Sample Bylaws for SPS & Sigma Pi Sigma Chapters

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Sample Bylaws

Constitution | Bylaws | PDF versions | Sample Bylaws for SPS Chapters

(NAME OF INSTITUTION) Chapter of the Society of Physics Students


The name of this organization shall be “The (NAME OF INSTITUTION) Chapter of the Society of Physics Students”.


The purpose of this Chapter shall be the advancement and diffusion of knowledge of physics and astronomy, the encouragement of interest in physics and astronomy throughout the academic and local communities, and the introduction of students to the professional community.


Section I. Society of Physics Students Membership

Membership in this Society of Physics Students Chapter shall be open to all individuals interested in physics and astronomy.

**Section 2. Sigma Pi Sigma Membership

Membership in Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics and astronomy honor society included within this Society of Physics Students Chapter, shall be based upon character and academic and professional attainments and is not restricted to physics and astronomy majors. Election to Sigma Pi Sigma members from among those candidates presented by the Sigma Pi Sigma nominating committee appointed by the Chapter Advisor.

Clause 1. For undergraduate students in physics, astronomy, or related fields, the minimum requirements for Sigma Pi Sigma membership within this Chapter shall be as follows:

All members-elect shall have completed at least the equivalent of three semesters (five quarters) of full-time college work.

All members-elect shall have completed at least three semester (five quarters) courses in physics and astronomy, each of at least three credit hours, which may be credited toward a physics or astronomy major.

All members-elect shall rank in the upper one third of their college class.

All members-elect shall have attained at lease a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 system for physics and astronomy courses and for cumulative course grades in all courses.

Clause 2. For graduate students in physics or related fields, all members-elect either (a) shall meet the requirements for undergraduate members-elect, based upon their undergraduate records, or (b) shall have completed at least one year of graduate work, meeting departmental standards for satisfactory progress towards an advanced degree.

Clause 3. For faculty members, research staff members, and other qualified individuals, who are in physics, astronomy, or related fields, election to membership shall be based upon their professional attainments.


Section 1. Chapter Officers

The officers of the Chapter shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer; succession shall be in accordance with this order. Any two of the last three offices may be combined. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by these bylaws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by this Chapter.

Section 2. Elections

Officers shall be elected at a scheduled meeting in April of each year. Nominations shall be by open nomination at a meeting in the previous month. The election shall be by closed ballot. Officers-elect shall assume their offices immediately following the election and shall hold office for one year or until their successors are duly elected.

**Section 3. Sigma Pi Sigma Responsibility

Upon the installation of a Sigma Pi Sigma Chapter within the Society of Physics Students Chapter, one of the officers, who is a Sigma Pi Sigma member, and the Chapter Advisor shall be given specific responsibility of the affairs of the Sigma Pi Sigma Chapter.


The Chapter Advisor shall be a faculty member appointed by the Chairman of the Physics Department, after consultation with the Chapter officers. The Chapter Advisor shall provide liaison among the Chapter, the Physics or Astronomy Department, and the National Office of the Society of Physics Students. The Chapter Advisor will supply counseling to the Chapter, furnish continuity of experience in Chapter operations, and provide long-range perspective to insure departmental interest in and support of the Society of Physics Students. The Chapter Advisor shall assist the Secretary in furnishing the National Office with the required data and shall assist the Treasurer in transmitting fees and dues to the National Office.


Regular meetings shall be held monthly as determined by the officers. Special meetings may be called by the President or Vice-President. There shall be at least six meetings per year.


Local dues of (...) dollars annually shall be collected by the Treasurer in addition to the dues required by the National Office.


The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Chapter in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the Chapter may adopt.


These bylaws may be amended by a two thirds vote, provided that the amendment shall have been proposed at least one meeting previous to the time of vote. Such amendments shall conform to the regulations established by the National Constitution of the Society of Physics Students.
*Variations in bylaws, as required to suit local circumstances, are acceptable providing they agree with the spirit of the National Constitution of the Society of Physics Students.

**Article III, Section 2 and Article IV, Section 3 must be included by, and only by, institutions eligible to elect members into Sigma Pi Sigma (accredited, four-year institutions offering at least a bachelor’s degree in physics or astronomy).

***The requirement in Article III, Section 2, Clause 1(d) is not a constitutional requirement. However, it is usually easier to obtain a grade point average from the Recorder’s Office than a class rank. Provision should be made to periodically check with the Recorder’s Office that the specified GPA also satisfies Article III, Section 2, Clause 1(c), which requires members-elect to rank in the upper one third of their college class and which is a minimum requirement specified in the National Constitution.

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