Frequently Asked Questions


What is a staff organization?

University of California, Berkeley, staff organizations exist for the purpose of promoting specific interests, providing an ongoing identification with the University, creating opportunities for staff to meet one another on social, cultural, and intellectual levels, and serving as a means of communication between the individual staff member and the University community. Campus organizations may not have religious, political, commercial, or other outside agency interests as their focus.

What is the difference between a Staff Organization and a Community of Practice?

Staff Organizations are generally based on supporting the interests of a particular identity group on campus. This can range from all staff (i.e. Berkeley Staff Assembly or the Chancellor's Staff Advisory Committee) to particular identities (i.e. Berkeley Veterans, Black Staff and Faculty Organization, Cal Women's Network, etc.). In contrast, Communities of Practice are based on a particular professional interest or skill, such as facilitation, event planning, advising, etc. Both types offer networking, mentoring, leadership, and professional development opportunities.

What does the StaffOrg website provide?

The StaffOrg website serves as a home base for staff organizations to showcase their organizations, invite membership within the Cal community, and match staff with others who share their interests. On these pages you'll find:

  • Individual staff organization web pages, listing their charters, purpose and officers (where applicable)
  • Listings of news and events from the different staff organizations
  • Campus policy links regarding staff organizations (See also the Campus Policies/Procedures site)
  • Information on how to register as a staff organization.

Staff Participation Policy

Does this guarantee each person that they will get, as applicable, 10 days or 80 hours per year?

No. Although this is not a guarantee, we expect that it will be unusual for an employee to be unable to take, as applicable, 10 days or 80 hours.

Is there a maximum amount of release time allowed?

No. However, we expect that the amounts set forth in the policy are sufficient to allow staff members to fully benefit from campus-sponsored activities.

What does "substantially impede the operations of the unit" mean?

This must be evaluated on a case by case basis. However, if an employee's absence were to prevent the unit from providing necessary services (as opposed to a mere reduction in or delay of necessary services) and a substitute cannot be found, this could be considered a substantial impediment. We expect that it will be rare, when an employee has provided sufficient notice, that an employee's participation in a campus-sponsored activity will substantially impede the operations of the unit.

Can a staff member who has recent discipline or who is on a performance improvement plan participate in campus-sponsored activities?

Yes. However, managers should caution the staff member to make sure that they understand that their job performance should not suffer as a result of participation in campus-sponsored activities.

For Staff Organization Leaders

Why register as a recognized staff organization?

How do I update information about my organization on this site?

Staff Organization leaders can request content updates by emailing

If your organization has volunteers with website-updating skills or experience with Drupal, staff organization leaders for a group can delegate website content update authority to one of their members, who will then get direct access to the Drupal content management system:

  1. Email to request access to content updates 
  2. If approved, visit and log in with your CalNet ID and passphrase
  3. The StaffOrgs web team will verify the user's account and grant permission to access
  4. If approved, you will receive an email confirming your access to create updates

How can I post my event to the campus calendar?

  1. Visit the UC Berkeley Events calendar
  2. Click "Submit or Edit an Event" and log in with your CalNet ID
  3. Provide the details of your event, specifying "UC Berkeley Staff Organizations" as the primary calendar, or a recommended calendar.
  4. The StaffOrgs Council members will review your event, and accept it for that calendar.
  5. If accepted, your event will appear on the UC Berkeley Staff Organizations Events calendar and in their RSS feeds.
  6. You can also copy and share bCal links to your events by clicking "Add to my Google calendar (bCal)" from any event on the calendar.

How do I propose an update to other information on this site?

Updates to non-organizational pages, like FAQ and Resources, are made with the approval of a representative from the Office of Equity and Inclusion, after receiving majority assent at a Council of Staff Organizations (CSO) meeting.  

How can I review past Council of Staff Organization meeting notes and files?

(Accessible only to current Council of Staff Organization members)

Meeting notes are available on the CSO bDrive.