Bylaws

BYLAWS OF THE ALPHA OF FLORIDA CHAPTER
PHI BETA KAPPA SOCIETY 

Article I.               NAME AND PURPOSE

Section 1.01       The chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at the Florida State University shall be designated as the Alpha Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society in the State of Florida.

Section 1.02       This society is a constituent member of the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa.

Section 1.03       The purpose of Phi Beta Kappa is to recognize and encourage scholarship, friendship, and cultural interests, and to support excellence and integrity in the pursuit of the liberal arts.  Chapter activities shall encourage liberal education, scholarship, and concern for the responsible uses of knowledge.  Individuals elected to membership commit themselves to advancing the goals of Phi Beta Kappa.

Article II.             MEMBERS

Section 2.01       The membership of the chapter shall include:

(a)    Charter members:   the Phi Beta Kappa members of the faculty to whom the charter of the chapter was granted;

(b)   Foundation members: honorary members elected only at the founding of the chapters;

(c)    Associate members: members (including alumni and honorary members) of Phi Beta Kappa elected by other chapters who become members of the faculty or staff of the Florida State University;

(d)   Members in course: all members of the chapter elected as undergraduates;

(e)   Alumni/ae members: elected from among those graduates of the Florida State University or the State State College for Women whose scholarly achievement subsequent to graduation merits such election;

(f)     Honorary members: graduates of institutions of higher learning other than the Florida State University chosen on the same basis as the alumni/ae members;

(g)    Affiliate members: members of Phi Beta Kappa not described above who reside in Tallahassee or its vicinity.

Section 2.02       Charter and foundation members, associate members, local members in course, local alumni/ae members, and local honorary members shall constitute the resident membership.  Only resident members may vote on candidates for election to membership, new chapters, amendments to these bylaws, and matters pertaining directly to the university; only they may serve as president, vice president, and secretary of the chapter.  Other members of the chapter shall otherwise have full membership privileges.

Article III.            ELECTION TO MEMBERSHIP

Section 3.01       New Members shall be added to the chapter according to category as follows:

(a)    No further charter members may be elected.

(b)   No further foundation members may be elected.

(c)    Neither associate nor affiliate members need be elected.  The secretary shall notify the associate members of their status soon after they become officially connected with the Florida State University.

(d)   Members in course shall be elected as described below from among Florida State University juniors and seniors who meet the following criteria:

                                 i.            Whether elected as juniors or seniors, potential members must:

1)  Exhibit scholarly achievement, good character, and varied intellectual and cultural interests.

2)  Be completing requirements for a major in liberal subjects and studies.  Here and elsewhere in these bylaws liberal subjects and studies shall be considered to be those designated principally for knowledge or understanding, or appreciation of nature and society, as contrasted with training intended to develop skill or vocational techniques.  At Florida State University all major programs in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Social Sciences, and the Department of Art History, shall be considered to be liberal in nature.  Candidates from other programs, for instance, the Colleges of Music and Communication and departments other than Art History within the College of Visual Arts, Theatre, and Dance, may be considered on an individual basis.

3)Complete Six Hours of college-level mathematics.

                               ii.            The following criteria shall apply to senior election:

1)  Timing:  a student may be considered for the first time during the term in which he or she applies for graduation.  If the student is not elected, he or she may be reconsidered at the earliest opportunity after graduation.

2)  Liberal Hours:  the student must have completed or be enrolled in the ninety-fifth hour of courses which the chapter considers liberal in content.  All credit acceptable to the university as fulfilling Liberal Studies requirements, including exemption credit, shall be counted as liberal hours.

3)  Grade-point Average:  the student must have achieved a grade-point average of 3.60 or above in all courses taken for credit at Florida State University and in all courses undertaken for credit towards the bachelor’s degree.

4)  Residence:  the student must have completed or be enrolled in the sixtieth hour at Florida State University.  A student with fifteen or more hours at another institution sheltering a Phi Beta Kappa chapter may meet the residence requirement if enrolled in at least the forty-fifth hour at Florida State.

5)  Language:  the student must have completed or be enrolled in the final course of the foreign language (modern or ancient) sequence required of Bachelor of Arts candidates.  The language requirement may be met by transfer or exemption credit, and courses may be taken on a S/U basis.

                              iii.            The following criteria apply to junior election:

1)   Timing:  a student may be considered for election in the first, and if necessary in the second, semester after the semester in which he or she has for the first time attained seventy-five hours of college credit.

2)  Special Requirements:  the student must have at least sixty hours of actual course work at Florida State.  At least fifty-four hours of Florida State University course work must be in graded courses or honors seminars.  Any combination of Florida State University course work, transfer course work, and/or exemption credit (via Advanced Placement, CLEP, or departmental examination) may be used to make up the difference between the sixty hours of Florida State University courses credit and the seventy-five hours of college credit required for election.

3)  Liberal Hours:  at least eighty percent of the student’s course work must have been in courses which the chapter considers liberal in content.  All course work acceptable to the university as a fulfilling Liberal Studies requirement shall be counted a liberal hours.

4)  Grade-point Average:  the student must have achieved a grade-point average of 3.90 or above in all courses taken for graded college credit.

5)  Language:  Arts and Sciences majors and eligible majors in programs with the BA language requirement must have completed the first course of the foreign language (modern or ancient) sequence required of Bachelor of Arts candidates.  Students in all other majors must have completed or be enrolled in the final course of the sequence.  The language requirement may be met by transfer or exemption credit, and courses may be taken on an S/U basis.

                             iv.            Method of election:

1)  New Members in course shall be elected twice each year, at a fall meeting and at a spring meeting

2)  The membership committee shall present to the chapter for consideration a list of recommended students.

3)  The committee need not recommend and the membership need not elect every candidate who meets the mnimum numerical requirements listed above.  However, neither the committee nor the chapter shall categorically exclude candidates based on any factor in the academic record not listed above.

4)  Election of candidates recommended unanimously by the committee requires a three-fourths vote of the resident members present and voting.  Candidates investigated by the committee but not recommended unanimously, and candidates presented from the floor, may be elected with a four-fifths vote of the resident members present and voting.

5)  The total number of senior members in course elected in any year shall ordinarily not exceed ten persent, and in no case shall exceed fifteen percent, of the students receiving the liberal bachelor’s degree (as defined in III.A.4.(i)b above) during that time period.  The total number of junior members in course elected in any year shall be on third or fewer of the number elected as seniors.

                               v.            For purposes of choosing alumni.ae and honorary members, scholarly achievement is defined as demonstrating breadth of culture and high intellectual powers and making scholarly contributions to literary, scientified, educational, or social progress.  Alumni/ae members may receive consideration on the tenth anniversary of their graduation or thereafter.  Alumni/ae must be recommended by at least six of the eight members of the membership committee and then brought before the chapter via a written statement of qualifications.  Election requires a four-fifths vote of those resident members present and voting.  No more than two alumni/ae members may be elected in any year, nor more than four in any triennium.

                             vi.            Procedures for the nomination and election of honorary members shall be the same as for alumni/ae members, except for the following:

1)  No graduate of another institution sheltering a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa shall be recommended for election unless the parent chapter has been notified and has raised no objection within a two-month period.

2)  No more than two honorary members may be elected in any triennium.

Section 3.02       All discussion pertaining to the election of members shall be held inviolably secret.  All voting on membership shall be by secret ballot.

Article IV.            INITIATION AND ADMISSION TO MEMBERSHIP

Section 4.01       Prospective members elected by the chapter become official members according to category as follows:

(a)    Associate and affiliate members shall be invited by the secretary to sign the membership roll.  By so doing they indicate their acceptance of membership in Alpha of Florida.

(b)   Members in course, alumni.ae and honorary members shall become official members after being initiated by the society.  Members in course must pay initiation fees before initiation.  Initiation must be accomplished within a year of election.  At the end of that year election shall become void unless the prospective members asks for an extension in writing, and the Executive Committee considers that there are extenuating circumstances.  This extension may be for no more than one additional year.  Initiation may be accomplished through any of three routes:

                                                                     i.            Initiation in person by Alpha of Florida:  electees who have not yet received their degrees are expected to participate in the initiation ceremony.  Instructions to all electees shall emphasize the importance of personal participation in the initiation ceremony.

                                                                   ii.            Initiation in person by another Phi Beta Kappa chapter:  electees who have graduated and cannot return to Tallahasse, but who live near an institution sheltering another Phi Beta Kappa chapter, may ask the secretary of our chapter to arrange initiation at the other institution.

                                                                  iii.            Initiation in absentia:  electees who are unable to be initiatied in person may indicate in writing to the secretary their wish to be initiated in absentia.  The request for initiation in absentia shall be acted on by the Executive Committee.  If that request is approved, the electee’s name shall be read at the next initiation or Founder’s Day meeting as having been initiated in absentia.

(c)    The initiation fee for members in course shall be determined by the Executive Committee.  It shall cover, as a minimum, a ticket to the initiation banquet and the registration and Council Fund payments due to the United Chapters.  The chapter shall be responsible for registration and council Fund payments for honorary and alumni/ae members, who shall have no initiation fee.  The initiation fee must be paid between election and initiation.

(d)   The chapter shall cause all duly elected and initiated new members in course and alumni/ae and honorary members to be admitted as bona fide members of Phi Beta Kappa as follows:

                                                                     i.            The chapter shall send to the treasurer of the United Chapters the name of each new Member with a registration and Council Fund payment for each person.

                                                                   ii.            In the case of new alumni/ae and honorary members, the qualifications of each person initiated shall be entered upon the minutes of the chapter and submitted for the record to the secretary of the United Chapters.

Article V.             ORGANIZATION

Section 5.01       The officers of this chapter shall be president, a vice president, a secretary, a treasurer, and a historian, and they shall perform the duties usually incumbent on such officers.  The president, vice president, and secretary shall be resident members.  Officers shall be elected by ballot at the first regular meeting of the academic year.  Nominations shall be made by the Nominating Committee and may also be made from the floor.  Elected officers shall assume office immediately and continue in office on year or until their successors have been elected. No officer shall be eligible to serve more than three consecutive terms.  The service of officers shall be so staggered that at least to persons shall be changed every year, but at least one person shall have served as an officer before.

Section 5.02       The officers shall appoint four standing committees as follows:

(a)    An Executive Committee: which consists of the officers and the chairmen of the other standing committee.  The Executive Committee may fill any vacancy that may occur in any office or committee of the chapter.

(b)   A membership Committee:  which shall be composed of eight resident members chosen for overlapping terms of two years: four members shall be appointed each year.  It shall be the duty of this committee to present to the chapter for consideration prospective new members in course and alumni/ae and honorary members.

(c)    A committee on the Encouragement of Scholarship which shall device and, with the approval of the Executive committee, carry out plans for the encouragement of scholarship.  This committee shall consist of three members, of whom at least two shall be resident members.

(d)   A Committee on Endowment which shall consist of three members.  It shall devise, and, with the approval of the Executive Committee, carry out plans for securing and maintaining an adequate endowment for the chapter.

Section 5.03       The retiring president shall appoint annually a Nominating Committee, consisting of at least four members to nominate officers for the ensuing year.  This committee shall be appointed at least two months before the annual meeting, and shall present nominations to the resident members at least one week before the annual meeting.

Section 5.04       The president shall appoint annually an Auditing Committee of three members.  This committee shall review the accounts of the Treasurer and report the results to the membership at least once a year.

Section 5.05       Other committees authorized by the chapter or the Executive Committee may be appointed by the president or the Executive Committee.

Article VI.            MEETINGS

Section 6.01       At least four regular meetings shall be held each year:

(a)    The first shall be the annual business meeting, which shall be held before the end of October.  At the annual meeting, the normal order of business shall be as follows:

a.       Call to order and acceptance of agenda

b.      Reading of the minutes of the preceding annual business meeting and of intervening business meetings

c.       Report of the Executive Committee

d.      Report of the treasurer

e.      Reports of other committees

f.        Unfinished business

g.       Consideration of the communications from the United Chapters

h.      New business

i.         Election of officers

j.        Adjournment

(b)   There shall be a meeting as soon as feasible in the fall semester for the election of new members.

(c)    There shall be a meeting on or near December 5th, in celebration of the anniversary of the founding of Phi Beta Kappa.  Members elected in the fall may be initiated at this meeting.

(d)   There shall be a meeting as soon as feasible in the spring semester for the election of new members.

(e)   The spring initiation ceremony may be followed by an additional meeting which may be open to the public.

Section 6.02       The exact dates of these meetings shall be designated by the President.  The secretary shall give at least seven days notice of all meetings to all members.  All notices shall state the purpose of the meeting and the business to be transacted.

Section 6.03       Special meetings may be called by the president or the Executive Committee, and shall be called upon written request by five members.  At a special meeting no business shall be transacted other than that stated in the notice of the meeting.

Section 6.04       The presence of twelve resident members of the chapter shall constitute a quorem for the transaction of business.

Section 6.05       The business of the chapter shall be conducted in accordance with the latest edition of Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure.

Article VII.          DUES

Section 7.01       All resident and affiliate members shall pay dues.

Section 7.02       The amount shall be determined annually by the Executive Committee and reported to the chapter.

Section 7.03       The chapter, by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any meeting, may levy special assessments on resident and affiliate members, provided that written notice to propose such an assessment is sent to every resident and affiliate member at least ten days in advance of the meeting.

Article VIII.         ARTICULATION WITH UNITED CHAPTERS

Section 8.01       Duties of Alpha of Florida to United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa shall include:

(a)    Forwarding the names and registration and Council Fund payments of all new members, and the qualifications of new alumni/ae and honorary members, to United Chapters as specified in Article IV.C above

(b)   Informing United Chapters of any proposed change in these bylaws, for consideration by the Phi Beta Kappa Senate.

(c)    Sending to United Chapters each year a full report of all members elected or recorded as having resigned or died.

(d)   Making all efforts to send a delegation to represent the chapter at each meeting of the Council of Phi Beta Kappa.

(e)   Contributing its share to the financial support of the United Chapters.

Article IX.            AMENDMENTS

Section 9.01       Amendments to these bylaws not inconsistent with the constitution and other lawful regulations of the United Chapters may be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the resident members present at any meeting, if:

(a)    The motion was presented and tabled at the preceding regular or special meeting, or

(b)   Written notice of the proposed changes was sent to all resident members at least one month in advance of the meeting.

Section 9.02       Any amendment so adopted must receive the approval of the Phi Beta Kappa Senate before being entered finally on the records of the chapter.