Constitution & Bylaws
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Name, Purpose and Organization
SECTION 1. Name: The name of the organization shall be Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society.
SECTION 2. Purpose: The purpose of the Society shall be to promote high scholarship; to encourage sincere and zealous endeavor in all fields of knowledge and service; to cultivate a high order of personal living; and to develop an appreciation for scholarly work and scholarly endeavor in others.
(A) The National Organization composed of National Officers and member chapters and their officers;
(B) The Executive Council of the National Organization composed of the President, Vice President, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Assistant Secretary, the Immediate Past President, three elected members, one elected student member, and any Emeriti.
SECTION 4. Affiliations/Memberships: The Society shall maintain membership in the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS).
SECTION 5. Incorporation: The Society shall be a not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of South Carolina.
SECTION 1. Location: A chapter may be established at any four year degree-granting college or institution which is fully accredited by an appropriate national or regional accrediting agency. When a branch institution has operated under an accredited institution and later separates from its parent institution, the branch institution will not be eligible to receive a charter until it is accredited by the appropriate accrediting agency.
SECTION 2. Petition for a Charter for Chapter Membership: A petition for a charter for chapter membership shall be signed by a minimum of seven petitioning juniors and seniors with a cumulative scholarship average which meets the requirements for membership. The petition must be signed by the President and Academic Dean of the College or University also. All petitions for the establishment of chapters shall be presented to the Executive Council that shall ascertain whether the institution and members of the proposed chapter are qualified for such membership according to the provisions of this Constitution. If the findings of the Executive Council are in the affirmative, the petition shall then be submitted to the active chapters for approval. A three-fourths vote of the active member chapters shall authorize the establishment of the chapter by the Executive Council. The vote of an active member chapter that fails to reply within a period of sixty days after the petition has been received shall be counted affirmative. A three-fourths vote of the active members of a chapter shall be necessary for the chapter vote on the petition to be affirmative otherwise it shall be negative.
SECTION 3. Charter: The authorization of a chapter, according to the provisions of ARTICLE II, Section 2, shall carry with it the issuance of a charter by the National Executive Secretary-Treasurer. The charter shall read as follows:
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Be it known that a charter for the establishment of___________________ Chapter of Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society is hereby granted to the persons designated below as charter members, conveying to them and their duly elected associates and successors all the rights and privileges conferred in the Constitution of the Society.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the signatures of the National President and the Executive Secretary-Treasurer and hereunto affixed on this, the _____________ day of _____________________ in the year of our Lord ______________________.
SECTION 4. Chapter Name: The chapters shall be named with Greek letters in alphabetical order according to the time of the installations; the first chapter being named Alpha Alpha, and the second Alpha Beta, etc. This shall not apply to original charter chapters which may retain their own combination of Greek letters.
SECTION 5. Fees: No chapter shall be authorized or established and no charter shall be issued to a chapter except upon the payment of proper fees as prescribed by the ByLaws.
SECTION 6. Chapter Officers: The chapter officers shall include a president, secretary-treasurer, faculty or staff advisor (some of whose duties will be to keep an accurate record of the chapter so as to insure continuity of activities, to keep safely chapter files, and to facilitate correspondence and contacts with the National Office), and such other officers as the chapter constitution may provide.
SECTION 7. Chapter Constitution: Each chapter is empowered to adopt a chapter Constitution and ByLaws, in keeping with the provisions and intention of the National Constitution and to submit the same to the Executive Council for approval within six months after the chapter has been established. When the chapter constitution has received the approval of the Executive Council, and a copy filed with the Executive Secretary-Treasurer it shall then become, upon its adoption by the chapter, the official constitution of the chapter. The entire process of the adopting the constitution shall be completed within one year of the date of the establishment of the chapter.
(A) Financial: A chapter which fails to pay the dues, fees, or assessments prescribed by the Executive Council, or by vote of the National Organization for two consecutive years, may be suspended by the National Organization in Convention. A chapter thus suspended may be reinstated upon payment of an Assessment stipulated by the Executive Council.
(B) Representation at National Conventions: A chapter which fails to be represented at the National Convention by a properly qualified delegate, for two bienniums, may be suspended by the National Organization. A chapter thus suspended may be reinstated upon payment of an assessment stipulated by the Executive Council.
(C) General: After proper warning by the National President, a chapter which fails to govern itself according to the provisions of the National Constitution or which fails to respond to and comply with the reasonable and constitutional requests of the National Officers and/or the Executive Council, may be suspended by the National Organization in convention. A chapter thus suspended may be reinstated by satisfying the Executive Council that the delinquencies have been corrected and upon the payment of an assessment stipulated by the Executive Council.
SECTION 9. Inactivity: A chapter which has become inactive because of delinquencies listed in Section 8, or because of the loss of advisors and/or chapter officers may be reinstated by payment of reinstatement fees prescribed by the Executive Council. When a chapter has become inactive due to the loss of advisors or chapter officers, the president or dean of students of the institution where the chapter is located must send to the national office the name of the faculty or staff member who has been appointed to serve to reactivate the chapter. The Regional Director will be notified of this action.
SECTION 10. Loss of Rating: A chapter located at an institution which loses it rating by the regional accrediting agency, may be continued on the official membership roster on a probationary status for a maximum period of two years.
SECTION 1. Types of Membership: The Society is a membership organization. The membership of this organization shall be open to all persons who meet the requirements for eligibility listed below and shall consist of collegiate, alumni, local honorary, laureate honorary, and life members. (Amended March 31, 2023)
SECTION 2. Collegiate Chapter Member: Collegiate chapters shall elect members from a list of those scholastically eligible and approved by the chapter advisor(s). An affirmative vote by the majority of chapter members present at a regular meeting is necessary for election to membership. Candidates are not inducted in absentia.
A. Undergraduate students. An undergraduate student shall be eligible to be elected as a collegiate member if the individual:(1) Is registered as full time, and is in good standing with the institution at which the chapter is located;
(2) Is at least a junior in a degree program, and has completed 50 percent of the requirements for graduation;
(3) Has a minimum grade-point average of 3.3, when A = 4;
(4) Is ranked in the upper 10 % of the class;
(5) Exemplifies good character and
(6) Exhibits the potential for leadership and service.
B. Graduate students. Graduate students are eligible to be elected members when the following requirements are met:(1) A baccalaureate graduate of a regionally accredited school who is entering graduate school with a grade-point average of 3.3 or better, when A = 4 and is ranked in the upper 10% of the class;
(2) a continuing graduate student must have been admitted as a matriculated student and must have earned a minimum of 15 hours with a grade-point average of 3.7 or better, and
(3) Exemplifies good character.
SECTION 3. Alumni Member: A graduate who was inducted as an undergraduate.
SECTION 4. Local Honorary Members: These may be:
(A) Chapter advisors who are non-members and have been endorsed by the President or Dean and elected by the chapter. They must be approved by the Regional Director and the Executive Council. A chapter may have up to two advisors.
(B) Persons of scholarly attainment and demonstrated leadership ability who would be an asset to the Society. Those must be nominated and approved by the advisor(s), the Regional Director, and the Executive Council.
SECTION 5. Laureate Members: These are outstanding persons whose achievements have brought them national distinction. They may be nominated by a chapter, an alumni member, or by the Executive Council. These nominees must be approved by the Executive Council before election, and will be inducted at the Convention following their election.
SECTION 6. Life
Members: Any regular (Active) member who is in good standing may apply for Lifetime Membership at the time of enrolling(induction). (Amended March 31, 2023,)
The fee for a Lifetime Membership shall be set by the Executive Council and may be paid in installments over a period of three (3) years.
SECTION 7. Transfer Students: A transfer student must have attended the new institution for at least one year and must have acquired a minimum of thirty (30) semester hours or forty-five (45) quarter hours of credit as a full-time student. The academic requirements listed in Section 2 must also be met.
SECTION 8. Restriction of Active Membership: Only seniors and juniors (see Section 2 above) who are in the upper ten percent (10%) of their class shall be eligible for active membership.
SECTION 9. Permanence
of Membership: Membership is regarded as permanent except for grave cause.
SECTION 10. Transfer of Membership: Active members may transfer their membership to some other chapter as long as they are in good standing with the chapter from which they are transferring. This can be verified by the Executive Secretary-Treasurer.
SECTION 11. Membership in Alpha Kappa Mu is open to qualified candidates including persons with disability, without regard to age, color, gender, national origin, race, religion, and/or sexual orientation.
SECTION 1. The National Officers shall be the President, Vice-President, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Convention Secretary, Historian, Director of Public Relations, Parliamentarian (the senior past president present at the convention), Convention Reporter, Regional Directors, the Immediate Past President, and three elected members of the Executive Council (one of whom shall be a student).
SECTION 2. Election/Appointment and Terms of Offices: All National Officers shall be elected by ballot at the business session of the national Convention except the Executive Secretary-Treasurer, the Director of Public Relations and the Parliamentarian. The following shall apply:
(1) The National President - He or she shall be elected for two biennia and shall not succeed himself/herself.
(2) The Convention Secretary, the Historian and The Faculty Members of the Executive Council shall be elected for two years and may be reelected.
(3) One-half of the Regional Directors (odd- numbered regions) shall be nominated by their respective Regions and elected at the Biennial Convention for two biennia. The other half (even-numbered regions) shall be nominated by their respective Regions and elected at the next Biennial Convention for two biennia.
(4) Student Officers - shall be nominated and elected from the odd-numbered Regions and elected at the first biennial meeting. The student officers elected at the next Biennial Regional Convention shall be nominated from the even-numbered Regions. This pattern will continue for student officers. Student Officers shall be: Vice President, Assistant Secretary, Member of the Executive Council, and Convention Reporter who shall be elected at the Regional Meetings and serve through the next Biennial Convention. (The Convention Reporter shall come from the chapter hosting the next Convention.)
(5) The Executive Secretary-Treasurer and Director of Public Relations shall be elected by the Executive Council and shall serve at its pleasure. A term for the Executive Secretary-Treasurer is two biennia. The Director of Public Relations is elected for a term of two years.
(6) The Parliamentarian shall be a past National President and shall be appointed to serve.
SECTION 3. Eligibility: All financial members in good standing are eligible for National offices except laureate members.
SECTION 4. Nomination of National Officers: A nominating committee of three alumni or faculty members and one student member shall be appointed by the President in non-convention years. The past National president generally will be appointed and will chair the committee. Names of persons submitted for consideration by the committee must have agreed to serve if elected. The committee should bring in nominations for those offices which shall become vacant at the next Convention. Student officers are not eligible to succeed themselves.
SECTION 5. Duties of National Officers: The duties of the National Officers shall be such as usually pertain to the respective offices.
A. National President shall:(1) Issue the call for the Biennial Convention through the Executive Secretary-Treasurer;
(2) Preside at all regular meetings of the Convention, the Executive Council, and the Executive Committee;
(3) Serve as "ex-officio" of all committees except the nominating;
(4) Appoint the necessary committees for the operation of the business of the Society;
(5) Supervise the general operations of the Society;
(6) Enforce the Constitution and ByLaws and promote the general welfare of the Society;
(7) Perform any other acts usually pertaining to the office.B. National Vice President shall:(1) Act in the absence of the President;
(2) Assist the President as directed to perform the business of the Society;
(3) Be a member of the Executive Council.
C. Executive Secretary-Treasurer shall:(1) Keep the records of the Society and of the Executive Council;
(2) Issue charters for new chapters under the direction of the President;
(3) Keep a record of chapters and all members and shall issue certificates, membership cards, and jewelry in accordance with the Constitution;
(4) Be custodian of all funds of the National Organization, and shall pay all bills by voucher approved by the National President;
(5) Present an annual financial report and shall have the records available at all times for audit;
(6) Perform such other duties as the President or Executive Council may direct.D. The Convention Secretary shall:(1) Call the roll of chapter representatives attending the Convention and record this attendance;
(2) Serve as secretary for the meeting of the Executive Committee at the Convention;
(3) Keep a record of the proceedings of the Convention, and publish and disseminate those to the officers and membership;
(4) prepare and circulate the Convention Reports.
E. The Assistant Secretary shall assist the Convention Secretary.
F. The Director of Public Relations shall:(1) Be responsible for the collection and dissemination of news concerning the Society, to the press, and to the electronic media;
(2) Be responsible for supervising the convention photographer in his choice of subjects;
(3) Publish the NEWSLETTER annually;
(4) Edit and publish the AKM JOURNAL periodically.
G. The Historian shall capture significant events, and maintain the history of Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, Inc.
H. The Convention Reporter shall assist the Director of Public Relations prior to, during, and immediately following the Biennial Convention.I. The Regional Directors shall be responsible for, and concerned with the progress and welfare of each chapter in his/her Region, and for any chapter assigned by the National Organization. Detailed information on the Director's duties is found in Article VII.
SECTION 1. Composition of: The Executive Council shall consist of the following National Officers: President, Vice President, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Assistant Secretary, the Immediate Past President, three elected members (one of whom shall be a student), and all members holding Emeritus status.
SECTION 2. The members of the Executive Council shall be elected as prescribed in Article IV.
SECTION 3. Duties. The Executive Council is empowered to perform the following duties;
(A) It shall meet annually, and at any other time deemed necessary to transact the business of the Society;
(B) It shall recommend admission of new chapters to the Society in accordance with provisions of the Constitution;
(C) It shall recommend the suspension of chapters in accordance with provisions of the Constitution;
(D) It shall make, through the Executive Secretary-Treasurer, an annual financial report of its transactions during the year;
(E) It shall perform such other duties in keeping with the provisions of the Constitution as the Society or the President may direct;
(F) It shall elect the Director of Public Relations for two years. This person should be qualified in the area of Journalism and Communications;
(G) It shall elect the National Secretary-Treasurer for a term of two bienniums, set remuneration for the office, and provide the officer with adequate secretarial assistance;
(H) It shall secure adequate space, and provide the necessary equipment for conducting the duties of the office.
SECTION 4. Executive Committee: During Conventions, the Executive Council shall be joined by all National Officers and operate as an Executive Committee for the period of the Convention.
SECTION 1. National Conventions of the Society shall be held biennially in odd-numbered years at a time and place to be determined by the Executive Council with the approval of the Convention.
SECTION 2. The authorized delegates duly assembled in Conventions constitute the highest governing and legislative body of the Society.
SECTION 3. Representation: One representative from each chapter shall be designated its official delegate, and shall have one vote. One faculty advisor from each chapter shall have one vote. Each National Officer shall have one vote when present. There is no limitation on the number of representatives a chapter may bring to Convention. However, every person attending the Convention must hold a current membership.
SECTION 4. The Executive Secretary-Treasurer shall issue the call for the Convention at the direction of the National President.
SECTION 1. There shall be eight geographical regions whose boundaries shall be specified by the Executive Council, and approved by the Convention. Each region shall be supervised by a Regional Director.
SECTION 2. Regional Biennial Meetings shall be held on even-numbered years during the last weekend in March except when this is Easter Weekend. If the Easter Weekend intervenes, the time and place shall be established by the Executive Committee of the region. This committee shall be composed of the President, Vice President, the Regional Director and a student representative. The Regional Director shall serve as Secretary-Treasurer.
SECTION 3. The chief governing body of the Region shall be the Regional Biennial Meetings. Each chapter shall be represented by one student voting delegate and the advisor.
SECTION 4. Election of Officers: The Regional Meeting shall elect the President and Vice President, both of whom shall be faculty or staff persons, for a period of two bienniums. The student representative shall be elected for a period of one year.
SECTION 5. A quorum at a Regional Meeting shall consist of one-third of the voting delegates from one-third of the chapters in the Region.
SECTION 6. Duties of
1. President: A member of the Regional Executive Committee(1) Presides at the Regional, and the Regional Executive Committee Meetings;
(2) Appoints committees necessary for the Region;
(3) Conducts other duties delegated.
2. Vice President: A member of the Regional Executive Committee(1) Functions in the absence of the President;
(2) Assists the Regional Director in carrying out the business of the Region.
3. Secretary-Treasurer (Regional Director): The Chief Executive Officer of the Region, and a member of the Executive Committee at National Conventions(1) Supervises the operations of the chapters and the Region;
(2) Meets with National Executive Council when National Biennial Convention meets in the Region;
(3) Is responsible for minutes of the meetings of the Regional and Executive Committees;
(4) Receives and expends revenue of the Region;
(5) Coordinates news items from the Region for the NEWSLETTER;
(6) makes financial reports to the Regional Meetings and to the Executive Council;
(7) makes a biennial report to the Biennial Convention.
SECTION 7. Executive Student Committee – Executive Student Committee shall consist of a regional director, public relations director, regional secretary and regional treasurer. The Committee will hold student meetings along with the regional meetings.
Robert's Rules of Order, the most recently revised edition, shall govern the proceedings of meetings of the Honor Society and chapters when not in conflict with this Constitution and ByLaws.
Adoption, Suspension and Amendment of ByLaws
SECTION 1. Adoption: ByLaws may be passed by a two-thirds vote of the active chapters during the interim. ByLaws shall be reviewed by the Executive Council before being submitted to the Society.
SECTION 2. Suspension: ByLaws may be suspended by a two-thirds vote of the Society in biennial Convention or by a two-thirds vote of the active chapters.
SECTION 3. Amendments: Any active chapter may propose an amendment to the Constitution. An amendment must be proposed and submitted to the Executive Council for study at least six months before the Biennial Convention. If the Executive Council repotrs it favorably, the amendment shall be submitted to each chapter at least two months before the Biennial Convention. If it receives a two-thirds vote of the Society in Biennial Convention, it shall be submitted in final form by the Executive Council to the active chapters. An affirmative vote by two-thirds vote of the active chapters shall constitute ratification and adoption. If a chapter fails to send in its vote on the proposed amendment within sixty days after it has been submitted the vote shall be reckoned as affirmative. Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Society in Biennial Convention or by a two-thirds vote of the active chapters, during the interim. Amendments shall be reviewed by the Executive council before being submitted to the Society.
Amendments approved by Executive Council by a two-thirds vote may be submitted to the chapters by mail or email ballot to be acted upon at a regular or special meeting of each chapter. Adoption shall be by a two-thirds vote of those chapters returning ballots by a date clearly specified on the mail and/or email ballot.
SECTION 1. Depository: The funds of the Society shall be deposited by the Executive Secretary-Treasurer in the name of the Society in a bank of sound financial rating which is a member of FDIC.
SECTION 2. Payment of Bills: The Executive Secretary-Treasurer shall be responsible for the payment of all legitimate bills of the Society and shall make payment through the use of a voucher signed by the National President.
SECTION 3. Records of Reports: The Executive Secretary-Treasurer shall keep all financial records, and make annually a financial report to the Society.
SECTION 4. Audit of Records: There shall be a financial audit of the books of the Executive Secretary-Treasurer by a Certified Public Accountant. A report shall be made to the Executive Committee and to the membership at the National Convention.
SECTION 5. Budget: The Executive Council shall approve the budget prepared by the Executive Secretary-Treasurer and present it to the Society in Convention. A majority vote shall be necessary for its adoption.
SECTION 6. Financial Responsibilities: Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society, Inc., shall not be responsible for the debts of collegiate chapters.
SECTION 7. Charter Fees - Dues: The Charter Fee – Dues for the installation for a new chapter shall be stipulated by the Executive Council and the National Convention. (Amended April 2017- National Convention)
SECTION 7a. Regular Fees - Dues: The Annual membership dues renewal fee for undergraduate and alumni members shall be stipulated by the Executive Council at the National Convention. Each chapter shall also be assessed an annual chapter fee/dues which shall be stipulated by the Executive Council at a National Convention. (Amended April 2017 – National Convention)
SECTION 8. Special Assessments: Upon recommendation of the Executive Council, special assessments may be levied by a majority vote of the Society in Convention, or by a vote of a majority of the chapters during the interim.
SECTION 9. Bonding: The Executive Secretary-Treasurer shall be bonded to cover the assets of the Society as warranted in such circumstances, and shall state annually the amount of coverage and the expiration date of the bond.
Insignia, Ritual and Colors
SECTION 1. Insignia: The insignia of the Society shall be in the form of a key and described as follows: A gold key engraved with the letters AKM, a torch, a quill, and an open book. Keys are issued in two sizes, a large size and a small size, and may be gold-filled or made of ten-carat gold.
All insignia must be purchased through the office of the Executive Secretary-Treasurer. To replace lost jewelry, the chapter secretary must make application to the Executive Secretary-Treasurer, and make payment of the necessary fee.
The insignia is to be worn only by a bonafide member of the society.
SECTION 2. Ritual: There shall be a national Ritual for the induction of individual members of the Society. The Ritual shall be simple, appropriate, and in keeping with the dignity and purpose of the Society.
SECTION 3. Colors: The colors of the Society shall be Royal Blue and White.
SECTION 1. All new members at the time of their induction shall be required to pay to the National Organization a fee stipulated by the Executive Council; this fee is to include the cost of the certificate, current membership card, and a copy of the Constitution and ByLaws, a contribution to the Gore-Crawford Scholarship Fund, and the purchase of the AKM Key.
SECTION 2. The induction fee shall be fixed by the Executive Council, and approved by the National Convention.
SECTION 3. All active members of the Society, except laureate and life members are required to pay an annual fee fixed by the Executive Council for which they will receive membership cards and official literature.
SECTION 4. The fee for honorary membership shall be fixed by the Executive Council.
SECTION 5. Each Chapter which has paid the chapter fee at least 30 days prior to the Convention, the National organization will pay the registration fee for one delegate to attend the National Convention. (Amended April 2017 – National Convention)
SECTION 6. An Advisor's Council was authorized in 1959. This Council shall elect its officers and meet during the National Convention. Officers shall be elected for two biennia.
SECTION 7. A Regional Director's Council was authorized in 1963. This Council shall elect its officers and meet during the National Convention. Officers shall be elected for two biennia.
SECTION 8. In the absence or disability of the President, the Executive Council shall elect an interim President who will preside until such time as the Society is assembled in Convention. (Amended April 2017 - National Convention)
SECTION 8a. In the absence or disability of the Vice-President, the Executive Council shall elect an interim Vice President who will preside until such time as the Society is assembled in Convention. (Amended April 2017 - National Convention)
SECTION 9. Decision shall be reached by a majority vote.
SECTION 10. When Convention is in session, Article II, Section 2, shall be interpreted to mean that a three-fourths affirmative vote of the chapters represented shall authorize the establishment of a chapter.
SECTION 11. The duties of the Committee on Scholarships shall be to receive applications from eligible college seniors, to evaluate the qualifications of candidates and report its recommendations to the Convention. It shall name two $2,000 George W. Gore, Jr.-Thomas J. Crawford Scholarship Award winners each year.
Removal of Chapter Officers
Any elected officer of the Chapter may be removed for just cause. Sufficient cause for such removal may be violation of the Chapter Bylaws or Society Constitution or any lawful rule, practice, or procedure adopted by the Chapter or other conduct deemed to be prejudicial to the best interest of the Chapter. For removal of an elected officer for cause, it shall be necessary for the Chapter Executive Committee to hold a formal hearing. A statement of the charges shall be sent by registered mail to the last recorded address of the officer, accompanied by notice of the time and place of the meeting at which the charges are to be considered. At least thirty days notice shall be given, and the officer shall have the opportunity to appear in person or to be represented by counsel and to present any defense to such charges before action is taken. The Chapter Executive Committee shall adopt such rules as may be necessary to assure due process to the officer. Upon a two-thirds affirmative vote, the Chapter Executive Committee shall recommend removal to the Society Executive Council. The Society Executive Council shall by majority vote, approve or reject the recommendation of the Chapter Executive Committee either at the next meeting or through an electronic meeting.
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