Sample By Laws

Short Description

The following are Sample By Laws, for which you can model your own after.

Target Audience

President, Vice President, Secretary, Chapter Advisor and the BOG

Borradaile Challenge or Area of Focus

By Laws


Note that all the bold sections are marked because they are very chapter-specific. These are acceptable ways of conducting chapter business, rule of thumb for this is; you can raise the standard but never lower it. (Example to initiate you must have a 2.4. You can raise this to 3.0 but cannot lower it to a 2.0)


Article I- Name

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Resident Council of the Zeta Zeta chapter of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.

Article II- Non Profit Clause

Section 1. No income or profit arising from the operations of the corporation is to insure to the benefit of any private person.

Section 2. Upon dissolution of the corporation, any assets remaining after payment of debts shall be given to Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau Foundation, or any of their subsidiaries or successors. In the event that all the foregoing are non-existent, the assets will be given to another appropriate non-profit entity qualified under Section 501 (c)(3).

Section 3. The closing of the Resident Council is a cause of automatic dissolution of the corporation as a failure of purpose. Surplus funds of a Resident Council shall be invested only in United States government securities or financial institutions providing adequately insured deposit accounts.

Article III-Organization and Membership

Section 1. This organization shall consist of two councils, Resident and Graduate, and shall be under the general supervision of the Board of Governors, composed of members from both Councils as well as potential volunteers.

Section 2. The Resident Council shall be composed of those members of the chapter enrolled as undergraduate students of Shideler University, with the exception of those members, for reasons deemed permissible by decision of the Board of Governors, who may be placed on the Graduate Council by their request or by the request of the Resident Council.

Section 3. A member of a Resident Council of another chapter of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity may transfer membership to the Resident Council of the Zeta Zeta chapter upon the approval of two-thirds of those in attendance at a regular or special meeting. The individual must also be in good standing with his former chapter and the executive director of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity must approve this transfer.

Section 4. The Graduate Council will be composed of former members of the Resident Council who are still in good standing with the Resident Council and the National Officers as well as members initiated directly into the Graduate Council.
Section 5. Any male not a member or formerly a member of another national fraternity, other than an honor society or professional fraternity, who is pursuing undergraduate studies as a full-time student at Shideler University, is eligible for associate membership.

Section 6. If any brothers of the chapter wish to vote on whether an associate member should be elected to membership, a petition must be brought before the Resident Council by at least two members in good standing. There will be no discussion before the voting is to take place. There must be a quorum present for a vote to be taken and a positive vote of two-thirds of those in attendance in order for the associate member to gain membership.

Section 7. The chapter shall comply with all rules, regulations and requirements concerning recruitment, membership orientation and initiation set forth by Miami University, the Interfraternity Council and Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.

Article IV- Election to Membership

Election to associate membership may take place at a regular or special meeting of the Resident Council. A candidate receiving 80 percent affirmative votes of those in attendance shall become eligible for associate membership. A candidate receiving 15 percent negative votes of those in attendance shall become ineligible for associate membership. A candidate who has been voted ineligible may be recalled for further consideration by a petition with signatures from 25 percent of the voting members before the adjournment of that meeting. *The National Constitution requires a minimum vote of two-thirds of the Resident Council to admit a man to associate membership, however each chapter may raise that requirement to the level it desires.
2. Length of associate membership shall be no longer than eight weeks. At the end of this time, the associates are to be initiated after their grades are verified by professors. If University policy does not permit this, then the associates are frill members with the exception of Ritual. *The Fraternity mandates that the associate membership period be no longer than eight weeks
3. An associate member may be disassociated by a vote of 80 percent of the Resident Council. At the time the motion to dissociate is made, only the author may speak on it. It shall be tabled until the next general meeting at which time it shall be brought off the table automatically. The author shall then restate his reasons, discussion shall be held and the vote taken by secret ballot.

Article V- Scholastic Requirements

1. An associate member must have a 2.4 GPA on a 4.0 scale from the previous term to initiate.
2. To be eligible for election of appointment to any office of the Resident Council, an initiated member must have a cumulative scholastic average, equivalent to or above a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
3. The chapter shall maintain a grade point average of .10 above the all men’s average.
4. The chapter shall, under the supervision of the Board of Governors, upon the basis of official records of this institution, suspend any member of the Resident Council whose scholastic record is such that Miami University has placed him upon probation.

Article VI- Chapter Officers

Section 1. The elected officers of the Resident Council, presented in chain of command, shall be:
a. President
b. Vice President
c. Vice President of Finance
d. VP of Alumni Relations
e. Secretary
f. Recruitment Chairman(men)
g. Membership Orientation Officer(s)
h. Risk Management Chairman
i. Philanthropy Chairman(men)
j. Social Chairman
k. Public Relations Chairman
1. Scholarship Chairman
m. House Manager(s)

Section 2. Two members acting as co-chairman may fill the positions of social, philanthropy, house manager and recruitment. The membership orientation officer is required to have an assistant who will serve as an apprentice. The assistant will not have a vote on the Executive Board unless the membership orientation officer is absent.

Section 3. The following officers shall be appointed by the president and confirmed by three-fourths vote of the Executive Board: chaplain, sergeant-at-arms, and historian.

Section 4. If for any reason the elected officers of Article III, Section 1 is vacated, they shall be filled by a special election of the Resident Council. This election shall be held within the three weeks that the position is vacated. If any of the appointed offices are vacated for any reason, they shall be filled by the appointment of the president, until the next Resident Council meeting where a new election shall be held.

Article VII Duties of Officers

Section 1. The president shall preside over all general meetings of the Resident Council. He shall be the executive of the chapter and see that all departments function efficiently. He shall see to it that all reports to the Executive Offices are filed on a timely basis. The president will also receive a position on the Board of Governors and serve as the Fraternity’s representative to the Interfraternity Council. He shall also have the power to hire and fire all paid employees of the Fraternity upon approval of three-fourths of the Executive Council.

Section 2. The vice president shall be the assistant to the president and shall act as a fill-in authority in the absence of the president. He shall also act as the chairman of the Executive Board. He shall be in charge of all housing assignments and shall be the administrative officer of the Fraternity Judicial Board. He shall also oversee all committees and ensure their effectiveness. He shall also be in charge of all fraternity activities for Parent’s Weekend.

Section 3. The vice president of finance shall keep full and accurate records of all financial matters of the Resident Council. He shall bill and collect all charges owed by members of the Resident Council, pay all liabilities due creditors, file necessary tax forms, file necessary records with the University auditor and Executive Offices and prepare a monthly budget report due to the Resident Council no later than the second meeting of the following month.

Section 4. The vice president of alumni relations shall ensure that articles are prepared and submitted in a timely manner for an alumni newsletter that is published at least once a semester. He will oversee Homecoming Weekend, Founders Day and be responsible for strengthening alumni relations in general.

Section 5. The recruitment chairman(men) shall head the Rush Committee. This committee shall be responsible for instructing the members on the proper way of rushing prospective members. He will also be responsible for organizing and administrating the rush programs and seeing to it that all rush guidelines set forth,
are followed.

Section 6. The membership orientation officer and assistant shall instruct and train the associate members of the chapter. He shall be responsible for making reports on the progress of the associate class. These reports shall consist of test scores, attendance at functions, interviews and signatures.

Section 7. The risk management chairman(men) will be responsible for ensuring that the chapter follows all rules, laws and regulations. He will ensure that the chapter completes all risk management workshops for the Fraternity. He shall adhere to and enforce the risk management policy outlined in Title VI, article 59 of the Phi Kappa Tau National Constitution.

Section 8. The philanthropy chairman(men) shall organize and supervise at least one fundraiser and two service trips per semester. He will also establish other philanthropic events as necessary.

Section 9. The social chairman(men) shall co-head the Social Committee and be responsible for carrying out parties. He shall be responsible for preparing a semesterly budget and paying bills associated with social functions.

Section 10. The secretary is responsible for preparing neat and complete records of all Executive Board and chapter meetings and keeping such minutes in a permanently bound book. He shall call the roll at each meeting.

Section 11. The scholarship chairman shall be in charge of all scholastic property of the chapter, keep tests and professor files updated, and monitor the scholastic progress of the chapter. He will establish and provide all study tables for the undergraduate and associate members. He will provide, follow and maintain a proper scholastic environment for the chapter. He shall also provide at least two educational programs for the betterment of the chapter and maintain and upkeep the entire study wing.

Section 12. The house manager and assistant shall have complete supervision of the chapter house and grounds. He shall be responsible for work duties and general maintenance for a sanitary living condition. He shall have complete supervision of the chapter house and grounds, subject to regulations made by the chapter. He shall be responsible for repairing major breakdowns and working with housing corporations in major improvements and maintenance. He shall be subject to the direction of the president and vice president on matters pertinent to the upkeep and improvement of the chapter house.

Section 13. The public relations chairman shall administer all fraternity and sorority correspondence. He shall submit articles to all campus, Greek and fraternity publications in a timely manner.

Section 14. The athletic chairman shall be responsible for signing up chapter sports teams, Greek Week activities, posting schedules of when team events are to occur and appointing captains of the various teams.

Section 15. The chaplain shall open every general meeting with a non-secular prayer. He will over see all regalia and maintain and ensure its continued use. The chaplain will preside over Ritual and all related procedures.

Section 16. The historian shall be responsible for taking and developing pictures of chapter functions. He will be in charge of updating and maintaining all chapter archives.

Section 17. The sergeant-at-arms shall admit members to the chapter meetings as prescribed in the Ritual. He shall enforce the loss of voting privileges for suspended members. He is also in charge of securing the chapter house for closed functions.

Article IX- Officer Oversight

Section 1. All officers shall have full control over all programs and duties under the guidelines set forth by this Constitution and subject only to the President’s Counsel.

Section 2. All officers are expected and required to act in the chapter’s best interest and in accordance with the chapter’s intentions and beliefs.

Section 3. Any person disagreeing with the actions or decisions of any officer shall present that discrepancy to the Executive Board and shall be passed on to the chapter by a simple majority vote of the Board. If voted upon favorably, the discrepancy shall be brought to the Resident Council at the next regularly scheduled chapter meeting, where the entire Resident Council shall vote with a simple majority to decide upon the course of action.

Article X- Committees

Section 1. The committees/boards of the chapter shall be: Executive, Standing, Judicial and Special.

Article XI- Executive Council Composition and Function

Section 1. The Executive Council of this chapter shall be composed of all elected officers listed in Article III, Section 1. The Executive Board shall promote interoffice communication and set goals for the chapter.

Section 2. The Executive Committee shall serve as a cabinet to the president. Chaired by the vice president, it shall advise and direct chapter operations in general.

Section 3. The Executive Board shall be responsible for preparing all material and discussion for the Resident Council.

Article XII-Judicial Board

Section 1. The Judicial Board shall be composed of the following members: one elected member of each upper class (sophomore, junior, senior), none of whom may hold another office, and the vice president. *This composition has proven to be effective, but it varies between chapters. The National Constitution outlines a trial process, however, slight variations are acceptable if they are supported by the chapter’s Executive Council and Board of Governors.

Section 2. These three members will be nominated and elected during the second semester election period. These members shall hold a term of one year.

Section 3. Any member of the Fraternity can bring another in front of the Judicial Board. The complaining member must notify the vice president at least three days before the Judicial Board meets.

Section 4. If any member of the Judicial Board is brought before the Board, then the remaining two members and the vice president will decide upon the disciplinary action to be taken.

Section 5. Any appeals will be brought back to the Judicial Board for reconsideration. If still not satisfied with the judgment, the member can appeal again to the Executive Board. If the Judicial Board unanimously agrees upon judgment, an appeal will not be granted. All decisions which affect more than four members of the Resident Council shall be subject to the approval of the Executive Board.

Section 6. The vice president shall be in charge of the questioning and running of the Judicial Board. The three elected members will be the only ones to vote. No member of the Resident Council shall attend a meeting of the Judicial Board unless invited. No member of the Fraternity will be present during the voting process.

Article XIII- Meetings

1. Regular meetings of the Zeta Zeta chapter shall be held weekly at a regularly specified time. The order of business for such meetings shall be followed as set in the Ritual and Robert’s Rules of Order.
2. The Executive Council shall meet weekly at a regularly scheduled time.
3. All members are required to attend regularly scheduled meetings. Excuses must be cleared with the secretary or president prior to the meeting.
4. Quorum shall consist of at least 70 percent of the Resident Council members in good standing. *The National Constitution requires a minimum quorum of two-thirds of the Resident Council, but chapters are free to raise that requirement

Article XIV- Standing and Special Committees

Section 1. The standing committees of the chapter shall be: Social, Recruitment, Philanthropy and House Management.

Section 2. The officer(s) with whom the committee will work shall appoint the chairman of each of the standing committees. The individual officers and the Executive Board shall determine the duties of the standing committees.

Section 3. Special committees shall be appointed by the president and will be dissolved once their function is complete.

Article XV- Supervisory Councils

Section 1. The Board of Governors shall be composed of at least three members of the Graduate Council and two members of the Resident Council, including the president of the Resident Council. It is recommended that the vice president of finance of the Resident Council serve as the other member. The Graduate Council members shall be reported to the executive director and, unless otherwise indicated, will be ratified upon notification.

Section 2. The Board shall exercise general supervisory control over the chapter and shall be responsible to the National Council in all matters. Meetings shall be held at least once a month. One graduate member shall serve as residential scholarship advisor. One graduate member shall serve as residential financial advisor. One graduate member shall serve as the risk reduction specialist for the chapter. The Board shall have fill authority to enforce the Statutes of the National Constitution as they pertain to the Resident Council but are subject to review by the executive director and National Council. In matters pertaining to scholarship and finance, the authority of the Board shall be absolute. The Board shall have full authority to summon any member of the Resident Council, upon proper notice, to appear before the Board assembled. It shall be the duty of the Board to act in the best interest of the Fraternity at all times in accordance with the National Constitution and statutes and the Board of Governors Articles of Operation.

Article XVI- Impeachment

Section 1. In case of abuse of power in office, neglect of office or inappropriate conduct, any officer may be impeached by the following procedure: three brothers may bring impeachment charges before the chapter by presenting a signed statement of the specific charges. The accused shall be given opportunity to present his case at the next regular meeting following the presentation of the impeachment charges. A vote of three-fourths affirmative of those in attendance shall be necessary for a conviction and removal from office.

Article XVII- Suspension

Section 1. A member may be suspended by the chapter for disciplinary reasons but is automatically suspended by the chapter for financial delinquency.

Section 2. Any three brothers may bring suspension charges. The accused must be informed 24 hours before the motion is made. He may present his case after the accusers, and general discussion will follow. A positive vote of three-fourths of those in attendance is required.

Section 3. A member may also be suspended by a unanimous vote of the Judicial Board in accordance with Article XII.

Section 4. Suspension of a Resident Council member involves the loss of voting rights. A suspended member may not attend any chapter sponsored social functions and may not participate in chapter athletics or any other chapter funded events.

Section 5. A member under suspension is not relieved of any other Fraternity obligations.

Section 6. The suspension shall last for a length of time to be determined by a positive vote of two-thirds of the chapter or the Judicial Board after the vote for suspension. In cases of financial delinquency, the suspension shall continue until the individual is no longer financially delinquent.

*The above sections outline the suspension procedures that were decided upon by the chapter. These are acceptable by the National Officers, but variation is great between chapters. Again, they must be supported by the Executive Council as well as the chapter’s Board of Governors.

Article XVIII- Expulsion

Section 1. By vote of four-fifths of the Resident Council, a member may be expelled from the Fraternity. This procedure is outlined by the National Constitution and shall be judged immediately to the executive director.

Section 2. Expulsion is the ultimate censure of a member.

Article XIX- Budget Procedures

Section 1. The vice president of finance shall submit an annual budget to the Executive Board by the first week in October, with the budget covering the next academic year. The fiscal year shall begin July 1 and end June 30.

Section 2. After submission of the budget to the Executive Board, it shall be reviewed item by item at a regularly scheduled meeting. Any member of the
Executive Board may challenge an item, with a simple majority requiring the item to be changed to an approval level.

Article XX- Fees

1. Each associate member shall be charged an associate member fee as may be required by the Fraternity.
2. Each member of the Fraternity shall be charged an initiation fee that may be required by the Fraternity. This fee is payable two weeks prior to initiation and is due along with the initiation forms. Each member shall pay at least the price of the least expensive badge available.
3. The chapter shall charge dues to every member. This amount is to be determined by the Executive Board in conjunction with the Board of Governors. The amount determined shall be due the second meeting after the start of the semester.
4. All associates are to pay dues to the chapter in addition to the associate fee. These dues are to be determined by the Executive Board.
5. A member or associate member of the Zeta Zeta chapter remaining in arrears with his account with the chapter for a period of 30 days or more shall, at the expiration of that time, be automatically suspended from the chapter. This suspension may be terminated only by payment of the arrears or by action of the Board of Governors.

Article XXI- Fines

1. Fines will be determined by the Judicial Board and further approved by the Executive Board. Fines will be due no later than two weeks following the notice of the fine. Failure to pay the fine will result in immediate suspension from all chapter activities but not limited to further chapter obligations.

Article XXII- Statement of Compliance

Section 1. The Zeta Zeta chapter of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity shall comply with all policies, rules, laws and regulations set forth by the Executive Officers, Miami University, and state and local authorities. This includes, but is not limited to rules, laws and regulations concerning recruiting, membership orientation, initiation and risk management.

Section 2. The Constitution and Statutes of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity shall supersede the Bylaws of this chapter.

Section 3. These Bylaws shall supersede all previous Constitutions and amendments of this chapter upon adoption by the Resident Council, contingent upon approval by the Board of Governors and the executive director.

Article XXIII- Amendments to Bylaws

Section 1. Any member may propose amendments to these Bylaws at any regular meeting. The proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the president at least two days before the next regular Resident Council meeting. The proposed amendment must be tabled for meditation until the regular meeting succeeding the first reading of the amendment.

Section 2. An affirmative vote of three-fourths of those in attendance at a regular meeting is necessary to pass an amendment.

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