undergraduate programs and 2.00 for graduate programs as certified by the University Registrar as of the current date of application;
    • A student may hold the position of President (or its equivalent) in only one organization within any given semester/trimester.
  • The officers’ roles are to assure compliance with both on- and off-campus activities to the policy and guidelines on student organizations

V. Rights and Responsibilities of Recognized Student Organizations

A. Rights and Privileges of Recognized Student Organizations

  • Use of UPOU facilities (grounds, buildings, and audio-visual rooms), including Mega Learning Hubs and personnel services, subject to rules and regulations on using such facilities and provided official academic activities are not prejudiced;
  • Virtual space for student organizations;
  • Access to available video conferencing facility upon approval of a request;
  • Dissemination of pub mats on official UPOU platforms;
  • Orientation on student organizations (policies on student organizations, gender sensitivity, basic leadership skills, relevant laws) for officers; and
  • Funding support for gender-based activities subject to University policies and requirements.

B. Adherence to UPOU Policies

  • The student organizations must comply with UP/UPOU policies and national laws but are not limited to the items listed below. The officers must monitor the compliance of these policies.
    • UP Acceptable Use Policy of Technology [1]
    • SOGIE Bill (Senate Bill No. 689) [2]
    • RA 10173 : Data Privacy Act of 2012 [4]
    • RA 10175 : Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 [5]
    • RA 11053 : Anti-Hazing Law (RA 11053) [6]
    • RA 11313 : Safe Spaces Act [7]
    • RA 7877 : Anti-sexual Harassment Law of 1995 [8]
    • UP Anti-Sexual Harassment Code [10]
    • UP Gender Guidelines [13]
    • UP/UPOU Trademarks and Visual Identity Guidelines [17]
    • UPOU Disciplinary Guidelines [18]

C. Conduct of Activities

  • Requests for activity permits signed by the Student Organization’s Head and the Faculty Advisers should be submitted to OSA five (5) working days before its scheduled implementation. The request should also indicate the mode of implementation of the activity: online or hybrid. If hybrid, the location of the Learning Hub where the face-to-face component of the activity will be held should also be specified.The presence of Faculty Advisers in the activities of the organizations is a must during initiation rites, as per Republic Act 8049, Section 3. The organizations’ advisers are accountable for any untoward incident that may happen during such events.A narrative and financial report of activities, along with photos of the face-to-face and/or virtual activities must be submitted to OSA ten (10) days after the activity.

D. Fundraising Activities

  • Organizations with approved activities are entitled to submit fundraising proposals for approval of the CASO. Fundraising proposals should (1) outline the fundraising activity’s nature, purpose, schedule, and financial projections; (2) be compliant with the student organization’s constitution and by-laws, existing national and local laws, and university policies and guidelines; (3) adhere to the values promoted by the university; and (4) endorsed by the organization’s faculty adviser. Upon completion of the activity, the organization is required to report the total amount of expenses and the funds generated to the USC and OSA within one week.

E. Moratorium on Student Activities

  • There is a moratorium on student activities starting one (1) month and strictly two (2) weeks before the end of classes until the last day of the final exam period. No student activity will be permitted during this period except for business meetings.

F. Submission of Reports

  • Every term, a student organization has to update its accreditation by submitting narrative and financial reports of activities held during the previous term.The following information may also be necessary:
    • Revised membership roster indicating new members and officers;
    • Clearance from accountabilities in the University (through OSA); and
    • Adviser and/or Co-adviser’s pledge consent form.

VI. Procedures for Student Organization Accreditation

The requirements enumerated below must be submitted to OSA two (2) weeks before up to two (2) weeks after classes start.

  • Application letter, addressed to the Director of Student Affairs duly signed by the head of the organization and noted by the faculty advisers;
  • Data privacy consent form;
  • Membership roster (list of officers and members);
  • Adviser’s profile;
  • Adviser’s pledge/consent form;
  • Pledge against the use of hazing;
  • Official Copy of Grades of Officers in the previous semester/trimester;
  • Copy of Form 5 of officers and members;
  • Copy of Constitution and By-Laws;
  • Plan of Activities, including the mode of implementation (online or hybrid);
  • Status of Funds;
  • Description of internal fund management and audit systems to ensure accountability and transparency; and
  • Certificate of correctness

OSA and the USC shall evaluate the application for accreditation and release the results two (2) weeks after the deadline for submission of application forms. Certificates of student organization accreditation are valid for two (2) years.

A student organization may be denied accreditation for any of the following reasons:

  1. It did not attend the annual orientation.
  2. It did not submit accreditation forms.
  3. It did not comply with the Revised Rules and Regulations Governing Fraternities, Sororities, and Other Organizations/RA 8049.
  4. It is still serving its penalty/is at the time of its application.
  5. It has unsettled financial accountability with the University and other concerned institutions at the time of its application.

Appeals must be addressed to the OSA Director. Decisions on appeals are final and irrevocable.

VII. Reporting

Every term, a student organization has to update its accreditation by submitting narrative and financial reports of activities held during the previous term.

The following information may also be necessary:

  • Revised membership roster indicating new members and officers;
  • Clearance from accountabilities in the University (through OSA); and
  • Adviser and/or Co-adviser’s pledge consent form.

VIII. Other Policies

Student organizations shall not schedule activities after the last day of holding activities.

Teasers, posters, and other promotional materials, to be shared on University-owned and managed platforms should have a corresponding activity permit.

Cases of dishonesty, perjury, falsification of documents, etc., shall be filed at the Office of the Faculty Dean where the specific students involved belong to. Failure to comply with any of the provisions of these guidelines is subject to disciplinary action, as provided in the UP Rules and Regulations on Student Conduct and Discipline.




  1. Approved Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology (IT) Resources of the UP System. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  2. Pangilinan, F. (2019). Senate Bill 689: SOGIE Bill. Retrieved from!.pdf
  3. Philosophy of Education and Graduate Attributes. (2019). Retrieved from
  4. RA 10173 : Data Privacy Act of 2012. (2012). Retrieved from
  5. RA 10175 : Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. (2012). Retrieved from
  6. RA 11053 : Anti-Hazing Act of 2018. (2018). Retrieved from
  7. RA 11313 : Safe Spaces Act. (2018). Retrieved from
  8. RA 7877 : Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995. (1995). Retrieved from
  9. The Revised Code of The University of the Philippines. (1961). Retrieved from
  10. UP Anti-Sexual Harassment Code. (2017). Retrieved from
  11. UP Cebu Students Guide. (2017). Retrieved from
  12. UP Diliman. (2012). 2012 Code of Student Conduct of UP Diliman. Retrieved from
  13. UP Gender Guidelines. (2015). Retrieved from
  14. UP Los Baños. (2021). Guidelines Governing the Registration of Student Organizations in UPLB. Retrieved from
  15. UP Manila. (n.d.). Guidelines on Accreditation of Student Organizations. Retrieved from
  16. UP Visayas. (2018). UP Handbook for Students. Retrieved from
  17. UP Visual Identity Guidebook. (2017). Retrieved from
  18. UPOU Student Disciplinary Guidelines. (2023). Retrieved from