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									                              Chapter Bylaws Review

         On the following pages are guidelines to help the Governance Committee and board of
  R      directors review chapter bylaws and make minimal, appropriate modifications, if

Origin of Chapter Bylaws Model
In 1983, the House of Delegates adopted a resolution for the creation of a “form” for the chapter
bylaws. The form, now called the Chapter Bylaws Form, simplifies the process of updating
chapter bylaws and standardizes the chapter and international structures. Sigma Theta Tau
International headquarters incorporates the House-approved changes into the Chapter Bylaws
Form after each biennial convention so the chapter does not have to be involved in this time-
consuming update.

The Chapter Bylaws Form text is available on the honor society’s Web page at and in a Word document sent via e-mail (upon request). The Chapter
Bylaws Form is sent to the Governance Committee chairs in January of even-numbered years.

1983 House of Delegates Chapter Bylaws Resolution
         WHEREAS, Sigma Theta Tau, as a member of the American Association of College
Honor Societies and
         WHEREAS, chapters of Sigma Theta Tau must have bylaws which are in compliance with
those of Sigma Theta Tau, Inc., as directed by the House of Delegates and
         WHEREAS, it would be advantageous to chapters to have valid bylaws operational
immediately after each House of Delegates and
         WHEREAS, “model” chapter bylaws incorporate the direction of the House of Delegates
in a manner that should facilitate their utilization for the operations of each chapter and
         WHEREAS, the adoption of the “model” chapter bylaws would allow chapters to focus
on significant bylaws decisions helpful to specific chapter development and would permit the
Governance Committee to serve a leadership role in the development and interpretation of
policies and procedures within the chapter, therefore,
         BE IT RESOLVED: that all chapters adopt the “model” chapter bylaws submitted to
them after the House of Delegates meeting at each biennium, unless they request from the
Governance Committee and receive an exemption from the Third Vice President and that the
“model” chapter bylaws serve as the basic chapter bylaws document for each chapter as of 1984.
     Understanding the Bylaws Process
     The following flowchart illustrates the bylaws review process from beginning to end. Those
     items listed in bold are the items for which chapters are responsible; all other action items are
     completed at the international level.

                                        Chapter Bylaws Review Process

      PRIOR TO CONVENTION                         DURING CONVENTION                       FOLLOWING CONVENTION

 Proposed bylaws amendments and              Delegates vote on proposed            All approved bylaws amendments are
    accompanying rationale are               bylaws amendments at the              incorporated into the Chapter Bylaws
            identified.                      House of Delegates.                   Form.

  Proposed bylaws amendments are                                                   Revised Chapter Bylaws Form is made
reviewed by Governance Committee.                                                  available on the honor society’s Web

 Proposed bylaws amendments are
submitted to the international board                                               Chapters review the bylaws form and
of directors for review and approval.                                              discuss any needed changes or

 Once amendments are approved by
  the international board, proposed                                                Chapter Governance Committee
  amendments are published in the                                                  incorporates approved amendments
         Delegate Newsletter.                                                      into the bylaws form.

Chapters hold meetings to discuss
stance on proposed amendments
and ensure that the chapter’s
delegate(s) know how the
chapter’s votes should be cast in
the House of Delegates.
Chapter Responsibilities
Governance Committee Primary Responsibilities:
   1. Review the bylaws to ensure the structure supports the chapter’s goals. There are four
      main areas for review: officers, elections, committees and chapter induction/renewal fees.
      The committee should work in concert with the board of directors in discussing potential
      changes to these sections.

    2. Present recommendations for any non-editorial amendments to the chapter board of
       directors and, if they concur, to the chapter members at the annual meeting.

    3. Incorporate approved amendments into the bylaws and complete the Chapter Bylaws
       Form. The Chapter Governance Committee should be able to complete this activity in
       one short meeting.

    4. Interpret the bylaws for members and guide the development of a policy and procedure
       manual to implement the bylaws.

    5. In conjunction with the chapter board of directors, send feedback to the Sigma Theta Tau
       International Governance Committee regarding the ease of implementation and
       suggestions for the Chapter Bylaws Form.

Chapter Membership Responsibilities:
Vote on recommendations presented by the Chapter Governance Committee and chapter board of
directors to amend the chapter bylaws when assessment and data indicate the need. (Refer to
Chapter Bylaws Article XIV. Amendments to Bylaws for further information.)

Chapter Board of Directors Primary Responsibilities:
   1. Effective November, 2006, chapters are no longer required to complete the bylaws
      submission form and submit it to headquarters. The bylaws template will continue to be
      updated as changes are made to the bylaws and will be available for chapter use. Chapters
      should continue to use the template to update bylaws and ensure compliance.
   2. Petition the Sigma Theta Tau International Governance Committee and provide rationale
      for an exemption to adopting the Chapter Bylaws Form if the revised bylaws appear to
      interfere with efficient chapter administration and operation.

Updating the Chapter Bylaws Form
During the process of bylaws review, chapters have the opportunity to modify four areas:
   1. Officers
   2. Elections
   3. Committees
   4. Fee structure
No other articles in the bylaws are to be changed or manipulated. The bylaws evaluation
conducted by the chapter board of directors and the chapter Governance Committee is to include:
   1. Evaluating the officer duties and their needs.
   2. Identifying a timeframe for newly elected officers to officially begin their term of office.
   3. Identifying any additional committees needed to help fulfill the chapter’s goals.
   4. Identifying a fee structure that will be fair to members and provide income that supports
       the chapter’s biennial goals.

 NOTE: Changes proposed by the committee to these articles and sections require a vote by the
 chapter membership at a meeting. Refer to Chapter Bylaws-Article XIV “Amendments to
 Bylaws” for more information.

Completing the Chapter Bylaws Form
The newly revised model Chapter Bylaws are made available on the honor society’s Web site
following the biennial convention in January of every even-numbered year. Although chapters are
no longer required (as of November 2006) to submit the bylaws form to headquarters, they should
still use the form to update the existing bylaws and incorporate any changes to ensure compliance
with the current bylaws. An additional copy of the chapter bylaws template highlighting areas
where chapters can make changes and linking to policies/procedures/further information is also
available on the web site.

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