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Sigma Alpha

Chapter Bylaws

Current as of: October 17, 2005



We, the brothers of the Sigma Alpha Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, National Service Fraternity, chartered on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and established for the purpose of assembling college students in the fellowship of the principles of the Boy Scouts of America as embodied in its Scout Oath and Law, to develop Leadership, to promote Friendship and provide Service to humanity, and is our national, educational, and intellectual heritage, do adopt these bylaws.


Article I-Name The name of this organization is the Sigma Alpha Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, hereafter referred to as the Chapter.


Article II-Purpose and Policy The Chapter shall be conducted as a Service Fraternity under the policies, principles, and provisions set forth in the National Articles of Incorporation, National Bylaws, National Risk Management policy, and these bylaws of the Sigma Alpha Chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, the Standard Chapter Articles of Association of Alpha Phi Omega, and any standing orders.


Article III-Membership

Section 1. Open Membership. Membership in the Chapter shall be open to students of every race, color, creed, and sexual orientation irrespective of their course of study or other fraternal affiliation. Membership in the Chapter shall be granted only upon the approval of the applicant by the Chapter and after the applicant has fulfilled the membership requirements prescribed by the National Fraternity and the Chapter.

Section 2. Pledge Membership. Pledge Membership in this Chapter shall be conferred upon students enrolled at the University of Missouri-St. Louis who are selected to participate in a period of preparation and training in the ideals and purposes of Alpha Phi Omega. The pledge ceremony shall be performed according to the official pledge ritual of the fraternity. Pledge membership shall continue as long as the pledge does not activate.

Section 2a. Restrictions. Pledge members may vote on all issues, except those regarding these bylaws, pledging, membership, or the Distinguished Service Key. Pledge brothers shall not be an active officer or an appointee.

Section 3. Active Membership.

Active membership in the Chapter shall be conferred upon enrolled students of the University of Missouri-St. Louis who are in fellowship with the principles of Alpha Phi Omega and the Boy Scouts of America as embodied in the Scout Oath and Law and who have successfully completed the period of pledge membership. Active membership shall carry all rights and responsibilities in the Chapter, except that the Chapter shall determine the degree of participation of brothers in graduate school. Active membership shall continue so long as the member fulfills all membership obligations, including financial, service, scholarship, and attendance obligations; and continues enrollment at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Section 3a. Good Standing. To remain in good standing, a brother must pay dues each semester, fulfill all service and attendance requirements, and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.2. An active brother who is not in good standing may make up previous requirements to return to good standing. In cases of extenuating circumstances, a brother may petition the Executive Council to regain good standing. Brothers not in good standing may not be elected to an office.

Section 4. Associate Membership.

The Executive Council may confer, by a two-thirds vote, associate membership on an active member who finds it necessary to cease full involvement in Chapter affairs. Active brothers of the Chapter desiring associate brother status shall petition the Executive Committee in writing before the fifth Chapter meeting of a semester for consideration. Brothers must have had one full semester as an active brother before being considered for associate membership. Associate membership shall continue so long as the brother fulfills the financial obligations, half of the service obligations, and continues enrollment at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The attendance requirement need not be met. Associate member status shall terminate at the end of each semester.

Section 4a. Restrictions. Associate brothers shall not sponsor a pledge and shall not be officers or appointees in the semester they are associate. Associate membership may not be granted for consecutive semesters, or more than twice overall.

Section 4b. Good Standing. The requirements for an associate member to remain in good standing are the same as those for an active member, except that the scholarship and attendance obligations need not be met.

Section 5. Advisory Membership. The Chapter may confer advisory membership upon persons approved to serve in its advisory committee, and they shall have all rights and privileges of active membership, except those of voting or holding office in the Chapter other than chairperson of the Advisory Committee. Such membership may not be conferred upon undergraduate students. Alumni brothers from other Alpha Phi Omega chapters pursuing post-undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis are eligible for advisory membership.

Section 6. Honorary Membership.

The Chapter may confer honorary membership upon persons who have contributed significantly to the ideals and purposes of Alpha Phi Omega. Persons so honored shall have all rights and privileges of active membership, except those of voting or holding office. Honorary membership may not be conferred upon undergraduate students. The approval by a vote of at least three-fourths of the Chapterís membership shall be required for the conferring of Honorary Chapter membership.

Section 7. Alumni Membership.

Upon leaving the Chapter, without having been suspended or expelled by the Chapter or the National Fraternity, all who have held active, advisory or honorary membership in the Chapter shall be recognized as alumni brothers. Active brothers who have left the Chapter and reenroll at the University of Missouri-St. Louis shall be considered active brothers.

Section 8. Senior Semester Membership. The Executive Council may confer senior semester membership on seniors who request reduced involvement in Chapter affairs. A member will be defined as being in his or her senior year according the University definition of a senior. Members requesting senior semester member status must petition the vice president of membership in writing by the third meeting of the semester. A senior semester is one in which an active brother has reduced service hour (not less than five hours) and attendance requirements (not less than three meetings), as determined by the Vice President of Membership.

Section 8a. Restrictions. Senior semester Membership may not be granted more than once. Active brothers must have had one active semester in the fraternity before being eligible for senior semester membership status.


Article IV-Scholarship

Section 1. Minimum Cumulative GPA. All brothers shall maintain a cumulative grade point average no lower than 2.0.

Section 2. Academic Requirements. All persons wishing to become brothers of this Chapter must have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Pledges may not be activated until this requirement is met except for incoming freshman who do not yet have a GPA and transfer students when it is their first semester.

Section 3. Academic Probation. Brothers with a cumulative GPA between 1.8 and 2.0 shall only fulfill the membership obligations of associate membership. They may not be installed into an office or an appointed position, and they may not sponsor a pledge. 

Section 4. Academic Suspension. Brothers with a cumulative GPA lower than 2.0 for two consecutive semesters must be brought up for suspension, or pledge membership must be terminated.


Article V-Service

Section 1. Requirements. All brothers must fulfill at least 20 hours of service per semester and attend required service projects as specified by the Vice President of Service. No more than five service hours can be performed outside of Chapter events.  Those applying for associate or senior semester status must fulfill deficient service hour requirements before being granted associate or senior semester status membership.

Section 2. Penalties. Brothers who fail to fulfill the current semesterís service hours while still deficient in service hours from a previous semester must be brought up for suspension. Current service requirements must be fulfilled before a member can make up deficient service hours.  If the service requirement is not met, a $10 fine will be assessed.  If a member misses a service requirement he or she signed up for, another $10 per service event missed fee will be assessed.


Article VI-Officers and Appointees

Section 1. Elected Officers and Duties. The elected officers of the Chapter shall be, in order of succession, President, Vice President of Service, Vice President of Membership, Vice President of Pledging, Vice President of Brotherhood, Executive Secretary, Treasurer/Fundraising Chair and Historian. Each elected officer shall have one vote on the Executive Council. All officers and appointees shall perform their prescribed duties as well as any duties the President may assign.

Section 1a. President.  The President shall oversee and coordinate Chapter activities, insure the Chapter operates according to the policies set forth in Article II of these bylaws, shall be in charge of the election of officers and delegates, and shall moderate meetings. The President also is the official spokesperson for the Chapter on all matters.

Section 1b. Vice President of Service.  The Vice President of Service shall maintain the Chapterís service projects, and head the service committee. The vice president of service will maintain a record of semesterís service projects along with each brotherís service hours earned. The Vice President of Service shall perform all presidential functions in the absence of the president.

Section 1c. Vice President of Membership. The Vice President of Membership shall oversee all matters concerning membership and scholarship in the Chapter except those concerning pledges and pledge education, and shall coordinate the Chapter Program Planning Conference each semester. The Vice President of Membership also will oversee the advertising and promotion of membership recruitment, including public relations work, and will perform all presidential functions in the absence of the President and Vice President of Service.

Section 1d. Vice President of Pledging (Pledgemaster). The Vice President of Pledging (Pledgemaster) shall oversee all matters concerning pledging and pledge education. The education must include, but is not limited to, National Alpha Phi Omega history, the Chapterís history, and risk management. The Pledgemaster also must ensure that all pledging activities conform to the Chapterís standards as set forth in Article II of these bylaws as well as the National Pledging Standards. All requirements of pledges shall be presented to the pledges and the Chapter, and shall be kept in writing. A pledge may not be granted active membership unless all of the requirements are met. The pledge manual and pin must be collected from persons who depledge.

Section 1e. Vice President of Brotherhood. The Vice President of Brotherhood shall plan and coordinate the social & brotherhood program of the Chapter to create a sense of unity and community, and head the brotherhood committee.

Section 1f. Executive Secretary. The Executive Secretary shall maintain an accurate record of all official Chapter functions, including minutes of Chapter meetings. The Executive Secretary also must publish a Chapter contact list for members. The Executive Secretary also must set the maximum amount of unexcused absences from required functions, and inform brothers at the first meeting each semester of the attendance policy. 

Section 1g. Treasurer/Fundraising Chair. The Treasurer/Fundraising Chair must maintain and accurate and up-to-date of all Chapter transactions, and be in charge of the financial activities of the Chapter. The Treasurer/Fundraising Chair must oversee and maintain adequate fundraising activities for the Chapter. The Treasurer/Fundraising Chair also must initiate an annual audit every spring semester, propose a budget for the Chapter by the third Chapter meeting of the semester; set dues each semester with the majority approval of the Chapter, collect dues from brothers; set the deadline for dues payment, penalties for late payment, and the final deadline for late payment with Executive Council approval, after which time any brother not meeting these deadlines must be brought up for inactive membership. The Treasurer/Fundraising Chair also must head the Treasury/Fundraising Committee.

Section 1h. Historian. The Historian shall keep an ongoing history of the Chapter, collect any publications the Chapter publishes, and make an effort to collect more complete data on the history of the Chapter. The historian also is responsible for the printing of an updated Chapter history in the fall semester of every even year, and heads the historian committee.

Section 2. Appointees and Duties. The Executive Council shall approve all appointments made by officers or appointees. The President may appoint the Sergeant at Arms and Alumni Secretary. The President also may create various temporary positions as deemed necessary by the Chapter. Appointees shall have a voice but no vote on the Executive Council.

Section 2a. Sergeant at Arms. The Sergeant at Arms, appointed by the President, shall oversee matters relating to these bylaws. The Sergeant at Arms also must ensure that all Chapter meetings proceed according to these bylaws and Robertís Rules of Order Newly Revised; maintain order at meetings, and organize and prepare pledge ritual and initiation ceremonies.

Section 2b. Alumni Secretary. The Alumni Secretary, appointed by the President, shall be in charge of maintaining contact with Chapter alumni and be responsible for the update and upkeep of all alumni records.


Article VII-President Emeritus

A President Emeritus is a past president of the Sigma Alpha Chapter without another position. The President Emeritus shall serve as an adviser to the President, and be a non-voting member of the Executive Council and the Advisory Committee.


Article VIII-Meetings

Section 1. Chapter Meetings

The Chapter shall hold weekly meetings throughout the academic year, except during vacations. No more than one Chapter meeting will take place per week.

Section 2. Quorum

A quorum for an official regular meeting of the Chapter shall be a majority of the Active Membership. Quorum is suspendable by a two-thirds vote of the brothers present. Quorum may only be suspended if a majority of the active membership is present.

Section 3. Attendance. Active brothers and pledges shall be responsible for attending all regular and special meetings, ceremonies, required service projects, and any other required functions. The Executive Council shall give one week prior notice of required functions. 

Section 3a. Excused Absences. The Executive Secretary must receive all excuses at least two hours prior to a Chapter meeting for an excused absence to be granted and 24 hours prior to required functions.

Section 4. Arrangement of Meetings. The President shall arrange all regular meeting and Executive Council meetings.

Section 5. Special Meetings. The President may call special meetings of the Chapter.

Section 6. Committee Meetings. All active brothers are recommended to be a member of one committee, and attend its meetings regularly. If a member must be absent from a committee meeting, the chair of the committee must be notified at least one hour beforehand for the absence to be excused.

Section 7. Monetary Penalties. Monetary fines will be administered against brothers absent from required functions without a prior excuse. An unexcused absence from a required service project is a $10 fine or a service project you have signed up for and not attended; and an unexcused absence from a ceremony is a $20 fine. The Treasurer/Fundraising Chair shall be responsible for collecting all fines in a timely manner.


Article IX-Executive Council

Section 1. Executive Council Membership. The Executive Council shall consist of the President, Vice President of Service, Vice President of Membership, Vice President of Pledging, Vice President of Fellowship & Brotherhood, Executive Secretary, Treasurer/Fundraising Chair, Historian, Sergeant at Arms, Alumni Secretary, chairperson of the Advisory Committee as a non-voting member, President Emeritus as a non-voting member, Section 49 or Region VIII staff members as non-voting members, and any other positions deemed necessary by the President and two-thirds of the Chapter.

Section 2. Executive Council Meetings. The Executive Council must meet between Chapter meetings during the academic year.

Section 3. Quorum. A quorum to do business at an Executive Council meeting shall consist of two-thirds of the elected officers.

Section 4. Purpose.  The Executive Council shall oversee the proposal, implementation, and review of all activities of the Chapter.

Section 5. Special Meetings. The President or two-thirds of the Executive Council may call special meetings of the Executive Council.

Section 6. Attendance. Elected Executive Council members are responsible for attending all Executive Council meetings. In the event of an excused absence, the Executive Secretary must receive an excuse at least one hour prior to the Executive Council meeting in order for the absence to be excused. Officers with three unexcused or five excused absences from Executive Council meetings shall be dismissed by the President from their position.


Article X-Advisers and Advisory Committee

Section 1. Advisory Committee.

The Chapter must have at least four advisers, as decreed by the National Fraternity. The Advisory Committee must consist of at least two or more advisers from the faculty or staff of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, at least one scouting adviser, at least one adviser from the community with no affiliation to the university, President Emeritus without another position in the Chapter, and any other advisers the Chapter deems necessary.

Section 2. Procedure for Selecting Advisers. Candidates with any type of membership in Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity and are in good standing with the Chapter and National Fraternity shall receive advisory membership upon invitation by an active brother of the Chapter and majority approval of the Executive Council. Candidates without membership in the National Fraternity must receive a two-thirds vote of active brothers in attendance at a Chapter meeting.

Section 3. Advisory Committee Chairperson. The Advisory Committee shall choose its own chairperson, who shall be responsible for attending the Chapterís Executive Council meetings and arranging Advisory Committee meetings.

Section 4. Disqualifications. Candidates who have been suspended or expelled from this Chapter, another Alpha Phi Omega Chapter or by the National Fraternity are not eligible for advisory membership.


Article XI-Elections

Section 1. Election Date.

The Chapter elections for officers shall take place each semester at least two weeks before the end of the semester.

Section 2Nominations.

Nominations shall be accepted from the floor one week prior to the election date.

Section 3. Voting.

Officer elections in the Chapter shall be by ballot; no proxy or absentee voting is allowed. Advisers shall count ballots.

Section 4. Qualifications.

Brothers who have previously held a position and have been active members of the Chapter for at least two semesters shall fill the position of President. Brothers who have been active members for at least one semester shall fill the Vice President of Service, Vice President of Membership, Vice President of Pledging, and Vice President of Fellowship. No one brother may hold more than one position at one time unless total membership in the Chapter is less than the number of elected positions. No one may hold a position for more than two consecutive semesters unless total membership in the Chapter is less than the number of elected positions.

Section 5. Procedure Presidential candidates shall have three minutes to speak; all other candidates running for an office shall have two minutes to speak and shall then each answer questions for up to two minutes. The candidates shall leave the room following the questions; three minutes of open discussion shall follow. Candidates with the greatest number of votes shall be installed.

Section 6. Voting Order

Officers shall be voted on in order of succession.

Section 7. Vacancies

The President, with a majority vote of the Executive Council, shall appoint someone to fill vacant offices.

Section 8. Taking Office

Officers shall take office at a date specified by the President-elect, with the consultation of the Executive Council, except for vacancies.


Article XII-Officer Resignation and Replacement

Section 1. Officer Replacement

In the event an officer resigns or otherwise vacates the office during his or her term, the President, with a majority approval of the Executive Committee, shall fill the position.

Section 2. Resignation Process. An officer must give one weekís notice of intent to resign to the Executive Council. The resignation becomes effective upon acknowledgment of the President. The Chapter must be notified of the resignation at the next regular Chapter meeting.

Section 3. Removal from Office.

An officer may be removed from his or her office at any time. A unanimous vote of the Executive Council or a two-thirds vote of the active membership where quorum is present is needed for the removal of an officer.


Section 4. Presidential resignation

If the president chooses to resign, he or she must call an executive council meeting and he must have a majority approval of the executive committee.  In the event of a majority approval of the resignation, an election will be held at the next chapter meeting.


Article XIII-Conferences

Section 1. Nomination and Election of Delegates. The Chapter must nominate active brothers in good standing to act as voting delegates at the National Convention. The Chapter shall then elect two nominees to act as voting delegates, and the remaining nominees shall act as non-voting delegates. If a voting delegate is unable to fulfill his or her duties, one of the non-voting delegates shall fill his position.

Section 2. Region VIII/Section 49 Conference Delegates. Sigma Alpha Chapter shall send two voting delegates to all Region VIII and Section 49 conferences. These two delegates shall be the two highest-ranking officers or appointees at the conference, unless no officers or appointees are present. Under those circumstances, two active brothers shall be chosen to act as voting delegates at the discretion of those attending the conference.

Section 3. Stipend. Voting delegates at the National Convention shall be provided with a stipend. The size of this stipend shall be one-half the total of the transportation cost, hotel cost, and registration fees. This stipend shall be provided in the form of a reimbursement, after all of the delegateís duties have been performed. Delegates shall be reimbursed in proportion to the duties they have received.


Article XIV-Amendments

These bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of brothers present at a Chapter meeting. All proposed amendments must be presented to the Chapter at large at least one week prior to voting. These bylaws are written with the assumption that there are no spelling or grammatical errors present; if such errors are discovered, they may be corrected without a Chapter vote or amendment.


Article XV-Initiation

All prospective brothers meeting requirements for active membership in the Chapter must be initiated into membership according to the official ritual of the National Fraternity. Pledge members are not active brothers until having been initiated. All rituals shall be shared with brothers only.


Article XVI- Inactive Membership/Suspension

The Chapter shall have the authority to suspend brothers or declare them inactive members.

Section 1. Inactive Membership. An inactive member is one who fails to meet the service, financial, attendance, scholarship, alcohol or risk management obligations or policies, disgraces the Chapter or brings about, through his or her actions, sanctions of the National Fraternity or the University of Missouri-St. Louis against the Chapter; or intentionally breaks any policy, principle, purpose or ideal of the Chapter. Inactive members shall have no rights of active membership for one semester.

Section 1a. Notification. Any brother who meets the standards set forth in Article XVII, Section 1., shall be notified of his or her violations and given one week in which to respond with petitions before being automatically demoted to inactive member status by the Executive Council.

Section 1b. Returning to Active Status. A member may return to active status if the Executive Council, upon reviewing the case with two advisers, declares the member innocent of the allegations or guilty but of a reformed state of mind; three-fourths of the active membership must vote in favor of reinstating active membership upon the member; or the person completes the reactivation requirement approved by the Executive Council and two members of the Advisory Committee.

Section 1c. Penalties. Should none of the conditions be met, the member is declared suspended from the fraternity, and documentation of the event is the responsibility of the President. Upon the suspension of a brother, the Chapter may, at its discretion, petition the National Board of Directors for a letter of suspension to be affixed to the individualís membership record.

Section 2. Self-Application for Suspension.  The Executive Council shall review letters requesting self-suspension from Chapter brothers. Upon review of the Executive Council, the Executive Council shall grant suspension.


Article XVII-

Distinguished Service Key

Section 1. Nominations

Nominations shall be accepted one week prior to the election date.

Section 2. Voting. DSK elections in the Chapter shall be by ballot. No proxy voting or absentee voting is allowed.

Section 2a. Restrictions. Pledges and brothers not in good standing are not allowed to vote.

Section 3. Qualifications. This award is the highest award presented by the Chapter. All active, alumni, honorary and advisory brothers are eligible for this award.

Section 4. Procedure. Each nominee for this award will be asked to leave the room; five minutes of open discussion shall follow. Nominees with two-thirds of the votes cast will be awarded this award. Votes may be cast for multiple nominees or for none of the nominees. All distributed ballots must be returned.

Section 5. Presentation. The Distinguished Service Key, if any brother is awarded this honor, shall be presented to the recipient at the Chapterís annual spring banquet.


Article XVIII-Alcohol Policy

Section 1. Events. When an official Alpha Phi Omega event is held on or off-campus where alcohol is present, the following guidelines must be met: A) The bar will be located outside of the room in which the function is being held. Alcohol will not be allowed into the room where the function is being held. B) All federal, state, local, university, and fraternity laws and policies will be followed at all times. C) If a brother or guest under the age of 21 is in possession or under the influence of alcohol, or if any brother becomes disruptive in the judgment of all present Executive Council members, they shall be removed from the function and escorted home.

Section 2. Paraphernalia. No Sigma Alpha member shall wear pins, letters, or other paraphernalia identifying themselves as members of Alpha Phi Omega while partaking of alcohol at non-fraternity functions.


Article XIX Ė Assessments

Assessments may be levied on chapter members by an affirmative vote of three fourths of the active membership where quorum is present.



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