Table of Contents
Article I - Name
Article II - Purpose
Article III - Membership
Article IV - Officers
Article V - Executive Committee
Article VI - Brotherhood Meetings
Article VII - Advisors
Article VIII - Finance
Article IX - Parliamentary Procedure
Article X - Amendments
Article II: Purpose
The purpose of this Chapter is to assemble the students of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in a Fraternity dedicated to the principles of the Scout Oath and Law, to develop Leadership, to promote Friendship, and to provide Service to humanity.
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Article III: Membership
Amended: 11/1/09 Reordering of the Sections
Section 1: Open Membership
Membership in this Chapter is open to all students of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Membership may not be denied on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, or fraternal affiliation. Active Membership in this Chapter (as appropriate) is granted only upon the approval of the applicant by this Chapter, and after the applicant fulfills all membership requirements prescribed by this Chapter. Pledgeship to this Chapter is not subject to the approval of the Brotherhood.
Section 2: Brothers
All initiated members of this Chapter, except Advisors and Honorary Members, are considered Inactive Brothers until they leave this Chapter or become Active, Associate, or Alumni Brothers. All Active and Associate Brothers revert to Inactive status at the end of each term and may indicate their status by notifying the Recording Secretary by the second Brotherhood meeting of the semester and fulfilling the appropriate membership requirements.
Amended 11/1/09 (Addition of declaration of status each semester)
Section 3: Active Membership
Only Active Brothers may hold Chapter office and vote at Brotherhood meetings. Executive Committee members are assumed to declare their Active status when they accept their positions. Active Membership shall continue so long as the member remains in good standing in this Chapter and continues enrollment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Good standing shall be defined by completion of the following obligation(s): Payment of all Chapter, Sectional, and National dues as well as completion of Active Membership standards. Active Membership standards will be determined by the beginning of the semester by the Membership Vice President, subject to the approval of 2/3 of Active Brothers present at a Brotherhood meeting.
Amended 11/1/09 (Addition of definition of good standing)
Section 4: Associate Membership
Brothers may attend Chapter functions and possess Chapter equipment and keys.
Section 5: Inactive Membership
Inactive Brothers may attend Chapter functions and possess Chapter equipment and keys.
Section 6: Alumni Membership
Upon leaving this Chapter all who have held Active, Advisory, Extension, or Honorary Membership in this Chapter shall be recognized as Alumni Members.
Section 7: Transfer Membership
Upon approval of 3/4 of the Active Brothers present at a Brotherhood meeting, this Chapter will confer Active Membership on any student of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who has held Active Membership of a Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega and who requests such status.
Section 8: Advisory Membership
Persons approved to serve as Advisors hold Associate Membership in this Chapter. They are initiated according to National Fraternity ritual.
Section 9: Honorary Membership
Honorary Membership in this Chapter may be conferred on those who have contributed significantly to the ideals and purposes of Alpha Phi Omega and the Chapter service program. Any Brother may make nominations for Honorary Membership at least two weeks before a Brotherhood meeting. Such nominees will become Honorary Members with Associate status upon receiving the affirmative votes of at least 3/4 of the Chapter's total Active and Associate Membership, not including Advisors and Honorary Members. Honorary Members need not be initiated. Undergraduate students may not become Honorary Members of this Chapter.
Section 10: Change of Status
After the second Brotherhood meeting of the semester, any Inactive or Associate Brother in good standing may receive Active Status if they pay their membership dues. Brothers may request a change in status by informing the Recording Secretary in writing, their new status will go into effect after the closing of the following Brotherhood meeting.
Amended 11/1/09 (Establishing a reasonable time frame)
Section 11: Special Cases
An Active Brother may be made Associate for just cause. To confer Associate status on a Brother, the Membership Vice President must approach the Brother with specific concerns on two separate occasions over a period of two weeks. If the concerns are not rectified by the Brother after this time, the Brother will be brought before the Executive Committee for a preliminary vote at an Executive Committee meeting, at which time the brother may state their case. Upon receiving 2/3 approval of the all members of the Executive Committee, the Brother will have the opportunity to present their case before the Brotherhood. Upon receiving 3/4 approval for the change of status by the Active Brothers present at a Brotherhood meeting, the Brother will be made Associate and given a course of action by which to regain Active status before the end of the semester.
Section 12: Pledge Membership
Pledges to Active Membership in this Chapter participate in a period of preparation and training in the ideals and purposes of Alpha Phi Omega. This pledging program is held each semester. The pledging program is established by the Membership Vice President, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.
Section 13: Pledge Treatment
The Pledge Ceremony is performed according to the National Fraternity ritual. There is no hazing or informal initiation in connection with the functions of this Chapter. Any mistreatment of pledges at any time is considered a violation of the purposes of this Chapter and the National Fraternity.
Section 14: BBLB
The Membership Vice President selects a Big Brother for each pledge from the Active Brothers of this Chapter. The Big Brother-Little Brother Ceremony is held according to Chapter ritual. The Big Brother assists the pledge in preparation for Active Membership. The Membership Vice President and the Big Brother report to the Chapter on the pledge's fitness for Active Membership.
Section 15: Pledge Voting
The pledge, the pledge's Big Brother, and the Membership Vice President decide when the pledge will be voted on. All types of pledge votes must be by secret ballot. Only Brothers of Alpha Phi Omega may be present in the meeting room during pledge voting.
Amended 11/1/09 (Removed announcing the names of pledges going up for a vote a week ahead of time)
Section 16: Voting Procedures
In the first round of pledge voting, pledges shall be voted either accept or do not accept . Those pledges who were not accepted as Brothers then move to a second round and are then voted continue or reject . In each round of voting, the results are not announced until the round has been completed. A pledge is accepted for Active Membership upon receiving the affirmative votes of at least 3/4 of the Active Brothers present at a Brotherhood meeting. Pledges accepted for Active Membership by this Chapter are initiated as Brothers according to the National Fraternity ritual.
Amended 11/1/09 (Addition of clarification in each round of voting)
Section 17: Continued Pledges
A pledge not accepted for Active Membership may be continued. On the pledge's first vote for continuation, upon receiving the affirmative votes of at least a majority of the Active Brothers present, a pledge can accept continuation. On any subsequent votes, a pledge may be continued upon receiving the affirmative votes of at least 3/4 of the Active Brothers present. During the second, and any subsequent semesters of pledging, a pledge must be voted on at least twice per semester, and must participate in Pledge Week. Pledges neither accepted nor continued are rejected, and their pledgeship ends.
Amended 11/1/09 (Rewording to clarify the vote for continuation)
Article IV: Officers
Section 1: Officers
The elected officers of this Chapter are a President, a Service Vice President, a Membership Vice President, a Fellowship Vice President, a Treasurer, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, a Historian, a Sergeant-at-Arms, and an Office Manager. The President appoints necessary officers and committees, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. All officers may delegate certain of their duties to other Brothers or pledges.
Amended 11/1/09 (Office Manager is now an elected position)
Section 2: Officer Reports
All elected Chapter officers submit written reports and all other pertinent files and records at the end of their terms of office. These reports are included in the permanent Chapter file.
Section 3: President
The President supervises and represents the Chapter, and sees that its duties and obligations are fulfilled. The president is responsible for: presiding at all meetings of the Brotherhood and of the Executive Committee; appointing and removing all non-elected officers and committees, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee; serving as an ex-officio member of all such committees; serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Epsilon Zeta Alumni Association of Alpha Phi Omega; informing the Advisory Chair in advance of all official, off-campus Chapter activities, providing the location, date, and time of the event; proposing to the Executive Committee goals for the term at the beginning of each semester; coordinating the scheduling of all Chapter activities to ensure a balanced program; caring for the ritual equipment, and the gavel; maintaining current paper and electronic copies of the Chapter Bylaws and policies; and filing the current version of the Chapter Bylaws with the Rensselaer Administration. If the President is unable to carry out these aforementioned duties, the order of succession is listed in Article IV, Section 1.
Section 4: Service Vice President
The Service Vice President plans, organizes, and executes the Chapter service program, maintains service records of Brothers and pledges, informs the Brotherhood of all service activities, and brings all major service projects to a vote at a Brotherhood meeting.
Section 5: Membership Vice President
The Membership Vice President is responsible for: retention of Active Brothers; all rushing and pledging activities; establishing written plans for rushing, pledge training, and Brotherhood Week, which must be reviewed by the Executive Committee prior to their commencement; selecting chairs for the Pledge Review Board, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee; and selecting Big Brothers for pledges.
Amended 11/1/09 (Addition of retention of brothers to responsibilities)
Section 6: Fellowship Vice President
The Fellowship Vice President seeks to further the fellowship of the members of this Chapter. The Fellowship Vice President is responsible for all social and athletic activities within this Chapter, between this Chapter and its alumni, and between this Chapter and other organizations.
Section 7: Treasurer
The Treasurer is responsible for receiving and disbursing all Chapter monies and keeping an accurate record of all transactions; reporting on the condition of the Chapter's finance at each Executive Committee, Brotherhood, and Advisory Committee meeting; formulating a budget for the following semester, subject to the approval of the Chapter at a Brotherhood meeting; revising the current semester budget as necessary, subject to the approval of the Chapter; retaining signing power on the Section 88 account; filing all necessary tax forms; and having the Chapter's financial records in order at the end of each semester. All physical records of financial transactions must be retained by the Chapter for at least 7 years. All canceled checks and receipts older than 7 years must be rendered unreadable and removed from Chapter storage.
Amended 11/1/09 (Standing rule pertaining to old records added to the bylaws)
Section 8: Recording Secretary
The Recording Secretary is responsible for: keeping records of all Brotherhood and Executive Committee meetings; posting these records on the Chapter bulletin boards within one week of the meeting; keeping records of each Brother's Membership status; controlling the Chapter email lists; publishing a current address list of all Brothers, pledges, and Advisors at the beginning of each semester, with updates as required; and publishing a Chapter mobilization chart each semester.
Section 9: Corresponding Secretary
The Corresponding Secretary is responsible for: carrying on Chapter correspondence with the National Office, Alumni and other outside organizations and persons; publishing a monthly Chapter newsletter; distributing the newsletter to Brothers, pledges, Advisors, and other interested parties; and keeping copies of all Chapter newsletters published during the Corresponding Secretary's term of office, as well as all issues of Torch and Trefoil published since the founding of this Chapter.
Amended 11/1/09 (Deletion of updating the transcripts of Brothers)
Section 10: Historian
The Historian is responsible for: developing a written and visual record of the Chapter's activities; maintaining a record of each Brother's activities in the Chapter and in other campus organizations; keeping a copy of the membership application of each Brother of the Chapter, beginning with the Charter Brothers; coordinating the production and distribution of the annual composites; upkeep of the Chapter's historical collection in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Archives; and the upkeep of the family trees.
Section 11: Sergeant at Arms
The Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for: counting all secret ballots; obtaining the use of campus facilities needed by the Chapter; distributing and collecting all Chapter keys and equipment except those mentioned in Article IV, Section 3; ensuring security and orderly maintenance of the Chapter storage room; maintaining a current inventory of all Chapter equipment, to be kept in the Chapter Office; reporting changes in this inventory or in the condition of the Chapter storage room and its contents to the Brotherhood; and maintain the chapter lockbox, the lockbox keys, and the associated documentation and procedures.
Section 12: Office Manager
The Office Manager is responsible for: maintaining the Chapter Office in a clean and orderly condition; ensuring that the Chapter Office is open during normal business hours; administering office exams annually; maintaining the Book Exchange and keeping accurate records thereof; maintaining the Test Files, and the Chapter computer system.
Amended 11/1/09 (Care of the Computer system moved from President. Care of Test Files added. Addition of administering office finals)
Section 13: Assuming Office
All elected officers assume their duties on the day after the last day of final exams in the current semester. The time between officer elections and the last day of final exams will serve as an interim period in which the incumbent officer will inform the officer elect of the current program status and offer suggestions for future programs. No Brother may hold a particular elected office more than twice.
Amended 11/1/09 (Removal of "end of semester" in favor of last day of final exams as the change over point)
Section 14: Vacancies
Any vacancies among the elected officers must be filled by election as soon as possible. The President may appoint a substitute, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee, until such an election can be held.
Section 15: Nominating Committee
The President appoints a Nominating Committee at least three weeks before an officer election meeting. The Nominating Committee must be approved by the Executive Committee and announced to the Chapter. The committee posts nominations for each office to be filled one week before the election meeting. Additional nominations may be made from the floor at the election meeting. This schedule may be accelerated in the case of a vacated office.
Section 16: Elections
Officers are elected at a Brotherhood meeting within one month of the end of each semester. Voting for officers is by secret ballot. Each Active Brother votes for every candidate who meets with his approval, and the two candidates who receive the most votes of approval participate in the final vote; if these two candidates cannot be determined because of a tie vote, those candidates who received fewer votes than the candidates involved in the tie are eliminated, and additional votes are conducted until two candidates remain. In the final vote, each Active Brother votes for one candidate; the candidate who receives a majority of the votes is elected.
Amended 11/1/09 (Merge two sections)
Section 17: Removal from Office
A member of the Executive Committee may be removed for misconduct or failure to perform their duties as outlined in this document. The charges must be brought before the Executive Committee and posted on the Chapter bulletin board for a week prior to the meeting at which the removal is approved. The officer is only removed upon a 3/4 approval of Active Brothers present at a Brotherhood meeting.
Article V: Executive Committee
Section 1: Membership
The Executive Committee consists of all current elected officers of this Chapter, and the Chair of the Advisory Committee. The Chair of the Advisory Committee does not cast a vote at Executive Committee meetings.
Section 2: Meeting Times
The Executive Committee meets at least once every two weeks, except during school vacations. Quorum consists of eight members of the Executive Committee, with the exception of the Advisory Committee Chair.
Section 3: Purpose
The Executive Committee discusses all issues of current importance to the Chapter. It makes recommendations, when appropriate, to the Brotherhood on these issues. The pros and cons of these recommendations shall also be included in the presentation and the minutes. The Executive Committee determines Chapter goals and priorities.
Section 4: Executive Privilege
The Executive Committee may exercise any powers of the Chapter whenever a question cannot be brought before the Brotherhood in a timely manner. The Executive Committee may decide for the Chapter all issues not requiring Chapter secret ballot, not involving Chapter funds, not being proposed as bylaws amendments or standing rules, and which are not specifically the responsibility of the Brotherhood according to these bylaws. Any decision made by the Executive Committee may be prevented from further implementation by the Chapter at a Brotherhood meeting.
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Article VI: Brotherhood Meetings
Section 1: Meeting Times
Brotherhood meetings are held at least once every other week of the school year except during vacations. Meetings are held at a time determined by the Chapter at the previous Brotherhood meeting. Members of Alpha Phi Omega can be present at a Brotherhood meeting at any time.
Section 2: Quorum
Quorum is required to do business at all Brotherhood meetings. Quorum is tabulated by the Recording Secretary, and consists of more than 3/5 of the Active Brothers.
Section 3: Absentee Voting
Absentee voting and proxy voting are prohibited.
Section 4: Guests
Persons who are not Brothers or pledges of Alpha Phi Omega can be present at a Brotherhood meeting only upon the invitation of the Chair of the meeting, or by the approval of a majority of the Active Brothers present.
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Article VII: Advisors
Section 1: Membership
This Chapter shall have at least five Advisors consisting of, at minimum, two Advisors from the faculty, administration or staff of this educational institution, one Advisor representing Scouting or other youth services, and one advisor from the community. Other Advisors may be added as deemed necessary.
Section 2: Approval
Advisors are nominated by the President and approved by at least 3/4 of the Active Brothers present at a Brotherhood meeting.
Section 3: Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee consists of the Advisors and the President, Vice Presidents, and Treasurer of the current and preceding semesters. The Chair may be elected up to once every year from the Advisors by a majority vote of the Brothers present at a Brotherhood meeting and serves until replaced.
Amended 11/1/09 (Redefinition of the timing of electing the committee chair)
Section 4: Meetings
The Advisory Committee meets at least once each semester to review and discuss the Chapter's activities.
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Article VIII: Finance
Section 1: Dues
Annual Active Membership Dues, Section dues, pledge fees, and initiation fees are paid by those involved. Dues may not be charged to the Chapter Debt account of a Brother in debt to the Chapter. Written notice of Brothers with negative balances in their Chapter Debt accounts will be provided by the Treasurer. Fines and student account holds may be administered by the Treasurer solely in accordance with a Chapter Policy, the creation and alteration of which must be approved by majority vote at both an Executive Committee and a Brotherhood Meeting.
Section 2: Chapter Guests
This Chapter pays for Chapter guests attending its activities. This Chapter may vote to subsidize the expenses of its members and pledges for certain activities, and to subsidize traditional gifts.
Section 3: Fundraisers
The necessary expenses of this Chapter are met through funds secured through Chapter activities. Such activities are conducted in keeping with the rules and policies of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the Rensselaer Union, and Alpha Phi Omega.
Section 4: Bank
All funds handled by this Chapter are deposited to the credit of the Chapter in a local bank, except for the portion kept in the Chapter office as petty cash. The Chapter maintains an emergency fund of at least $1000.00.
Section 5: Withdrawals
Withdrawals from and drafts on all Chapter accounts, with the exception of the Emergency Fund, require the signature and co-signature of two of the following: the President, the Service Vice President, and the Treasurer. Withdrawals from the Emergency Fund require the signature and co-signature of two advisors.
Section 6: Unbudgeted Expenses
The Brotherhood must approve all non-budgeted expenditures of Chapter monies by majority vote at a Brotherhood meeting. Notice of any motion to spend more than $200.00 of Chapter monies must be posted at least one week before the Brotherhood meeting.
Amended 11/1/09 (Addition of majority vote approval)
Section 7: Lost Books
This Chapter will send out checks to all people who own books known to be lost from the Book Exchange; the amounts of such checks will be the amounts the people would have received if their books had been sold.
Section 2: Appeals
Any Brother may appeal a decision of the chair. Such an appeal will be upheld by a majority vote of the Active Brothers present. The appeal may interrupt the speaker and is voted on immediately without debate.
Section 3: Voting
Chapter votes may be by show of hand or by roll call, except where otherwise prescribed in these Bylaws. A motion is approved by a simple majority vote of Active Brothers present, except where otherwise prescribed in these Bylaws.
Amended 11/1/09 (Addition of approval by a simple majority unless otherwise stated)
Section 4: Secret Ballots
Secret ballots shall be counted by two SAAs present at the vote. If two SAAs are not present, the counting of votes shall be done by past Presidents.
Section 5: Tie Vote
The President does not cast a vote at Executive Committee meetings nor on motions from the floor at Brotherhood meetings, except during officer elections, pledge voting, or to resolve a tie vote.
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Article X: Amendments
Section 1: Approval
Proposed Bylaws amendments must be announced at a Brotherhood meeting, discussed at an Executive Committee meeting, and posted on the Chapter bulletin board for at least ten days before the meeting at which they are voted on. A proposed Bylaws amendment must be approved by at least 3/4 of the Active Brothers present at a Brotherhood meeting to become part of these Bylaws.
Section 2: Suspension
Sections of these Bylaws may be temporarily suspended at a Brotherhood meeting by an affirmative vote of at least 3/4 of the Active Brothers present.
Section 3: Conformity
This Chapter is bound by, and these Bylaws conform to, the National Articles of Incorporation, the National Bylaws, and the Standard Chapter Articles of Association of Alpha Phi Omega. No amendment to or suspension of these Bylaws may contradict the above National Fraternity documents. This Chapter is not bound by any guidelines or resolutions adopted by the National Board of Directors or the National Convention.
Section 4: Standing Rules
The standing rules of this Chapter consist of all motions, which, once approved as standing rules, are binding on this Chapter until they are amended or removed. Additions to, deletions from, and amendments to the standing rules must be approved by majority vote at a Brotherhood meeting. No standing rule may contradict these Bylaws. Standing rules should be reviewed by the Executive Committee at the first meeting of the semester.
Section 5: Notice
In preparing this document, some typographical errors may have been made. The text of these Bylaws assumes that such typographical errors did not occur.
1.) At the Brotherhood meeting which occurs immediately before the Pledge Review Boards, a discussion will be called and anonymous feedback will be solicited for each pledge, to be used in evaluating his/her progress. The results will be used by the PRB chairs to make recommendations to the pledges.
2.) The Nominating Committee does not strike names from its list of people interested in holding office.
3.) This Chapter interprets the phrase "students of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute" to include all students taking courses or completing degree requirements at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, without regard to cross-registration or number of credit hours being attempted.
4.) This Chapter shall conduct an Office Inventory each semester.
5.) Members may not remove money directly from their Chapter Debts without prior approval of the President or Treasurer.
6.) In order to Chapter Debt items, members must have adequate funds in their Chapter debt by a given deadline, unless special permission is granted before the deadline by the Treasurer.
7.) This Chapter shall conduct an Armory storeroom inventory each semester.
8.) No Chapter Debt may become negative.
9.) All Chapter equipment leaving the Chapter storage room shall be signed out by an Active Brother, or other Brother or pledge with the approval of the SAA. The Brother signing it out will be responsible for the equipment. In the case of loss or damage, the financial responsibility shall be determined by the SAA with the approval of the Executive Committee.
10.) The Chapter computer system shall be used only for Chapter business.
11.) The current goals of the Chapter shall be kept on file with the bylaws and the standing rules.
12.) The Chapter will make pins available to the Brotherhood. The pins must be ordered through the Ritual Chair, and not taken from the Chapter's ritual equipment.
13.) Persons who are not members of Alpha Phi Omega may attend National, Regional, or Sectional activities, including conferences, as official guests of this Chapter only upon the approval of 3/4 of the Active Brothers present at a Brotherhood meeting.
14.) This Chapter recognizes the need to establish guidelines concerning alcohol. Therefore, we the members of Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega affirm our commitment to abide by all laws and policies of New York State, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Alpha Phi Omega regarding alcohol and its use.
15.) Registration costs of Epsilon Zeta voting delegates at National Conventions will be paid for by the Chapter.
16.) Amendments to the Epsilon Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega bylaws after being approved by the Brotherhood should and must of necessity include the date of approval, signifying how current an edition of the bylaw is.
17.) The Chapter will pay for one service pin for each newly inducted Brother, all other pins not returned to the Chapter in working condition must be paid for by the recipient.