National Operating Policies
National Operating Policies
formerly known as the Fraternal Governance Document
last amended June 28, 2014
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Chapter Violations
- 3 Initiation Requirements
- 4 Sanction Process
- 5 Mileage Reimbursement
- 6 National Dues
- 7 National Award Eligibility
- 8 National Scholarships
- 9 Mark Policy
- 10 National Council Standards
- 11 Shared Responsibilities and Oversight
- 12 Personnel Process
- 13 Chapter Housing
- 14 Communication Policy
The National Operating Policies (“NOP”) contains the official policies of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity established and amended only by majority vote of the Phi Sigma Pi National Council. No Chapter or Association shall establish policy, procedures or guidelines that are not consistent with the policies contained within this document, the National Constitution, or any other published National Policy. The National Council will serve as the only authority to interpret the National Operating Policies.
The National Office welcomes your comments concerning all policies of Phi Sigma Pi. Please contact us at 2119 Ambassador Circle, Lancaster, PA 17603, or (717) 299-4710, or email@example.com.
If the appropriate materials required of a Chapter are not postmarked or electronically marked on or before the designated due dates, the items will be considered late. When a Chapter is late with dues, fees, or forms, the National Staff shall contact the Chapter.
If the delinquency is not resolved within two weeks following the due date, the National Staff shall send a notice of delinquency to the Chapter President and the officer(s) pertinent to the violation (i.e., for forms, the Secretary; for monies, the Treasurer). This notice will be accompanied by a fine of $20.00 per outstanding form and for any outstanding monies.
A second notice of delinquency and warning of probation will be issued four weeks after the due date. This will carry a fine of $30.00 per outstanding form and $50.00 for any outstanding amount of monies.
If the violation and subsequent fines are not resolved within six weeks after the original due date, the National Council shall review the situation for consideration of additional disciplinary action against the Chapter.
Member Delinquencies (Form 20/21)
In the event a Collegiate Member fails to sign his/her form 20/21 Risk Management Agreement Form 20 Membership Agreement by the due date, the form will be considered late. The National Staff shall provide outreach in an effort to get the form signed. Chapters are responsible for working with their members to complete each form.
If the form is not signed within two weeks following the due date, the National Council shall review the situation for consideration of additional disciplinary action.
Members who have signed the Form 20 Membership Agreement in Fall 2013 (as Initiates or Brothers during that academic term) will not be required to sign Form 20 in any subsequent academic terms.
Failure to Attend Grand Chapter
Any Chapter that does not send an Official Delegate to Grand Chapter shall be fined $350 plus the cost of one full National Convention registration. Additionally, the Chapter will be placed on probation until Chapter has met the requirements set forth by the National Council.
The National Convention registration fee is exclusive of yearly fine totals. This is a result of the constitutional requirement of all Chapters being responsible for Grand Chapter registration and other fees for the Official Delegate.
Failure to Plan and/or Attend Regional Conference
Chapters are responsible for selecting a Regional Delegate who will be able to assist in the planning and execution of its respective Regional Conference, as well as ensuring that either the Regional Delegate or another Chapter representative attends the Regional Conference.
Any Chapter that does not assist in the planning of their respective Regional Conference and/or who does not send representation to its respective Regional Conference shall be referred to the National Council for consideration of disciplinary action.
The total monetary value of all fines due to the National Office shall not exceed $500 per academic year for any Chapter.
All Chapter fines received by the National Office shall be donated directly to the Phi Sigma Pi Leadership in Action Fund, unless otherwise directed by National Council.
Initiate Failure to Sign Form 20A/21A
In the event an Initiate fails to sign the Form 20form 20A/21A Risk Management Membership Agreement by the established due date, the National Staff will provide outreach in an effort to get the form signed.
If the Initiate has not signed the form Form 20A/21A one within two weeks after following the due date, the Initiate will be considered to have resigned from the Chapter’s Initiation Program. Any Initiate who resigns from the Initiation Program under this provision shall not be eligible to restart the Initiation Program until the following academic term semester/quarter.
The National Council may authorize an investigation (pursuant to the approved Investigation Procedures) of any Member and/or Chapter of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity after being notified of any inappropriate behavior and/or acts. All issues between two or more Chapters or questions of discipline that cannot be resolved on a Chapter level shall be reviewed and decided by the National Council. Action may proceed regardless of possible or pending administrative, civil, or criminal proceedings arising out of the same or other events.
Complaint and Fact Finding Proceedings
The National Council shall have thirty (30) days from the receipt of the complaint and appropriate materials to authorize, by a majority vote, a fact finding investigation. If the National Council does not authorize an investigation, the National Council will submit a statement of the process to the petitioning body.
Once an investigation has been authorized, each Member and/or Chapter under investigation shall be notified of the investigation procedures and the purpose behind the investigation. The National Staff shall have sixty (60) days to file a report with the National Council, or request an extension from the National Council. The National Staff shall provide bi-weekly investigation updates to the National Council and to the Chapter/Member being investigated.
After the Official Investigation Report has been filed with the National Council, the National Council will determine if further action is necessary. If no further action is required, the Member or Chapter will be notified.
If the National Council determines that further disciplinary action may be necessary, the alleged Member or Chapter shall have an opportunity to represent themselves against the allegations via a written statement. In the event of a Chapter being investigated, the Chapter will appoint one of its Active Members to represent the Chapter. These proceedings will have a time limit set by the National President or next highest ranking National Officer not the subject of the complaint.
Disciplinary action that can be taken by the National Council is listed in Article XIX: Disciplinary Actions of the National Council of the National Constitution. Phi Sigma Pi reserves the right to notify the proper sheltering institution authorities of the National Council’s decision regarding the charge(s) against a Collegiate Member and/or Collegiate Chapter and of the sanctions deemed appropriate for that Member and/or Chapter.
Within fourteen (14) days of the National Council’s rendered decision, the Senior Vice President shall send written notification to the party(s) charged. All notices shall be sent “certified mail” and “return receipt requested” as well as by e-mail, when possible. Notices for Members will be sent to their permanent address and to their current school address, if applicable. Notices for Chapters will be sent to the permanent addresses (and school addresses for Collegiate Chapters) of the Chapter President, Chapter Secretary, and Chapter Advisor(s).
If a Member or Chapter appeals a sanction, the terms of the rendered decision shall continue to be enforced. The Senior Vice President, or next highest ranking National Officer not sanctioned, shall serve as the representative of the National Council and National Office.
Sanction Appeal Board
The National Staff will provide the case history and a summary of the National Council’s rendered decision to the Sanction Appeal Board within fourteen (14) days of the appeal being filed.
The Sanction Appeal Board will have thirty (30) days, from receipt of the appeal from staff, to review the case, talk to the appealing Member/Chapter and/or National Council/Staff and make its final decision.
The Sanction Appeal Board will give prompt written notification to the appealing Member or Chapter and the National Council via the National Staff. This notification will list the reasons for its decision. If it is not unanimous, the dissenting Sanction Appeal Board representative may put his/her reasons for dissenting.
For the duration of any given on-going appeal, the Sanction Appeal Board should provide weekly updates to the Executive Director to ensure a timely resolution to the appeal request.
The National Council and official representatives of Phi Sigma Pi, when on Fraternity business, may be reimbursed on the mileage reimbursement found in the rate schedule, which is reviewed each fiscal year as part of the budget process. Tolls will also be reimbursed if receipts are provided. Prior authorization of travel by the National Office is required before reimbursement will be considered.
Collegiate National Dues
- Semester Schools: $60/semester (paid twice a year)
- Quarter Schools: $40/quarter (paid three times a year)
All New Collegiate Members: $95 (paid only once)
All Members who join a Collegiate Chapter during the charter semester/quarter: $88 charter fee (paid only once, non-refundable)
- Semester Schools: $3 per Member per semester (paid twice a year)
- Quarter Schools: $2 per Member per quarter (paid three times a year)
Certificate of Insurance Requests
Official requests for a certificate of insurance with additional insured(s) must be received by the National Office at least 45 days in advance of the due date.
- Cost to process- $250.00
Official requests for a general certificate of insurance must be received by the National Office at least 15 days in advance of the due date.
- Cost to process- None
If you are unsure of the type of certificate of insurance required, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
National Award Eligibility
- To be eligible to receive a National Award, Chapters must have all National Forms, Dues, Induction Fees, and outstanding debts reconciled before May 15 for semester schools and June 15 for quarter schools.
- To be eligible to receive a National Award, Alumni Chapters must have all National Forms, Dues, Fees, and outstanding debts reconciled before June 1.
- Chapters on probation or suspension for any portion of the academic year are ineligible to receive any National Awards for that academic year. However, the Chapter End-of-Semester/Quarter Report (Form 110) must be submitted regardless of whether or not the Chapter is eligible to receive a National Award.
- A Form 110 delinquent thirty (30) days or more shall not be considered for any National Awards. However, it will be reviewed for the status of the chapter. (Refer to the Awards and Scholarship Manual).
- Scholarship applicants may apply multiple times, but may only receive each scholarship once.
- Teach For America (TFA) Teacher Grant applicants may apply multiple times, but may only receive one grant per fiscal year (July – June).
- Applicants for Scholarships or Grants must submit the required materials by the following deadlines:
- Richard Cecil Todd & Clauda Pennock Todd Tripod Scholarship—April 15
- Rolla F. Wood Graduate Scholarship—April 15
- TFA Teacher Grant—rolling submission
- All applicants will be informed of receipt of their application.
- The recipients will be notified of their selection and will be publicly announced at the following National Convention Awards banquet.
- In addition to the eligibility requirements listed on each Scholarship/Grant application, the recipient shall be a Member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity in good standing with the Chapter and National Office.
Any mark owned by Phi Sigma Pi may be used by any Member, Association or Chapter without expressed written permission of the Fraternity, provided that the National Council does not find that the use conflicts with the purposes or image of Phi Sigma Pi. This in no way relinquishes control of the mark, and the National Council at any time may decide to revoke permission to use the mark. In this event, the National Staff will notify the Member, Association or Chapter that the inappropriate use must cease.
Any mark owned by Phi Sigma Pi may be used by any non-Member with the expressed written permission of the National Council. Permission must be applied to the National Council via the National Staff. This in no way relinquishes control of the mark, and the National Council at any time may decide to revoke permission to use the mark. In this event, the National Staff will notify the user that the inappropriate use must cease.
It is an expectation of membership that a Member will not use the name Phi Sigma Pi, any mark of Phi Sigma Pi, or any reference clearly meant to refer to his/her membership in Phi Sigma Pi, in any media context, including any type of Internet posting, in a manner that is in conflict with the ideals of the Fraternity.
Examples that are inconsistent with the ideals of Phi Sigma Pi include, but are not limited to:
- Explicit illegal drug references
- Explicit alcohol references, if underage
- Prejudiced/discriminatory speech of any kind
- Explicit reference to any other illegal behavior
- Lewd photographs or language
- Any language that libels another individual or group
National Council Standards
All appropriate candidates shall be provided with a copy of the National Council Standards and, if elected, shall adhere to all National Council Standards during their term of office.
Planning of National Events, including locations, budgeting, costs, contracts, programming and any additional needs shall be managed by the National Staff. National Council has the authority to set strategy to provide National Staff further guidance on any issues pertaining to event planning.
Expansion, Region Realignment, and Region Creation
The National Staff shall be responsible for expansion to and provision of on-going support of Collegiate Chapters to foster long-term sustainability. This shall include selecting prospective expansion locations, conducting the colonization process and providing additional support for newly chartered Chapters.
With the addition of new and reactivated Chapters, the National Staff shall also be responsible for realigning or creating new Regions. The National Council has the authority to set additional strategy to provide National Staff further guidance on expansion and Region realignment and creation.
The National Staff may modify down, combine, and eliminate any forms deemed unnecessary or redundant.
The National Staff shall be responsible for maintaining any technology needs used by the National Office. The National Council shall have the authority to make budgetary decisions related to technology needs, though product selection, purchases, and upkeep shall be at the discretion of the National Staff.
Phi Sigma Pi employs a professional staff managed by the Executive Director. National Staff, through the Executive Director, work at the direction of the National Council. As a result, Members, Chapters, and Associations are discouraged from publicly criticizing National Staff for policy or operational decisions.
Comments/concerns regarding the operations of the National Staff should be forwarded to the Executive Director. Those relating to personnel shall be forwarded in writing. If the concern pertains to the Executive Director, documentation should be sent to the National Council’s Personnel Committee via the National President or Vice President of Finance (constitutionally required participants on the Personnel Committee).
All comments/concerns will be addressed in an efficient manner. However, those concerns relating to personnel are confidential under the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and therefore, the manner in which they are addressed may not be shared.
If after contact with the Executive Director the concern still exists, the Member, Association or Chapter may directly contact the Personnel Committee of the National Council.
Any Chapter seeking to purchase, lease, or sub-lease property must first form a house corporation. Only house corporations may be the primary owner of property or leasing agent for housing properties associated with Phi Sigma Pi.
Chapters exploring housing should contact the Director of Risk Reduction and Education for advice and guidance through the documentation process.
Insurance coverage premiums will be assessed to the house corporation through the Phi Sigma Pi Insurance Coverage and the premium shall be paid to the National Office within that current coverage fiscal year.
Specific additional housing rules and risk management policies may enable a reduction in the cost of insurance premiums. Interested chapters should seek recommendations from the Insurance Provider with the assistance of the National Office.
If a house corporation wishes to seek outside insurance, all leased property must maintain at least the following insurance on that property:
- General Liability
- Directors and Officers Liability
- Property Contents Coverage
If a house corporation wishes to seek outside insurance, all owned real estate property must maintain at least the following insurance on that property:
- General Liability
- Directors and Officers Liability
Any Chapter that leases through a house corporation or any house corporation that owns property must submit the following documents to the National Office at the time the property is leased or purchased and each following academic term:
- Lease agreement between the Landlord and house corporation
- Proof of Landlord’s liability coverage on the property
- Lease agreement(s) between the house corporation and Member(s) living on the property
- Housing agreement between the house corporation and each Member of the Chapter
- Proof/Certificate of Insurance and Summary of Coverage
- Chapter Properties List
- Proof/Certificate of Renters Insurance as held by each Member living on the property or a declarations page from the renter’s parent’s homeowner’s policy if covered under there
- House and Event Risk Management Policy
This statement of policy is to be used as guidance in establishing and maintaining communication procedures through the National Office. In addition to the policies stated in this document, all other documents published by the National Council shall be considered the policy of the Council, and may only be altered by the National Council or another governing body, which is authorized by the Council to do so. These other documents include but are not limited to the “NOP,” and the “Human Resources (Employee) Handbook.”
The National Staff shall be responsible for overseeing the distribution of all official communications. 'Official communications' shall include but is not limited to nationally distributed emails, publications, mailings, national website content and online social networking accounts.
The National Council shall be responsible for providing messaging direction for official communication. The Executive Director shall be involved in any messaging discussions. National Council members may be invited to use any official accounts for individual officer communication purposes.
The following guidelines shall be used for communicating emergency related messages:
- Fraternal National Events: In the event of an emergency during a National Event, any communication shall adhere to the policies outlined in the National Risk Management Policy.
- Fraternal Crisis Management: In the event of an emergency outside of a National Event, any communication shall adhere to the policies outline in the Crisis Management Plan.
- Non-Fraternal Emergencies or Requests for Involvement: Due to the potential subjective nature of deciding which non-fraternal events are suitable for the Fraternity's involvement it is recommended that Phi Sigma Pi use extreme discretion when deciding if and/or when official communication sources are used to promote aide or action. In most situations there will be local, national or international organizations who are better qualified to react to these types of situations. Phi Sigma Pi shall not try to duplicate the work of these of organizations.
Electronic Media Communication
National Council may engage in discussion by various means, including, but not limited to: e-mail, e-mail listservs, forums, blogs, and social networking utilities ("channels"). When addressing a Member's inquiry related to the operation of the National Fraternity, National Officers shall clarify, via an explicit statement, that their response contains the personal opinion of the National Officer, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the National Council as a whole. Communication sent on behalf of the entire National Council shall be reviewed and approved by all National Council members. The National President is the official representative of the National Council, and may review the content of any official communication sent on behalf of the National Council to ensure consistent messaging and coordination with any communication undertaken by the National Staff.
The National Staff shall be responsible for overseeing the procurement of official accounts on online networks where possible and relevant. Good faith efforts should be made to have any existing accounts that appear to be official in name, fully transferred over to the National Office for administering and communication.
Phi Sigma Pi Staff shall not sell or release contact information to any non-Phi Sigma Pi entities without approval of the National Council. This shall include email, direct mail and online networks. This shall not apply to the sharing of member contact information between the National Office and Chapters or Associations.
The National Staff shall be responsible for managing any channels. National Staff may establish their own policies for this management and usage of these channels. National Staff shall be tasked with moderating these channels, as outlined in their policies, which may include content and membership review.
National Council Members may utilize these official channels with the permission of the National Council. National Council Members shall not overstep the role of the National Staff outlined in this document, which shall include moderation of members, moderation of content, or communicating in any way that interferes with the National Staff’s work with Members and Chapters. National Council Members shall allow the National Staff to address all questions that fall within the purview of the National Staff’s responsibilities. If there is uncertainty National Council Members should yield to the National Staff.
Delinquency and Disciplinary Communications
Any communications regarding delinquencies or disciplinary action shall adhere to policies outlined in the Chapter Violations Sanctions section of this document and the National Constitution.
National Policy Documents Changes to any National policy documents shall be uploaded to the Phi Sigma Pi website within 5 business days of approval or amending, when possible. National Staff shall be responsible for uploading or revising approved or amended documents to the national website and wiki (wiki.phisigmapi.org). Once documents have been uploaded, the National President and National Secretary shall be notified. The National Secretary will be responsible for confirming the accuracy of the document within 3 business days, when possible. Once documents have been uploaded and accuracy confirmed by the National Secretary, National Staff shall notify Chapter Presidents within 5 business days.
All documents created by National Council members for the purpose of official business shall be owned by Phi Sigma Pi. Any web based documents (e.g. Google Drive) shall reside in file structures managed by the National Office organization. Access and ownership rights to these documents shall at least be managed by a National Staff account member, though National Council members may be granted access as needed. Outgoing National Council members should have all access to internal documents transitioned to either National Staff and/or National Council within 30 days of vacating their respective office.
Storage and Authority of Documents
Governing documents shall be stored and available with the Toolbox and Wiki.
Investigation documents and materials shall be kept and archived for a minimum of 5 years. Additional documents should be kept and archived for a minimum 4 years. In regards to National Council members, it shall be the responsibility of the National Council member to transition all documents at the end of his/her term to National Staff or succeeding officer.
The National Secretary will be responsible for performing an annual audit of all governing documents posted online to ensure accuracy.
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