National Constituion Of Sigma Delta Mu

Article I. Name.

The official name of this society shall be SIGMA DELTA MU, National Honor Society in Spanish.

Article II. Purpose.

The purposes of this society are:

To honor those who seek and attain excellence in the study of the Spanish language and in the study of the literature and the culture of Spanish-speaking peoples;
To honor those who strive to make the Hispanic contribution to modern culture better known to the English-speaking peoples;
To encourage students in two-year colleges and in the first three semesters of four-year colleges and universities to acquire a greater interest in, and a deeper understanding of Hispanic culture; and
To foster friendly relations and mutual respect between the nations of Hispanic speech and those of English speech.

Article III. Membership.

Section 1. The Society shall receive into its membership, irrespective of membership in, or affiliation with, other honor, recognition, professional, service, or fraternal organizations, only those who attain its standards of high academic scholarship in Spanish and other subjects, or who give evidence of professional merit, proficiency, or distinction. The only basis of selection shall be the character and the scholastic or professional record of the candidate, and a genuine interest in things Hispanic. Membership shall be conferred in strict accordance with the standards of the Association of College Honor Societies.

Section 2. There shall be six classes of membership: active, alumnus, faculty, associate, honorary, and distinguished. The nominating chapter shall pay the national membership fee for each person initiated, regardless of category, and the membership certificate and the insignia shall be presented during the initiation ceremony.

Active Membership. This group shall consist of students who shall be selected on the basis of high scholarship in general and a certain high level of attainment in the academic study of Spanish. Specifically, they must meet the following requirements:
Each must have studied at least one semester of Spanish or the equivalent thereof at the college which grants membership, with a minimal grade-point average of 3.00 on a scale where “A” is assigned a value of 4.00, “B” a value of 3.00, etc.
The student must have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.00 on a scale where “A” is assigned a value of 4.00, “B” a value of 3.00, etc..
Alumnus Membership. This category shall be composed entirely of active members who have left college, but they shall revert to active membership if they return to college to continue their work. Alumni are welcome at all chapter meetings, and they may participate in the affairs of the chapter, but shall not be permitted to vote or hold office.
Faculty Membership. Members of the teaching staff who hold at least a baccalaureate degree and a rank below that of dean may be admitted as Faculty Members.
Associate Membership: Outstanding teachers of Spanish in elementary, middle, or high schools, public or private, may be admitted as Associate Members, as may administrators in these schools who demonstrate their devotion to our cause by introducing or encouraging and supporting Hispanic programs and the teaching of Spanish.
Honorary Membership. This class shall be controlled with the utmost care. The chapter shall see to it that no one is chosen who is not known as an earnestly interested supporter of things Hispanic. This class is not open to students nor to faculty below the rank of dean, unless they hold a doctoral degree. Members of the professions and vocations, such as judges, members of rabbis, engineers, artists, writers, and businessmen or women, may be granted Honorary Membership.
Distinguished Membership. To this class may be nominated members of any profession who have an outstanding professional reputation, who have contributed notably to the dissemination of Hispanic culture on a national or international scale, who have contributed to the improvement of friendly relations and mutual respect between the nations of Hispanic speech and those of English speech, and who would honor the Society by accepting membership. Election to Distinguished Membership can be sent to the President with detailed supportive documents. The President may require additional documentation if needed. When the nomination is complete, the President shall forward it to the Executive Council for consideration, and a two-thirds majority shall be required for election.

Article IV. Officers.

Section 1. National Officers. The national officers shall be the President, the Executive Secretary, the Immediate Past President, and Honorary Presidents.

Section 2. Regional Officers. The regional officers shall be a Vice President for the Northeast, a Vice President for the Southeast, a Vice President for the Midwest, a Vice President for the Southwest, and a Vice President for the West.

Section 3. State Officers. There shall be a Director for each state, but in California, New York, and Texas there may be two Directors in each.

Section 4. Editor. Artist. and Historian. An Editor, an Artist, and a Historian shall be appointed by the President for a three-year term to coincide with the President’s term. If the President chooses to perform the duties of any of these offices he may dispense with the nomination.

Article V. Executive Council.

The Executive Council shall be composed of the President, the Executive Secretary, the Immediate Past President, and the five Vice Presidents, and the President shall be the chairman.

Article VI. Election or Appointment of Officers.

Section 1. Term of Office. All officers, except the Honorary Presidents, shall hold office for three years or until the end of the triennium during which they were elected or appointed. They may all be re-elected or re-appointed for additional terms. The Honorary Presidents shall hold office for life.

Section 2. Election of National and Regional Officers. One-year prior to the holding of triennial convention, the President shall appoint an elective office to be filled. The President responsibilities shall be:

To request and receive nominations from each chapter for the offices of the President and for the Vice President for the region in which the chapter is located;
To request a curriculum vitae from each nominee who expresses a willingness to be considered;
To select from the nominations made by the chapters two candidates for each office solely on the basis of their qualifications, each of whom shall hold an A.M. or a doctoral degree;
To prepare ballots and send them together with a brief curriculum vitae for each candidate to each chapter;
To receive and count the ballots and them notify the Executive Secretary of the results of the voting. The Executive Secretary shall be selected by the members of The Executive Council, i.e., the Immediate Past President and the newly elected President and Vice Presidents.

Section 3. Honorary Presidents. There shall be no more than three Honorary Presidents, and they shall be elected for life by a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Council. Nomination may be made by any chapter or by any state, regional, or national officer. Only eminent Hispanists should be considered for this honor. This office does not qualify a person to be a member of the Executive Council, but he may be called on for advice. It is not a requirement of this constitution that there be any Honorary Presidents.

Section 4. State Directors. The President shall appoint a State Director for each state, possibly two for California, New York, Texas, and may call upon the Executive Secretary and the Vice Presidents for help in selecting the state officers. The State Directors shall serve for three years or until the end of the triennium in which they were appointed. If they serve well, they may be re-appointed for additional terms. National and regional officers may be chosen from a list of successful State Directors.

Section 5. Editor. The Editor, whose chief function shall be the editing of the Society’s official publications, shall be appointed by the President during the first month of the triennium in which he takes office. The Editor’s term is for three years or until the end of the triennium, and he may be re-appointed for additional terms. If the President finds other means for handling the official publications, he may dispense with the appointment of the Editor.

Section 6. Artist. The Artist, whose chief responsibility shall be the preparation of charters, certificates, and the like, shall be appointed by the President during the first month of the triennium in which he takes office. The artist’s term is for three years or until the end of the triennium, and he may be re-appointed for additional terms. If the President finds other means for the production of the necessary artwork, he may dispense with the appointment of the Artist.

Section 7. Historian. The Historian shall have the important task of gathering, organizing, recording, and filing all information that will be needed later for the writing of a complete history of Sigma Delta Mu. The Historian may be re-appointed for additional terms. If the President prefers to assume this responsibility, he may dispense with the appointment of the Historian.

Article VII. Duties of Officers.

Section 1. President. The President shall have the following basic responsibilities:
To recruit and arrange for the installation of new chapters;
To reactivate dormant chapters;
To appoint the Editor and supervise the official publications.
To Appoint the Artist and supervise the issuing of new certificates, their designs, and wording;
To appoint the Historian;
To serve as chairman of the executive Council;
To encourage and inspire Chapter Advisers, State Directors, and other officers to work devotedly and efficiently for the benefit of the Society;
To consult regularly with the Executive Council on maters of policy, approval of new chapters, and other matters requiring Council approval;
To represent the Society as its chief officer at important meetings or ceremonies, or to delegate someone to do so;
To initiate beneficial changes in the operations of the Society;
To keep in touch with the chapters through official publications or by other means to keep them informed concerning developments and opportunities available to them;
To investigate ways to encourage the membership by starting contests and by awarding prizes and scholarships;
To suggest activities for the chapters; and
To find new ways to serve the best interests of the Society.

Section 2. Executive Secretary. The Executive Secretary shall have the following basic responsibilities:
To receive all monies collected by the Society;
To receive initiation fees for new members and then send membership certificates, insignia, and other materials to the chapters;
To disburse all monies expended by the Society;
To have the Society’s accounts audited annually by a certified Public Accountant, unless the Society’s accounts are handled by the business office of the college, and to report the Society’s financial condition annually in its official publication;
To invest surplus funds in the most advantageous and secure manner possible, with the advice and consent of the executive Council;
To make arrangements for the triennial convention;
To present at the triennial convention a financial report covering the triennial just ending;
To keep a national register of all persons initiated;
To keep a record of all chapter initiations and to report all inactive chapters to the President;
To order jewelry, membership certificates, stationery, and other supplies;
To receive the results of national and regional elections, inform the candidates of the outcome, and report the results at the triennial convention;
To assist the other officers in the performance of their duties by furnishing information and by advising;
To assist chapters in their activities, if requested;
To consult on matters of policy when requested to do so by the President; and
To represent the Society before federal, state, and local authorities, and to handle all matters pertaining to taxes and the Internal Revenue Service.

Section 3. Regional Vice Presidents. The basic responsibilities of a Regional Vice President are the following:
To contact each chapter in his region to offer encouragement, advice and help, for he is the elected representative of these chapters;
To contact each two-year college in his region that offers Spanish and does not have a chapter of Sigma Delta Mu in an effort to found new chapters;
To vote on petitions for new chapters and other matters of importance in his capacity as a member of the Executive Council;
To keep in touch with, and guide, each State Director in his region in order to promote the progress of the Society by persuading more colleges to seek admission;
To seek ways to improve service to the Society’s membership; and
To report to the President regularly on his activities.

Section 4. State Directors. The basic responsibilities of State Director shall be the following:
To keep alive and active the established chapters in his state;
To recruit new chapters and to officiate at the installation, if the President requests;
To report to his regional Vice President on his activities, success, and failures regularly;
To offer him helpful suggestions; and
To collaborate with his Vice President in carrying out projects.

Article VIII. Replacement of Officers.

Section 1. National, Regional, and Other Officers. In the event of the death, resignation, or incapacitation of the President, the Executive Secretary shall assume his duties until the Executive Council can find and appoint a qualified member to fill this office until the end of the triennium. In the event of the death, resignation, or incapacitation of any other officer, elective or appointive, the President shall appoint, with the approval of the Executive Council, a successor to serve until the end of the triennium in progress at the time of the appointment. The Honorary Presidents constitute an exception to this practice, for they must be selected with the greatest of care, and elected.

Section 2. Removal of Officers. For causes of incompetence, lack of cooperation, inability to unwillingness to perform his duties properly, or lack of time to perform his duties, the President may suggest that any officer, other than an Honorary President, resign his position; or, failing in this, the President, with the approval of the Executive Council by a two-thirds majority vote, may declare the position vacant and appoint another member to fill it until the end of the triennium. In the case of an incompetent President, the Executive Secretary may initiate action to remove him from office by a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Council.

Article IX. National Convention and Meetings.

National conventions shall be of two kinds:

Those held triennially to which all members are invited and to which each chapter has the right to send one voting delegate, to which all officers are especially invited, and at which the Society’s business is conducted in formal sessions according to Robert’s Rule of Order;
Those conducted by mail at times between the national triennial meetings. In conventions by mail, each chapter shall receive full information of the business at hand and a ballot on which to register its vote. If a chapter fails to return its ballot by the announced deadline, it surrenders its vote to the Executive Council, which shall cast it in the best interest of the Society. If the designated voting delegate of a chapter is unable to attend a triennial convention, the chapter may give its proxy to the delegate of another chapter. The Executive Council may call a special national meeting in any year in which the national triennial convention is not held. Each chapter shall have the right to send a voting delegate to these meetings or to give its proxy to another chapter. The President may call a meeting of the Executive Council as needed, but generally such business shall be conducted by mail.

Article X. Faculty Advisor.

The faculty Chapter Advisor must be a member of Sigma Delta Mu and shall either be elected by members of the chapter or appointed by an administrative official of his college. The Advisor may be initiated as a Faculty Member at the time of his election or appointment as Advisor. The Advisor’s term shall be indefinite. The basic duties of the Advisor are:

To represent the chapter before the national organization and the college where the chapter is located;
To advise the chapter officers and other members, and supervise all activities of the chapter;
To attend all meetings of the chapter personally or by delegation of another faculty member who is also a member of the Society;
To supervise the admission of new members and make sure that all membership requirements are fully met;
To respond promptly to requests from the national, regional, and state officers for information on the chapter’s activities;
To maintain the active status of the chapter and coordinate a reasonable program of activities;
To see that the chapter maintains permanent records of members and activities, and that it meets its financial commitments to the national organization;
To assist chapter officers in making arrangements for initiation ceremonies and other activities;
To promote activities in cooperation with nearby chapter;
To see to it that no faculty member is allowed to serve as an officer of the chapter; and
.To inform the Executive secretary of any change in Advisers.

Article XI. Amendments.

The Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of all chapters voting at any triennial convention provided that written notice of any proposed amendment is sent to the Executive Secretary signed by at least five members of the Society at least sixty days prior to the meeting at which it is to be voted upon. The executive Secretary shall communicate the proposal to the chapters thirty days before that convention. Alternatively, such action may be taken by a mail convention.

BYLAWS

Article I. Chapters.

Section 1. Petitions. Any college, other than a vocational, technical, or career institution, that enjoys full and unconditional accreditation by its regional accrediting association and that, in the case of a two-year college, offers an associate degree and at least twelve semester hours of Spanish, or in the case of a four-year colleges and universities, at least a baccalaureate degree and twenty-four semester hours of Spanish, may petition the President for the authorization of a chapter. In four-year colleges and universities, Sigma Delta Mu shall operate in only the freshman year and first semester of the sophomore year. The President shall study the petition carefully to determine whether all requirements have been met and shall then make his recommendation to the Executive council, who, by a majority vote, shall accept or reject the petition. The petitioning college must submit:

A copy of the latest catalog, which must show a regular offering of at least twelve semester hours of Spanish, if a two-year college, or at least twenty-four semester hours of Spanish if a four-year college or university;
A list of at least three students to be charter members, students who must meet the qualifications set forth in Article III, Section 2, and the list must be accompanied by transcripts certified by the registrar;
A letter from the chairman of the department of Spanish and a letter from the appropriate dean, vice president, president, or provost, each expressing approval of the petition;
Names of staff members of the department of Spanish who are willing to serve as Advisers of the Proposed chapter; and
A check in the amount set by the Executive Council to defray the cost of the charter and other expenses incident to the installation of the chapter.
Section 2. Active Chapters. An active chapter shall be one which holds elections to membership at least annually, except in national emergencies, and includes active student members. An inactive chapter shall be one in which no elections have been held during a two-year period.

Section 3. Revocation of a Chapter Charter. A charter may be revoked by a majority vote of the Executive Council for any of the following causes:

If the chapter has held no elections for a period of five years.
If the chapter does not conduct its affairs in accordance with the Constitution and the Bylaws of the National Society.
If a college makes demands upon the local that are at variance with the Constitution or the Bylaws of the National Society.
If the chapter, after repeated requests, to pay legitimate debts owed the national treasury for members initiated.
Section 4. Reactivation. A chapter which has become inactive or whose charter has been revoked may be reinstated by a majority vote of the Executive Council upon receipt of a petition which gives evidence of the restoration of normal conditions, the assurance of their continuance, and the agreement to conform to all provisions of the Society’s constitution and bylaws.

Article II. Dues.

Section 1. Charter Fee. Before each new chapter is approved, it must pay a charter fee in an amount determined by the Executive Council.

Section 2. Membership Dues. For each member initiated into Sigma Delta Mu, the chapter into which he is initiated shall pay a specified membership with all the privileges of membership, a membership certificate, and the insignia in the form of a gold plated pin. The payment of the fee applies to all categories: active, Faculty, Associate, Honorary, and Distinguished. Alumnus members have already paid the fee and so are not required to pay again when they affiliate with a local chapter. The membership fee is normally paid by the new initiates themselves, and all fees must be sent to the Executive Secretary before the candidates are initiated. The fee may be changed at the discretion of the Executive Council, subject to approval of the chapters.

Section 3. Local Dues. Each chapter shall determine the amount of local dues, if any, to be assessed chapter members. The Society recommends very modest fees, and urges chapters to engage in fund-raising activities to build up a local treasury.

Article III. Amendments.

The bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of all chapters voting at any triennial convention provided that written notice of any proposed amendment is sent to the Executive Secretary signed by at least five members of the Society at least sixty days prior to the meeting at which it is to be voted upon. The Executive Secretary shall communicate the proposal to the chapters thirty days before that convention. Alternatively, such action may be taken by a mail convention.

Article IV. Disposition of Assets.

If Sigma Delta Mu should ever be dissolved, all assets shall be transferred to Sigma Delta Pi if that society is still active; otherwise, to another like non-profit organization which is tax exempt under Article 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code or such similar provision as shall be in effect.

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