Lambda Sigma Handbook
ARTICLE I: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Qualifications for active membership shall be evidence of achievement of the ideals of Lambda Sigma Society among college students. These ideals are leadership, scholarship, fellowship, and service.
Section 2. Candidates for membership shall be considered in the spring term of their first academic year. They shall have completed at least one academic term at their respective institutions.
Section 3. No eligible candidate shall be discriminated against.
Section 4. Not more than 50 students or 10 percent of the students in the first year class, whichever is the lower number, shall be chosen for membership. All chapters shall have a minimum of 15 members, unless special dispensation has been granted by the National Board.
Section 5. Candidates for membership shall be those first-year students who rank within the highest 35% of their class of the college or university at the time of election. Chapters may set a grade point requirement on a numerical or letter system provided evidence is given that the standard is within the upper 35%.
Section 6. Candidates for membership shall have shown potential for leadership and service in a manner to be determined by each chapter.
Section 7. A candidate must be registered at the institution of the electing chapter during the term of election.
Section 8. Prospective members shall be chosen from the group of eligible candidates in accordance with the selections guidelines submitted by each chapter and approved by the National Executive Board. These guidelines are the Gift of Acquaintance.
Section 9. New members shall be informed of membership in a ceremony known as the Gift of Colors. They shall have the opportunity to accept membership through the Gift of Choice and shall, through the Gift of Knowledge, show evidence of understanding the nature of Lambda Sigma membership. New members shall be initiated in a ceremony known as the Gift of Fellowship.
Section 10. Students who accept membership must be informed of and agree to abide by the obligations of membership, including the payment of membership dues. No student who has not paid dues and met other requirements of membership prior to the Gift of Fellowship shall be initiated.
Section 11. The outgoing officers shall send the following materials to the Executive Secretary immediately after the initiation of new members: a list of all initiates, including honorary members; membership dues and chapter assessment.
Section 12. All membership materials must be submitted to the Executive Secretary by June 1 each year. The National Executive Board shall review the material from all chapters at its regular summer meeting.
Section 13. An active member shall serve from the time of initiation until a new chapter is initiated the following year. Each chapter shall schedule its selections and initiation activities so that this term of service shall coincide as closely as possible with the first year on the academic calendar of the respective institution. Students will remain on the National Roll if they fulfill the obligations of membership. This also applies to students who spend one term of their Lambda Sigma year in an off-campus educational program.
Section 14. Any member who fails to fulfill the obligations of membership within a chapter shall be removed by a majority vote of the membership of the chapter and the approval of the chapter advisor. The chapter must notify the Executive Secretary who will remove the name(s) from the chapter roll. The membership fee will not be refundable.
Section 15. A member who wishes to resign from membership should inform the chapter of the intention and the chapter shall follow the same procedure as for dismissal.
Section 17. Gift of Honor
The Jane Price Harmon Gift of Honor from Lambda Sigma Society will be the highest award given by the society to an individual who has shown dedicated service to Lambda Sigma Society. The Gift of Honor may be conferred at any national Presidents Conference. Nominations may be submitted by a chapter or a member of the National Executive Board, to the national president by June 1 of each year. The recipient(s) of the Jane Price Harmon Gift of Honor will be selected by a vote of the board at its summer meeting.
ARTICLE II: CHAPTERS
Section 1. Chapters may be established at the following institutions only.
Section 2. A chapter shall be an association of second year students in a four-year institution who shall be elected and shall serve as prescribed in these bylaws and duly approved chapter bylaws.
Section 3. Each chapter shall have a name from the Greek alphabet. This name is given to chapters alphabetically in order of dates of admission to the national society.
Section 4. Each chapter shall meet at least twice a month while school is in session.
Section 5. Each chapter shall elect after selections and before initiation the following officers: president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Other officers, as the chapter deems necessary, may be elected or appointed in accordance with chapter bylaws.
Section 6. Each chapter shall have at least one alumnus as a student advisor.
Section 7. Each chapter shall have at least one faculty or administrative advisor from the college or university. A chapter is encouraged to have both a faculty member and an administrator. One advisor may be a member of the local community who is not associated with the institution, provided there is at least one advisor from the institution.
Section 8. The duties of the officers are as follows:
a. The president shall preside at all chapter meetings, vote upon all matters in case of a tie, supervise the other chapter officers, provide information and reports concerning the chapter to the appropriate national officers, assure that all other officers provide required material to national officers, serve as the chapter delegate to national presidents conferences or arrange for another approved representative, perform the duties required of an organization president at the college or university, and perform any other duties outlined for the president in the chapter bylaws.
b. The vice president shall preside in the absence or disability of the president and perform duties outlined for the vice president in the chapter bylaws.
c. The secretary shall keep the minutes of each meeting and other records of the activities of the chapter, notify members and advisors of each meeting, and perform any other duties outlined for the secretary in the chapter bylaws.
d. The treasurer shall have charge of all finances, report on finances to the chapter, collect monies for projects and dues, prepare and send an annual report to the executive secretary, send the official initiate list and membership dues and chapter assessment to the executive secretary, and perform any other duties outlined in the chapter bylaws or required of organizations' treasurers by the college or university.
e. The student advisor(s) shall advise the chapter officers as needed and perform other duties outlined in the chapter bylaws.
f. The faculty and/or administrative advisors shall meet with the chapter, supervise the preparations for electing new members, advise the chapter officers, perform duties of advisors set by the college or university, and perform any function deemed necessary for the welfare and progress of the chapter. At least one advisor shall co-sign the president's and treasurer's annual reports, prepare an advisor's annual report, attend the national conference if invited, and perform other duties outlined in the chapter bylaws.
Section 9. Each chapter may establish standing committees as needed.
Section 10. The elected officers, advisors, and other individuals as specified in the chapter bylaws, shall constitute the chapter executive committee. Its duties shall be defined in the chapter bylaws and it shall meet at least twice a month while school is in session.
Section 11. Each chapter shall establish attendance and participation policies for maintaining good standing within the chapter. These shall be provided to each member, along with the procedure for dismissal for failure to abide by the policies. The policies and procedures must be approved by the National Executive Board.
Section 12. To retain active chapter status, a chapter shall have local bylaws, rituals, and selection process approved by the National Executive Board; pay national dues regularly and promptly; abide by the standards and procedures of the national constitution and bylaws and those set by the National Executive Board; make regular reports to the national officers; and send appropriate representatives to the National Presidents Conference.
Section 13. Any chapter which fails to fulfill the requirements for active chapters shall be declared inactive and disaffiliated by a two-thirds vote of the National Executive Board. Such a chapter, should it wish to be reinstated to active status, must apply through the national vice president for consideration by the board. The board may reinstate a chapter by affirmative vote of two-thirds of the board. A chapter shall be placed on probation for at least one year before being declared inactive or disaffiliated.
Section 14. Good standing requires that all annual reports, dues and convention assessments be sent to the executive secretary, in adherence to a deadline set by the National Executive Board.
Section 15. Any chapter which desires to disaffiliate shall inform the National Executive Board in writing.
Section 16. Each year the National Executive Board shall award Honor Chapter Status as outlined in the Lambda Sigma Handbook.
ARTICLE III: NATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD
Section 1. Nominations for any elected national office may be submitted to the national executive secretary by any chapter, any chapter advisor, any alumnus of Lambda Sigma Society, or any national officer. A list of qualifications, including information on the nominee's membership in Lambda Sigma, must accompany the nomination. Any alumnus or honorary member of Lambda Sigma shall be eligible to hold office. Nominees for national president shall be members of the current National Executive Board. The nominee should have prior knowledge of the nomination, give consent to it, and be willing to provide to the National Executive Board any necessary information concerning qualifications for office.
Section 2. The executive secretary shall present to the National Executive Board all nominations and supporting information. The Board shall prepare a slate of all nominees to present at the National Presidents Conference.
Section 3. A plurality vote of the voting delegates present at the conference shall elect a nominee to office.
Section 4. Officers shall assume office at the close of the conference. An elected officer (except for the president) is eligible to serve consecutive terms.
a. The president shall call and preside over all national presidents conferences and board meetings, sign all documents presented by the society, represent or appoint another representative for Lambda Sigma at any appropriate meetings, perform other duties pertaining to the office. The president-elect shall work with the current president during a one-year term in preparation for assuming the position of president.
b. The vice president shall perform the duties of the president in the absence or disability of the president, supervise the preparation for the installation of new chapters, and handle correspondence pertinent to expansion.
c. The recording secretary shall keep and distribute the minutes of each National Presidents Conference and board meeting and prepare and distribute revisions to the constitution and bylaws.
d. The editor shall edit and publish the Diamond.
Section 6. Prior to the end of the conference the National Executive Board shall appoint as national officers the executive secretary and the treasurer, who shall serve until successors are appointed at the next conference. The duties of each are as follows:
a. The treasurer shall receive and deposit all monies for the society, submit an annual budget for the approval of the National Executive Board, pay all bills of the national society, provide expense money to board members and chapters as necessary for the operation of the national society, and make recommendations concerning financial matters to the board. The treasurer shall be bonded for a suitable amount set by the board.
b. The executive secretary shall keep an accurate file of active, alumni and honorary members, notify chapters of all requirements related to elections and annual reports, maintain a file on each chapter's fulfillment of obligations to the society, collect the membership information from each chapter and forward dues to the treasurer, place orders for membership pins and certificates for each chapter, and report on the status of each chapter at each board meeting. The executive secretary shall maintain the national headquarters for the society for the purpose of receiving any inquiries or correspondence not pertinent to any other officer.
Section 7. The president, treasurer, or executive secretary, upon completion of the elected or appointed term, may be asked to serve in an advisory capacity for the following year.
Section 8. One student representative shall be elected for a two-year term at each national presidents conference. Nominees may be any active member or any alumnus who is still an undergraduate student at a college or university. No chapter shall have more than one nominee. They shall be elected by a plurality vote of the voting student delegates present. The student representatives shall serve as voting members on the National Executive Board and shall have such duties as the board deems necessary and appropriate.
Section 9. Three administrative or faculty advisor representatives shall serve as voting members on the National Executive Board. They shall be chosen by the national officers from the administration or faculty of an institution at which a chapter is located. They shall be appointed by the officers at each national presidents conference to serve not more than six consecutive years. If an active advisor representative transfers to an institution at which there is no Lambda Sigma chapter, the representative will be allowed a two-year grace period to establish a chapter in order to comply with the bylaws. The National Executive Board shall designate each advisor representative to be responsible for one of these areas: approving and maintaining copies of all chapters' rituals and selection processes; approving and maintaining copies of all chapters' bylaws; and coordinating the application and selection process for the national scholarships.
ARTICLE IV. PUBLICATIONS
The official publications of the society shall be:
ARTICLE V. FINANCES
Section 1. The National Executive Board shall approve by a two-thirds vote any action concerning financial issues of the society.
Section 2. Membership dues shall be collected from all active members. Dues shall be payable to each chapter upon acceptance of membership and prior to initiation. Each chapter treasurer shall forward one check for the dues of all members and a convention assessment to the executive secretary immediately following initiation. A breakdown of the use of fees shall be provided to each delegate at each national convention by the treasurer.
Section 3. Each chapter shall pay a convention assessment each year. This shall be included with the membership fees.
Section 4. The treasurer shall provide travel money to official delegates for any meeting of the society in as equitable a manner as possible. Any chapter owing monies shall not receive money for travel.
Section 5. Each chapter accepted for membership in the society shall send the installation fee to the treasurer prior to installation.
Section 6. The National Executive Board shall award scholarships annually based upon criteria outlined in the handbook.
ARTICLE VI. EXTENSION
Section 2. Chapters may be installed on more than one 4-year campus of multi-campus institutions.
Section 3. A school desiring membership in Lambda Sigma Society shall present to the National Vice President a petition containing the following: a brief history of the local organizing process; statistical data on the number of first year baccalaureate students; individual scholastic and activity records of all active or proposed members; criteria used for membership selection; a record of actual or planned programs; financial statement; local bylaws and ritual; and letters of recommendation from the ranking student affairs administrator and at least one faculty member or administrative advisor who will advise the chapter. The national vice president shall present the petition to the National Executive Board for review and approval.
Section 4. Following receipt of the petition, the board may include a visit to the petitioning chapter by a national board member after which the vice president shall make a recommendation for or against acceptance of the petition. A two-thirds vote of the board shall be required for acceptance of the petition and admission of the chapter.
Section 5. If the petition is accepted, the chapter shall be notified and plans for installation shall be made under the supervision of the national vice president. The installation fee shall be paid to the national treasurer prior to installation.
Section 6. If the petition is not accepted, the national vice president shall convey to the petitioning group the recommendations of the National Executive Board. Assistance shall be given to the group if it wishes to seek admission at a future date.
ARTICLE VII. DISSOLUTION
If at any time Lambda Sigma Society disbands, after all financial obligations have been met by Lambda Sigma Society, the remaining monies will be distributed equally among institutions of the remaining active chapters not on probation.
ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS
The bylaws may be amended at any National Presidents Conference by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the delegates, or at any time by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the chapters, with a lack of response from a chapter within 30 days pconstituting an affirmative vote. An affirmative vote of a chapter shall be a majority vote of those present and voting on the amendment at any meeting which has a quorum.
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