Difference between revisions of "National Operating Policies"

From PhiSigmaPiWiki
(added template and category)
(Updated National Dues to reflect current dues figures)
Line 127: Line 127:
=== National Dues ===
=== National Dues ===
Semester Schools: $54/semester (paid twice a year)
Semester Schools: $57/semester (paid twice a year)
Quarter Schools: $36/quarter (paid three times a year)
Quarter Schools: $38/quarter (paid three times a year)
=== Induction Fees ===
=== Induction Fees ===

Revision as of 13:42, 8 June 2011

National Operating Policies
formerly known as the Fraternal Governance Document
last amended December 8, 2010


The National Operating Policies (NOP) of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity are intended to govern all activities, operations, and management issues of the National Office. No chapter or association shall establish policy, procedures or guidelines that are not consistent with this document and the National Constitution. The National Council is authorized to decide all questions regarding Operating Policies & Procedures intent, purpose, or interpretation. Changes to the NOP must be approved by a majority vote of the National Council.

The National Headquarters welcomes your comments concerning all policies of Phi Sigma Pi. Please contact us at 2119 Ambassador Circle, Lancaster, PA 17603, or (717) 299-4710.

Chapter Violations

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 with the exception of forms 20/21 and 20A/21A (Brotherhood Risk Management Agreement), the National Headquarters shall send a notice of delinquency two weeks following the due date to the chapter president and the officer(s) pertinent to the violation (i.e., for forms, the secretary; for monies, the treasurer). This letter will be accompanied by a fine of $20.00 per outstanding form and for any outstanding monies.

A second letter of delinquency and warning of probation will be issued four weeks after the first late notice. 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 may discuss taking disciplinary action against the chapter.

In the event a member / prospective member submits a late or incomplete form 20/21 or form 20/21A the chapter shall be placed on probation. Probation may be lifted by National Council upon full completion and submission of these delinquent forms.

If the form 20/21 or form 20/21A violation is not resolved within two weeks after the original due date the chapter shall be placed on national suspension and their Initiate program shall not continue until the chapter's suspension has been lifted.

Any Chapter whose Initiate program is suspended shall refund any locally set fees to prospective members in their program at that time. That National organization may refund any collected nationally set Initiate fees to prospective members via the Chapter treasury. Refunds shall not be distributed to prospective members who fail to sign their Form 20/21A.

The total monetary value of all fines owed by a chapter at any given time shall not exceed $500.

Any chapter that does not send a delegate to Grand Chapter shall be fined $350 plus the cost of one convention registration and placed on probation until the total fine is paid in full and the chapter has met the requirements set forth by the National Council. The convention registration fee shall not be counted towards the maximum $500 fine limit.

All Chapter fines will be donated directly to the Richard Cecil Todd and Clauda Pennock Todd Tripod Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Member Violations

In the event of a Member failing to sign off on the chapter's form 20/21 by the due date they shall be placed on national probation and shall be ineligible to be a 'big Brother' for a prospective member for that quarter or semester.

In the event of a Member failing to sign off on the chapter's form 20/21 within two weeks of the original due date that Member shall be placed on national suspension. Any member placed on national suspension for failure to sign off on their chapter's form 20/21 shall also be removed from any elected office for a duration of two consecutive semesters or three quarters and shall be ineligible to be a 'big Brother' for any prospective member for a duration of two consecutive semesters or three quarters.

In the event of a prospective member failing to sign off on the form 20A/21A they shall be removed from the Initiation program.

Initiate Holdover Policy

An entire Initiate class may not be held over because the morale of the Initiate class will drop significantly, which may be considered hazing. Many university or college policies may prohibit holdovers and may also set time constraints on initiation programs. Please refer to the institution’s student handbook or consult with the appropriate university or college official for more information. Chapters are also required to submit new member information forms and all Induction Fees/Dues by the established due dates for semester and quarter schools. (Amended 6/12/2008)


Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity will not tolerate the harassment of any of its members at fraternity events. Harassment is any behavior that intimidates, threatens, or degrades an individual regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.

Reporting Harassment Complaints

Every member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity shall be treated with dignity, trust, and respect. If this does not occur, the following is available for recompense.

Any Member who feels treated with a lack of dignity, trust, and/or respect, should immediately report the matter to an appropriate fraternity official. Phi Sigma Pi shall investigate all such reports and deal with them swiftly, fairly, and with sensitivity.

Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to expulsion or dismissal. No matter who initially learns of the purported harassment, it is that individual’s responsibility to report the incident to the appropriate chapter and/or national authorities. However, if the allegations involve members from another chapter, alumni, National Staff, or National Council Members, the national authorities should be notified first. Chapter authorities are the advisors and president or the highest-ranking officer not involved in the allegations. National authorities are the Senior Vice President or the highest-ranking officer not involved in the allegations, Executive Director, Director of Member Services or Region Consultant.

Filing Harassment Complaints

A harassment complaint should be a written and signed statement setting forth the details of the alleged conduct. Complainants will be assisted in the preparation of the statement by the chapter or national authorities receiving it. The substance of the complaint shall be discussed in confidence, and the manner in which the complaint will be handled shall be explained. For complaints involving only members or initiates of a specific chapter, the chapter authorities should handle the matter first. In all other instances and if a party involved at the chapter level requests, the national authorities shall have jurisdiction.


The National Council shall 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 Investigation Proceedings

The National Council shall have five (5) days from the receipt of the appropriate materials to authorize, by a majority vote, a disciplinary investigation. If the National Council does not authorize a disciplinary investigation, the National Council will submit a statement of the process to the petitioning body within ten (10) days.

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 thirty (30) days to file a report with the National Council, or request an extension from the National Council.

Sanction Proceedings

After the investigation report has been filed with the National Council, the accused Member and/or Chapter shall have an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges via a written statement. In the event of a Chapter being investigated, the Chapter will appoint one of its active Brothers to represent the Chapter. These proceedings will have a time limit set by the National President or next highest ranking National Officer not under charges.

Disciplinary action that can be taken by the National Council is listed in Article XIX 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 Member and/or Chapter and of the sanctions deemed appropriate for that Member and/or Chapter.

Within ten (10) days of the decision of the National Council, 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 and school addresses of the chapter president, chapter secretary, and chapter advisor(s).

Sanction Appeal

A Chapter or Member may appeal a National Council sanction within thirty (30) days of receipt of sanction notice. The appeal shall be heard at the next regularly scheduled Grand Chapter meeting. The Member and/or Chapter shall comply with the terms of the National Council decision until the appeal is heard. The Senior Vice President, or next highest ranking National Officer not under charges, shall serve as the representative of the National Office. The Member and/or Chapter may appeal a decision to the Grand Chapter only once.

A Member and/or Chapter may appeal based on the following reasons:

  1. A substantial procedural error that unreasonably impaired the Member and/or Chapter or the National Council.
  2. New evidence of a substantive nature not available at the original hearing.
  3. Evidence of substantial bias on the part of the National Council at the time of the original hearing.

The Member and/or Chapter will contact the National Office in writing with the appeal and the reason for it, addressed to the Grand Chapter.

Sanction Appeal Board

Appeals from decisions of the National Council will be referred to the Sanction Appeal Board. The purpose of the Sanction Appeal Board will be to investigate the validity of an appeal from decision of the National Council and make recommendations to the Grand Chapter prior to the Grand Chapter hearing the appeal.

Sanction Appeal Board will consist of three members:

  • Past national officer (appointed by National Council)
  • Alumni at large (randomly selected from a pool)
  • Active Member (randomly selected from a pool)

The past national officer will be appointed at the beginning of each new National Council term. The Alumni at large and Active Member positions shall be randomly selected from the pool of members selected by the Grand Chapter. The pool for each position shall be composed of five members. No pool shall have more than one member from the same collegiate chapter. This selection shall be done in an agreed upon manner that ensures a random result. The National Council may remove by unanimous consent one or more members if there is a conflict of interest with a specific appeal and a new member will be chosen from the pool or appointed in the case of past national officers. Upon appointment the members of the Appeal Board will be sworn to maintain objectivity and confidentiality.

The National Staff will provide to the Appeal Board within fifteen (15) days of the appeal being filed the history of the case and a summary of the Council’s decision.

The Appeal Board will have thirty (30) working days to review the case, talk to the appealing Member and/or National Council/Staff and make the final recommendations.

The Appeal Board will then give written notification to the appealing Member and/or Chapter and the National Council/Staff. This notification will list the reasons for the recommendation. If it is not unanimous, the dissenting member may put their reasons for dissenting.

Recommendations can be one of the following:

  • An appeal should be heard.
  • An appeal should not be heard based on the appeal criteria.

The Appeal Board will present its recommendation to the Grand Chapter prior to the Grand Chapter deciding whether or not it will hear the Member and/or Chapter’s appeal.

In the event a representative is not present, this information will be presented by the Senior Vice President or highest ranking National Officer not under charges.

Appeal Hearings

All hearings shall be held in executive session, and therefore only open to the following: the representative(s) of a Chapter and/or Member charged, and Members of the National Office and Grand Chapter Delegates/Alternates.

The Grand Chapter will hear the appeal, unless it moves not to hear the appeal, at its next full business meeting, with the appeal placed on the agenda at the discretion of the National President.

When a Chapter is appealing to the Grand Chapter, no teleconference will be allowed since each chapter must send at least one delegate to all Grand Chapter business meetings. Standard travel reimbursements and registrations costs shall apply.

At the hearing, discussion will be formal and held in a format similar to “challenging the decision of the chair.” A member of the Council will state the case against the Chapter and/or Member. The appealing Chapter delegate and/or Member will speak second.

Points of information, to the Council or Appealing Chapter Delegate and/or Member, will be allowed. The appealing Chapter and/or Member will then leave the meeting while the body deliberates. Deliberation will consist of a standard PRO/CON format until debate is ended. The National President shall preside over the meeting unless s/he chooses to pass the gavel to the Senior Vice President. At the end of the hearing, the governing body will either:

  • Uphold the previous decision.
  • Pass a modified version of the previous decision [requires two-thirds (2/3) vote], or
  • Reject the previous decision [requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote].

Upon completion of the hearing, the Chapter and/or Member will be expected to immediately comply with the decision.

Mileage Reimbursement

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 at the beginning of 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 Headquarters is required before reimbursement will be considered.

Dues and Fees

National Dues

Semester Schools: $57/semester (paid twice a year) Quarter Schools: $38/quarter (paid three times a year)

Induction Fees

All New Members: $95 (paid only once)

Charter Fees

All members who join a chapter during the charter semester/quarter: $80 charter fee (paid only once, non-refundable)

Alumni Membership

Alumni membership is automatically bestowed on any Active or Inactive Member in good standing that graduates from the sheltering institution in which they were initiated or who leaves the sheltering institution and would have to reapply to regain admission to the college in which they left. If the Active or Inactive Member owes money, is late with forms or reports, or is the subject of any disciplinary action (i.e. not in good standing) they will not be considered an Alumni Member. Likewise, if they have left or graduated from the college or university they cannot be considered Active Members. Amended 6/12/2008

National Event Location

The National Council will determine the location of National Events on the basis of accessibility, location, cost, and quality of accommodations. In selecting site locations, efforts will be made over time to vary the impact of travel expense on members attending from the various regions of the United States. Amended 2/10/2007

Grand Chapter Delegate

The Grand Chapter delegate should be selected and reported to the National Headquarters no later than two weeks prior to the scheduled Grand Chapter meeting. Amended 6/12/2008

National Awards

The National Council presents awards annually to the Collegiate Chapters in good standing that best uphold the ideals of Phi Sigma Pi. The National Awards are as follows:

The Joseph Torchia Outstanding Chapter Award is the first, oldest, and most prestigious of the National Awards. Chapters are evaluated for this award on the basis of overall chapter activities as they strive to achieve a balance of scholarship, leadership and fellowship.

The C.H. McClure Single Service Award is presented to a collegiate chapter for an outstanding service project benefiting Teach For America. Each chapter may choose an exemplary service project that they have successfully completed during the past year and write a detailed summary of the project to be included with the spring Chapter End-of-Semester/Quarter Report (Form 110).

The Charles W. Chance Alumni Award is presented to the chapter that excels in alumni relations based upon such areas as sound communication, financial support, and alumni participation in chapter events.

The Sanders P. McComsey Most Improved Old Chapter Award and the Clarence O. Williams Most Improved New Chapter Award are presented to the chapters that have demonstrated the most overall improvement from the preceding year. A new chapter is defined as a chapter that has been active up to and including four (4) National Fraternity fiscal years. An old chapter is defined as a chapter that has been active for five (5) or more National Fraternity fiscal years (i.e., A chapter inducted in Fall 2008 or Spring 2009 is a new chapter through the 2013-2014 fiscal year).

The Steven A. DiGuiseppe Administrative Award is presented to the collegiate chapter(s) that maintains the highest efficiency in administrative detail. Criteria for evaluation includes the manner in which the chapter conducts its communication with the National Headquarters as well as with officials of the college or university where the chapter has been chartered, and whether or not the chapter exhibits consistency in carrying out its administrative affairs.

The Jeffrey L. Johnson National Fellowship Award has been established so that chapters and individuals that have exhibited outstanding examples of fellowship towards and with other chapters may be recognized and honored. Chapters and individuals may only be nominated by the official vote and recognition of their fellow chapters and/or National Council. Though up to two awards may be given each year, an award does not have to be bestowed every year. By this means, the National Council and the nominating chapters are charged with honoring only the most deserving. Amended 7/26/06.

The Dr. Eldo L. Hendricks Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Programming has been established to recognize chapters that have provided exceptional education, cultural and leadership programs benefiting their members and the community in which they live. Up to three awards may be given each year, but an award does not have to be presented every year.

The Claude A. Phillips Award is presented to a collegiate chapter for an outstanding fellowship event. Each chapter may choose an exemplary fellowship event that they have successfully completed during the past year and write a detailed summary of the project to be included with the spring Chapter End-of-Semester/Quarter Report (Form 110).

National Awards Guidelines

  1. Any National Forms, Dues and/or Induction Fees that are required by the National Headquarters and are received after their respective due dates will be subject to consideration for all awards presented by the National Council. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)

National Scholarships

The Richard Cecil Todd and Clauda Pennock Todd Tripod Scholarship is the first and oldest National Scholarship awarded to undergraduate members. This scholarship is awarded to undergraduate members who have excelled in embodying the ideals of the Tripod.

The Rolla F. Wood Graduate Scholarship is a National Scholarship awarded to Brothers who have excelled in undergraduate studies and are continuing their education in graduate school.

National Scholarship Guidelines

  1. The award recipient shall be a member of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity in good standing with the chapter and National Office.
  2. The applicant may apply multiple times, but may only receive the scholarship once.
  3. All applicants must submit the required materials to the National Office by April 15.

The recipients will be announced at the following National Convention Awards banquet.

National Endowment Fund

Subrosa Endowment Fund

The Subrosa Endowment Fund is to provide financial support to Brothers in need. This endowment fund shall be awarded on a per case basis and when financially possible to applicants granted funds by the National Council.

Lamp of Knowledge Fund

The Lamp of Knowledge Fund was passed by the National Council in July 2007 and formally chartered into existence during Grand Chapter business in August 2007. The purpose of the fund is to increase member participation in leadership training, national events, and philanthropic activity specifically including Teach For America. Disbursement of monies from the fund will be evaluated by the National Council each year by February 15th. The immediate intention of the National Council is to use these funds to improve training and attendance at National Convention, and to increase grants for Phi Sigma Pi alumni that join the Teach For America corps. Amended 6/12/2008

Handbook Policy

All Initiates shall receive a copy of the Phi Sigma Pi National Handbook, The Scholar's Province, at the beginning of the chapter initiation program. The number of handbooks used by Initiates during a specific semester/quarter will be replaced by the National Headquarters at the beginning of the following semester/quarter.

Mark Policy

Any mark owned by Phi Sigma Pi may be used by any Member 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 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

Amended 8/8/2007

Membership Pin Policy

Each new member shall receive an Official Phi Sigma Pi Membership Pin. National Council Election Rules All appropriate candidates shall be provided with a copy of the National Council Standards and shall adhere to all National Council Standards from the time of declaring candidacy until completion of elections.

Personnel Process

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 Personnel Chair of the National Council.

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 persistence of the concern exists, the member or chapter may directly contact the Personnel Chair of the National Council.

Chapter Housing

Any Chapter may lease or sub-lease property through an established house corporation. Only house corporations may be the primary owner of property or leasing agent for properties viewed as Phi Sigma Pi housing. Chapters exploring Housing should contact the Director of Member Services 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
  • Property

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

Communication Policy

The purpose of this Communication Policy is to outline the responsibilities and processes for creating and distributing external official communications of Phi Sigma Pi. This shall cover communication from any official representative of Phi Sigma Pi; National Council and its National Officers, member of National Staff and communications of the National Office. Communication of the National Council or individual National Officers to members of the National Staff shall adhere to policies outlined in the National Council Standards.


The Executive Director 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 communication purposes at the discretion of the Executive Director and National President.

Emergency Communications

The following requirements shall be followed for communication relating to emergencies;

  • Fraternal National Events In the event of an emergency at a National Event any communication shall adhere to the policies outlined in the National Event 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 or causes 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.

Account Ownerships

The Executive Director 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 shall not sell or turn over access to contact information of any members 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.

Delinquency and Disciplinary Communications

Any communications regarding delinquencies or disciplinary action shall adhere to policies outlined in the Chapter Violations section of this document.

Glossary of Terminology

Active Member – A collegiate Member who has been formally inducted into the fraternity and is a member in good standing.

Adviser – An alumni of the fraternity and/or a faculty member from the sheltering institution who counsels the Chapter.

Alumna – The singular term for a female member of a fraternity who has graduated or is no longer in college.

Alumnae – The plural form for alumna (Pronounced alum-nee.)

Alumni – The plural form for alumnus or a combined group of alumnus and alumna (Pronounced alum-neye.)

Alumni Chapter - Comprised solely of Alumni and/or Honorary Members who are no longer students at the sheltering institution in which they were inducted. The chapter name is determined by the geographical region of the chapter. Chapters are required to submit yearly reports to the National Office and be represented at Grand Chapter sessions.

Alumni Association – Comprised solely of Alumni and/or Honorary Members who are defined by their geographical region and serve as a support system for Chapters located in their region. Associations are not required to submit yearly reports and do not have representation at Grand Chapter sessions.

Alumnus – The singular term for a male member of a fraternity who has graduated or is no longer in college.

Bid – An invitation to join the initiation program.

Brother – The title bestowed upon any individual, man or woman, inducted into the fraternity. Chapters may use alternate titles such as “Member” or “Brothers and Sisters.” This term should always be capitalized.

Bylaws – The local governing document supplementing the National Constitution.

Censure - A judgment involving condemnation; the act of blaming or condemning sternly; an official reprimand. A written reprimand for violation of a specific rule, including the possibility of more severe disciplinary sanction in the event of a violation of Phi Sigma Pi’s National Constitution. Censure does not restrict a chapter’s or member’s privileges in any manner.

Ceremonies – All official Phi Sigma Pi ceremonies should be capitalized when referred to by their official names. The official ceremonies are:

  • Pinning Ceremony
  • Big Brother Ceremony
  • The Ritual: Formal Induction Ceremony
  • Meeting Commencement Ceremony
  • Officer Installation Ceremony
  • Alumni Ritual
  • National Officer Oath of Office

Chapter - Either an alumni or a collegiate chapter. The term “chapter” may be used by itself when the type of chapter has been clearly stated in a previous sentence or paragraph. “Chapter” should be capitalized when following a chapter name or when referring to a specific chapter (i.e. Zeta Zeta Chapter)

Chapter Operating Policies - Chapter operation rules and procedures not listed in the chapter’s bylaws (i.e., dues and fines structure).

Collegian – Term signifying a member of a particular chapter on a college campus (i.e. She is a collegian at Zeta Zeta Chapter.)

Collegiate – Term describing a Member or Chapter (i.e. His collegiate chapter is Nu.)

Collegiate Chapter - A chapter comprised of undergraduate members.

Controlled Substances - Any drug so designated by law whose availability is restricted (i.e., so designated by Federal or State Controlled Substances Acts).

Expulsion - The permanent termination of all rights and privileges of membership in Phi Sigma Pi.

Fraternal Word – The Fraternal greeting, it is secretly known only to members of Phi Sigma Pi and must never be shared with non-members.

Fraternity – A society for men and women who are students at a college or university, with a name consisting of individually pronounced Greek letters.

Grand Chapter – Refers to an assembly of delegates comprised of the National Officers, representatives of each Collegiate Chapter, representatives of each Alumni Chapter, and representatives of the National Alumni Association.

Grand Chapter Conference – Refers to the annual meeting in which discussion and debate over Fraternity business, including amendments to our National Constitution and the election of the National Council Officers.

Grand Chapter Delegate – The representative from a chapter who votes in place of his/her respective chapter during the Grand Chapter Conference. The delegate’s role is to advocate on behalf of the chapter’s membership and in accordance with the chapter’s best interests. The selection of delegates requires that the chapter make well-known their stance on issues related to Constitutional Amendments and preferences for National Council Candidates.

Grip – The Fraternal handshake, it secretly known only to Members of Phi Sigma Pi and must never be shared with non-members.

Honorary Membership - Membership reserved for individuals who have demonstrated the highest qualities of scholarship, leadership, and fellowship through service to the fraternity or their community. Individuals who meet the qualifications or have potential to meet the qualifications of Active Membership are not eligible for Honorary Membership. Currently enrolled undergraduate students have the opportunity of attaining at least a 3.00 GPA and seeking membership at established chapters or taking the initiative to establish a new chapter at institutions not represented by Phi Sigma Pi. These individuals are not eligible for Honorary Membership. Honorary Members do not participate in an initiation program and are not considered Active Members of a chapter, and therefore pay no dues.

Incorporated – The legal status permitting an organization to operate as a nonprofit organization.

Initiate - On a national level, this term shall be used by members and chapters to refer to individuals who are formally engaged in a Phi Sigma Pi Chapter Initiation program.

Letter Day – Officially declared as the fourteenth day of each month in which the wearing of clothing in purple, gold, and white (with or without the three Greek letters) is encouraged by the National Council.

Member – Refers to all Members of the National Fraternity. The term “Member” should be capitalized when used to refer to a Member of Phi Sigma Pi or when referring to a specific group of members.

National Alumni Association – Refers to the umbrella entity that includes members Alumni Chapters, Alumni Associations, and alumni-at-large. Members of the NAA pay yearly dues to the National Office, which in turn support Phi Sigma Pi scholarships, grants, regional conferences and support services.

National Constitution – The governing document of the fraternity.

National Convention – Refers to the annual Phi Sigma Pi National Event comprised of the Grand Chapter Conference and National Awards Banquet. This event brings members together for a weekend of activity, fellowship, and personal growth.

National Council – Elected to serve two year terms by the Grand Chapter, this volunteer Board of Directors oversees the National Fraternity’s business when Grand Chapter is not in session.

National Fraternity - The entire organization (Grand Chapter, National Council, National Staff, Collegiate Chapters, and Alumni Chapters).

National Headquarters - The physical location where the National Staff works.

National Office - The National Staff and the National Council.

National Staff - The paid, professional staff of the National Fraternity, hired to manage the fraternity services and administrative aspects of Phi Sigma Pi.

Nationally Inactive Members - Members not in residence who are exempt from paying National Dues.

The Phi Sigma Pi Foundation – Refers to the non-profit philanthropic body of Phi Sigma Pi.

Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity - The entire organization (Grand Chapter, National Council, National Staff, Collegiate Chapters, and Alumni Chapters) and the official name of this organization.

Probation - A period of trial and testing. This is also a period in which any deficit or violation is to be made good or corrected to avoid more severe action. A chapter who places a member on probation should restrict that member’s privileges accordingly. Additional restrictions may occur depending on the circumstances warranting the probation. The length of probation will last until the chapter/member has proven that the situation calling for probation has been corrected to the satisfaction of the National Council or the chapter, whoever initiated the period of probation.

Removal of a National Officer - A National Officer charged with violating the National Constitution, malfeasance or misfeasance in office, or violating any other national policies shall be disciplined in accordance with the Sanction Proceedings established by the National Council. The National Officer may be removed from office if found guilty by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the remaining National Council Officers or by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Grand Chapter.

Revoking a Charter - The loss of all rights and privileges of a chapter and the physical removal of the chapter’s charter and official fraternity material.

The Ritual – The primary element distinguishing Phi Sigma Pi from all other organizations. It is the principal link that unites all Members of Phi Sigma Pi. The Ritual should be conducted only in the presence or view of Phi Sigma Pi Members in a room of proper atmosphere. It is the most prominent of several ceremonies known in secret only to members of the fraternity.

Rush – The recruitment drive offering members and prospective members the opportunity to get to know each other. The prelude to an Initiation program.

The Scholar’s Province - The official handbook of Phi Sigma Pi meant to be used by the Initiates as a resource, guide, and study book during the initiation program to teach the Initiates the National Fraternity’s history and ideals, membership obligations, services provided by the National Headquarters, and common ties that unite all chapters of Phi Sigma Pi.

The Shingle – Phi Sigma Pi’s official membership certificate. It is presented to newly inducted Brothers after being signed by the National President and National Secretary.

Subrosa - A term used to identify an event/meeting, or part thereof, which is closed to the public, in which it is mandated that the happenings of the event/meeting are known only to the Brothers present. Subrosa, meaning “under the rose,” designates that anything said or done is to be held sacred and to remain confidential.

Suspension - A temporary period of time during which the chapter/member shall be barred from all the rights and privileges of membership. During this period, the chapter on suspension may meet to remedy the situation, as long as this is not in conflict with university regulations; however, no service, fundraising, social, recruiting or other types of chapter-sponsored activities may be planned or completed. The member on suspension may not participate in any chapter activities. The length of suspension will depend upon the circumstances of the situation. Although temporary, the length of suspension may be indefinite. Probation is not necessarily a prerequisite to suspension. The chapter or member will be notified of the suspension by the Senior Vice President with a certified letter.

Teach For America – Phi Sigma Pi’s National Philanthropy.

Transfer Members – An active member who transfers to a new chapter. Transfer members shall be inducted through the use of The Ritual, which may be conducted at the Chapter’s discretion.

Governing Documents
National Constitution · National Operating Policies · National Risk Management Policy · National Council Standards