Sigma Phi Sigma

University of Central Oklahoma

Funeral Service

Constitution and By Laws

Of Sigma Phi Sigma, Gamma Chapter

Revised October 14, 2005

Article I: Name

A. The name of this fraternity shall be SIGMA PHI SIGMA in conjunction with the other Sigma Phi Sigma chapters with the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) being the GAMMA Chapter.

Article II: Purposes

A. The purposes of the Fraternity are to encourage and recognize scholarship and professionalism among funeral service educators, students and professionals. To achieve these purposes, The Gamma Chapter shall:

1.  Promote professionalism by providing opportunities for the development of leadership and climates for exchange of professional concepts, ethic and ideals;

2.  Educate the public concerning the funeral profession and increase the public’s appreciation of the profession by advocating participation in community service projects;

3.  Encourage fellowship between students, faculty and business entities;

4.  Aid students in their academic endeavors through educational opportunities, speakers or other tools with the goal of exceeding National and/or State Board Exam(s) standards.

5.  Provide members various tools to advance their career goals and to assist in securing a position with a funeral service provider.

Article III: Membership

A. Membership shall be open to all members of the Department of Funeral Service without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, handicap, disability or status as a veteran and who meets the requirements as specified in Section B, Article III.

B. All members and transfer students shall comply with and adhere to the following requirements in order to achieve the appropriate level of membership:

1.  GPA Requirement: None

2.  Dues-paying membership: Members must have dues paid in full as set forth by the membership. Dues-paying members are eligible to vote and/or may receive other benefits as defined by the Executive Board. Dues-paying members are not authorized the full benefits of active members.

3.  Active membership: Members must have dues paid in full as set forth by the membership and must fully participate in a community service project, or a fund raising activity, or a promotional activity or serve on a standing committee or as an officer of the fraternity prior to being granted active membership. Only active members will receive full member benefits as defined by the Executive Board.

C. Honorary membership may be granted to an individual who aided in the promotion of funeral service professionalism or education. A majority vote of the Executive Board and/or consent of a faculty sponsor is required to grant honorary membership.

D. Alumni membership will be automatic and dues will not be charged for such membership. It is each alumnus responsibility to ensure that the Secretary has his/her current address.

E. Transfer members from another Fraternity chapter will receive full rights and benefits upon request and approval of the Executive Board.

F. At least one faculty sponsor shall be selected for a term of two (2) academic years.  A faculty sponsor is selected by the department faculty.  Duties of the faculty sponsor shall be to provide guidance in the operation of the Fraternity.

Article IV: Officers

A. The Executive power of the fraternity shall be vested in a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Public Relations (PR) Officer. These officers plus chairpersons of standing (permanent) committees will comprise the Executive Board of the Fraternity.

B. Executive officers will be elected annually at the end of the Fall Semester for the following academic year (Spring-Summer-Fall semesters).

C. Members of standing committees are to be approved by the Executive Board. Chairperson(s) of each committee is (are) to be elected by its members.

D. Powers and Duties of the President

1.  The President shall preside over all meetings of the fraternity.

2.  The President shall have the power to call special meeting of the fraternity at such time and place as he/she may deem advisable. Furthermore he/she shall be compelled to call a special session at the written request of six (6) members of the fraternity.

3.  The President shall be responsible for the upholding of this constitution and all laws and regulations passed under it and execute the polices determined by the fraternity.

4.  Standing and ad hoc committees shall be appointed by the President of the fraternity as he/she deems necessary. All appointments are subject to confirmation by the Executive Board. Standing and ad hoc committee members shall select a chairperson.

5.  Those additional duties as outlined in the Officers’ Handbook.

E. Powers and Duties of the Vice President

1. In the event the President of the fraternity is temporarily unable to perform his/her duties, the Vice President shall perform the duties of the President.

2. If a permanent vacancy occurs in the Office of the President, the Vice President shall resign his/her duties and become President of the fraternity. The vacated Vice Presidency shall remain open until a new Vice President is elected at the next general meeting.

3. The Vice President shall be an ex-officio member of all standing committees appointed by the President.

4. The Vice President shall be responsible for maintaining Fraternity meetings and activities according to this Constitution and to Robert’s Rules of Order.

5. The Vice President shall act as Sergeant-at-Arms for all Fraternity meetings.

6. The Vice President shall act as Historian for all past and present fraternity meetings. He/she is to keep a write-up of all articles on the Fraternity and pictures to be put in a scrap book that he/she will organize and be responsible for. At the end of his/her term the scrap book will be submitted to the faculty advisor for safe keeping.

7. Those additional duties as outlined in the Officers’ Handbook.

F. Powers and Duties of the Secretary

1. The Secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings of the fraternity and carry on the Official Correspondence of the fraternity except for that handled directly by the President and/or Vice President. All correspondence sent or received on behalf of the fraternity will be filed by the Secretary.  Meeting minutes (in digital format) shall be provided to the department webmaster within one week of each meeting.

2. The Secretary shall file an official copy of the Fraternity minutes at the end of his/her term with the faculty advisor for safe keeping.

3. The Secretary shall keep attendance records of all club members for the information of the Executive Board.

4. The Secretary and/or Faculty Advisor will be responsible to inspect the records of each individual’s grades at the end of each semester in the Department Chairperson’s office. The Secretary and Faculty Advisor will maintain members’privacy as set forth in Article III, paragraph B, subparagraph 2.

5. The Secretary will ensure that current copies of the Constitution and By-laws are on file with the Funeral Services Department Chairperson, the Student Activities Office of UCO and with the Alpha Chapter of Sigma Phi Sigma.

6. The Secretary will maintain a current copy of the Officers’ Handbook and will ensure that each officer, committee chairperson and faculty sponsor is given a current copy.

7. Those additional duties as outlined in the Officers’ Handbook.

G. Powers and Duties of the Treasurer

1.  The Treasurer shall keep a record of all financial transactions of the fraternity.

2.  The Treasurer shall submit a written and oral report to the fraternity containing an itemized statement of finances at the first meeting of each month.

3.  The Treasurer shall submit an itemized balanced statement of finances at the end of his/her term which will show total income and total expenses for the year. This statement will be submitted no later than two (2) weeks from the end of his/her term of office to the faculty advisor.

4.  The Treasurer will submit a written list of the paid membership to the Secretary at the first meeting of each month for inclusion in the official files.

5.  Those additional duties as outlined in the Officers’ handbook.

H. Powers and Duties of the Public Relations Officer

1.  The Public Relations (PR) Representative shall be responsible for writing and submitting articles at a minimum to the local press and Oklahoma Funeral Directors’ Association magazine. A minimum of one (1) article per month is required to be submitted. The PR Officer is to ensure that the Vice-President and Secretary receive a copy of the submissions.

2.  Those additional duties as outlined in the Officers’ Handbook.

I. Eligibility of Officers

1. The officers of the Fraternity are required to be enrolled in a minimum of six (6) credit hours at UCO at the time of election and to maintain at least six (6) credit hours throughout his/her term.

J. Vacancy Procedures

If a permanent vacancy occurs in the Office of Vice President (other than becoming President), Secretary, Treasurer or PR Officer, it shall be filled by an Executive Board appointment with approval by a majority vote of all votes cast by the membership until the next yearly election. If a temporary vacancy occurs, a substitute shall be appointed be by the Executive Board to fill this temporary vacancy for the required time. A vacancy occurring from an appointment shall be filled in the same manner.

Article V : Committees

A. Standing (permanent) and ad hoc (temporary) committees shall be appointed as per Article IV paragraph C subparagraph 4.

B. Standing committee chairpersons are required to submit a written report on committee activities to the Secretary a minimum of once per month. Ad hoc committee chairpersons are required to submit a written report to the Secretary at each general membership meeting. All reports will be presented to the Fraternity and included in the official records of the Fraternity. Reports are required to include who is on the committee; who attended committee meetings if any; what has been accomplished; when it was accomplished; and an itemized financial statement at a minimum.

Article VI: Meetings

A. At the start of each semester the Executive Board will present to the membership a schedule of future meetings. These meetings will be held at a regular time and place which will be published by the University through the Student Activities Office. All events to include meetings, outside speakers and entertainment are to placed on the University calendar through the Student Activities Office. Time and place for the meetings must be strictly adhered to unless a written request for a change is approved by the Director of Student Activities.

B. When possible, the fraternity sponsor will be present at meetings of the organization.

C. Meeting times of the Executive Board shall be decided by its members. Executive sessions may be called before, during or after a regular meeting or at special sessions or may be of a telephonic/electronic communications if all Executive Board members have access to such means.

D. Parliamentary practice in meetings shall be guided by Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised Edition.

E. The annual meeting of the membership shall be held during the last month of the officers’ term. Any such annual meeting may be held at any other time which may be designated in a resolution by the Executive Board or by the written consent of at least one-third (1/3) of the members entitled to vote at such meeting. At such annual meeting, a slate of officers for election will be presented, succeeding faculty sponsor(s) will be announced; reports of the Fraternity shall be reviewed and any other business of the Fraternity shall be considered. Notice of the annual meeting will be posted at least two (2) weeks in advance in the Department in a conspicuous manner and submitted for publication at least once in UCO’s Vista newspaper. Such notices will specify the day, hour and place of such meeting and will state such other matters if any as may be expressly required by the Bylaws.

Article VII: Impeachment

A. Grounds for impeachment, recall or removal shall be inefficiency and/or practice(s) unbecoming the office.

B. Elected officers may be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the entire voting membership of the fraternity. Such proposed removal must be presented to the fraternity at least one week prior to final vote, and the officer to be removed must be notified of the charges at least one week prior to the vote by the fraternity.

Article VIII: Amendments and Adoption

A. This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of all votes cast by fraternity members. A petition to the Executive Board of one-fourth (1/4) of the voting members shall be sufficient grounds for voting on an amendment.

B. All proposed amendments must be presented to the fraternity in a regular meeting and must be posted on the department bulletin board at least two weeks before the vote on the amendment is taken.

C. The fraternity members may present amendments at any time to be voted on at the next regular or special meeting provided that such amendments have been posted on the department bulletin board two weeks prior to the vote.

D. The amendment must be submitted in writing and approved by the Office of the Vice-President for Student Services before becoming effective.

E. This constitution shall go into effect upon approval of the Vice-President for Student Services and the Student Association.

Article IX: Finances

A. It shall be the power of the Executive Board to set, assess or levy such dues, fines or assessments as it deems necessary to operate the fraternity provided the executive decision is posted on the department bulletin board and read at two (2) consecutive regular meetings and approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of all votes cast by fraternity members at the next regular meeting.

B. All money below the a total amount of Five Thousand Dollars ($5000.00) will be deposited and handled through the University Finance Office of UCO. If the Fraternity has more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5000.00), it may with the written approval of the faculty advisor and the Vice-President for Student Services place that money in Federally insured monetary instrument(s) such as a Certificate of Deposit. If any money is held off campus, the organization will comply with an annual audit as required by the University at the organzation’s expense. This monetary instrument must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of all paid dues members and cannot have a term longer than three (3) years.

C. Upon a majority decision of the Executive Board and the Faculty Advisor’s permission, a committee may seek authorization from the Vice- President for Student Services to set up a checking account at an in-state financial institution for an express purpose. This checking account may not carry more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) for more than 60 consecutive days. All monies over the above amount must be deposited through the University Finance Office. Each check must be countersigned by two members. One drawer must be the Chairperson of the appropriate standing committee. The other drawer must be a member of the standing committee, or Chairperson of the appropriate ad hoc committee, or a member of the ad hoc committee chosen by the standing committee Chairperson and approved by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. This special account must be closed within two (2) weeks of the termination of the express purpose. An oral final accounting must be presented to the Fraternity and written itemized final accounting must be submitted to the Treasurer within two (2) weeks of closing the account. The Treasurer and Faculty Advisor maintain the right to inspect the financial records of the special account upon demand and all records must be made available within 48 hours of the demand.

D. The officers of the Fraternity shall ensure that by the end of their term of office all funds are turned over to the UCO Finance Office. Furthermore, the fraternity account shall have a balance of at least $100 (One Hundred Dollars) as "seed" money to commence the next term of office. At no time shall the Fraternity owe any corporation, institution, business or person more than $500 (Five Hundred Dollars) for more than 60 consecutive days. If such an occurrence is to be anticipated, the President shall submit in writing to the Fraternity and Faculty Advisor a reason for the debt and a viable plan to alleviate said debt. If the Fraternity owes more that $500 (Five Hundred Dollars) for more than 75 days all further expenditures must cease until the debt is paid in full.

Article X: Formal Procedures

A. The organization will comply will all university rules and regulations and will require its members to do so. These regulations are stated in the Student Handbook and other places at UCO.

B. Regular reports will be given as required to the Vice-President for Student Services and to the Student Association.

C. In case of conflict which necessitates authoritative interpretation of the meaning of this constitution of such consequence that it cannot be settled in the organization, the conflict will be submitted to the Executive Board for resolution.

Article XI: Publicity

A. The President and/or Executive Board shall be the official spokesperson for the organization. General inquiries by a member of the press, community, or University agency concerning the organization shall be referred to the President or Public Relations Officer.