Constitution and Bylaws
(Revised March, 2015)
Article I - Name and Object
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the Texas A&M University Chapter of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.
Section 2. The object of this chapter shall be to encourage original investigation in science, pure and applied.
Article II - Membership
Section 1. This Chapter shall consist of members and associate members of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, who are actively connected with the staff or student body of The Texas A&M University System or with research agencies of the United States government, or with other research organizations; and of other members and associate members of the Society, who, on presenting satisfactory credentials, may become affiliated with the Chapter.
Section 2. Eligibility: Members. The following, and no others, are eligible to election as members: (a) any member of the staff of the A&M System, or staff member of the United States government research agency, or other research organization, or other investigator, who has shown noteworthy achievement in scientific research as an original investigator in some branch of pure or applied science; (b) any graduate student in the A&M System who, as judged on the evidence of results obtained from actual scientific investigation, has clearly demonstrated ability to pursue independent scientific research; (c) any faculty member or investigator connected with a neighboring educational, scientific, or professional institution not having a Chapter, who has the qualifications prescribed in Section 2 (a) of this Article.
Section 3. Eligibility: Associate Members. The following, and no others, are eligible to election as associate members: (a) any graduate student who has shown marked excellence in one or more departments of pure or applied science and has given evidence of an aptitude for research in some field of science; (b) any undergraduate student who has completed at least three years of work toward his/her degree, who has indicated an aptitude for research, and who has shown marked excellence in his/her studies in two or more departments of pure or applied science.
Section 4. Associate members shall have the privileges of members except the right to hold office and vote on membership.
Article III - Officers
Section 1. The officers of this Chapter shall be a president, a vice president, a secretary, and a treasurer. The officers shall constitute the Executive Committee of the Chapter. (Revised 1956, 1960).
Article IV - Relation to the National Society
This organization is a Chapter of the Society of the Sigma Xi and shall conform in its objectives and activities to the national constitution and by-laws.
Article V - Amendments
This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the members voting by electronic ballot, provided the proposed changes have been presented and explained to all voting eligible members three weeks in advance of the vote to adopt the changes.
Texas A&M University Chapter of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
(Revised and Approved March 2015)
Article I - Chapter Officers
Section 1. The Chapter shall have four officers and an executive director. The officers are: President, Vice-president, Treasurer and Secretary. All officers shall be full members. The executive director is appointed by the president with agreement by the Executive Committee for a one-year term, which is renewable for consecutive terms.
Section 2. The term of office of the President shall be one year. The Vice-president for the preceding year shall become President, subject to conditions of Article III, Section 2. The Treasurer and Secretary shall be elected to terms of two years. The president and vice-president may not serve two consecutive terms of office.
Section 3. The officers-elect shall assume their respective duties immediately following the spring initiation banquet or the first Monday of May, whichever is later, and serve until the completion of the spring initiation banquet, or the first Monday of May, of the following year, whichever is later.
Article II - Duties of Officers
Section 1. The duties of the President shall include the following:
- presiding at all meetings of the Chapter;
- presiding at meetings of the Executive Committee;
- serving as ex officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee;
- representing the Chapter at all official functions in which the Chapter is involved;
- submitting a brief annual report concerning the Chapter and its activities to the president of Texas A&M University; and
- performing such other tasks as may be appropriate for this office.
Section 2. The duties of the Vice-president shall include the following:
- serving as the deputy of the president and acting for him/her in his/her absence on any official occasion;
- serving as chair of the Program Committee;
- serving as an ex officio member of the Membership Committee;
- serving as non-voting convenor of the Nominating Committee;
- serving as chair of the Distinguished Scientist Lecture (usually in the fall);
- serving as planner and convener of the Spring Symposium, and
- performing such other tasks as may be appropriately assigned by the president.
Section 3. The duties of the Treasurer shall include the following:
- maintaining the fiscal records of the Chapter;
- maintaining the funds of the Chapter in an appropriate bank;
- paying all bills for goods and services delivered to the Chapter on authorization of an appropriate officer of the Chapter;
- preparing the annual budget for the Chapter for approval of the Executive Committee at the beginning of the fiscal year;
- preparing an annual financial statement for submission with the annual report to national society headquarters;
- preparing the annual Form 990 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, if needed, for submission to that organization by the executive director; and
- performing such other tasks as may be appropriate for this office.
Section 4. The duties of the Secretary shall include the following:
- preparing notices to all members of the times, places, and programs of regular and special meetings of the Chapter;
- serving as secretary at all meetings of the Chapter;
- maintaining minutes of meetings and all correspondence between the Chapter and the national society headquarters, except for membership matters;
- mailing notices and other correspondence to Chapter members;
- performing such other tasks as may be appropriate for this office; and
- maintaining an archive of the minutes from meetings
Section 5. The duties of the Executive Director shall include the following:
- preparing the annual report of the Chapter;
- submitting the annual report and the financial report, prepared by the Treasurer, to the National Society Headquarters and to the officers and membership of the Chapter;
- maintaining all records of nominations and election of officers, records of nominations and election of members and associate members and of promotions from associate member to member;
- maintaining and updating membership lists in conjunction with national society headquarters;
- performing such other tasks as may be appropriate for this office.
Article III - Committees
Section 1. The standing committees of the Chapter are the following: Executive Committee, Program Committee, Membership Committee, Awards Committee, and Nominating Committee.
Section 2. The Executive Committee, consisting of the President, Vice-president, Treasurer, Secretary, Executive Director, the chairs of the committees, a graduate student representative, and Past-Presidents of the Chapter (invited by the President) shall serve as a council for the President in conducting the affairs of the Chapter. It shall appoint officers for unexpired terms only to fill any vacancies that may occur. A Vice-president so named shall automatically become president with election.
Section 3. The Program Committee shall consist of the Vice-president as chair and at least three other members, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee. The committee membership should represent a cross-section of the Chapter membership. Unexpired terms shall be filled by appointment for the number of years remaining on the term.
Section 4. The Membership Committee shall consist of the President as a member ex officio, and at least three additional members, each elected for three-year terms. At least one member shall be elected at each annual election of officers, except that during the first year three or more members will be elected (such that there is at least one member elected for each of the one-, two- and three-year terms). The Chair of the Committee shall be appointed annually by the president.
Section 5. The Awards Committee shall be appointed by the President, subject to approval by the Executive Committee, and shall consist of up to seven members, each selected from a different scientific discipline. This Committee shall be guided in policies and procedures by the Chapter membership as recorded in the minutes of its meetings. Up to two members (up to three members on each third year) shall be appointed for terms of three years by the president following initiation into office. Unexpired terms shall be filled by appointment for the number of years remaining on the term. The Chairman of the Committee shall be one of the senior members and shall be appointed annually by the President.
Section 6. Prior to or at the time of the annual meeting, the President shall appoint a Nominating Committee of at least three members from at least three colleges who shall nominate at least two members for each of the following offices: Vice-president Treasurer, and Secretary. The Executive Director shall submit to the membership, an electronic ballot of the nominees four weeks prior to the last meeting of the year (as defined by Article I, Section 3). The ballots shall be secret and shall be returned to the Executive Director to be tallied in time for those elected to be present at the last meeting of the term of office.
Section 8. The President may appoint special committees as needed.
Article IV – Election of New Members
Section 1. The Chapter shall conduct its promotions from associate member to member, and its elections of members and associate members, in accordance with the provisions of Article II of the Constitution and By-laws of the Society.
Section 2. Each nomination for membership, which shall be made in writing in a manner designated by the Membership Committee, shall present full evidence as to the eligibility of the nominee and shall be signed by at least two Chapter members as nominator and seconder. Such nominations shall be sent to the chair of the Membership Committee of the Chapter in advance of the limiting date to be fixed by the committee.
Section 3. The Membership Committee shall pass on all nominations duly submitted and shall present to the Chapter for election only those nominations that have been approved by the committee.
Section 4. The Executive Committee shall vote on committee-approved nominations only, and an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the members present at the meeting at which the vote is taken, shall be necessary for election.
Section 5. The chair of the Membership Committee shall file all papers submitted in behalf of successful candidates.
Article V - Initiation
Section 1. The Chapter shall conduct its initiations of new members and associate members in accordance with the provisions of Article IX of the Constitution of the Society.
Section 2. Both members-elect and associate members-elect, before they exercise the privileges of membership, shall be initiated at such time as the Chapter shall designate. The form prescribed in Sections 3 and 4 of this Article is recommended only.
a. The members-elect and associate members-elect shall be ushered into the presence of the Chapter by a marshal or marshals appointed by the President for the occasion.
b. The President or his/her deputy shall explain the aims and objectives of the Society.
c. The President shall next read the following pledge, to which each novitiate shall in turn assent as his/her name is called: "Do you hereby pledge yourself to uphold the principles of the Society of Sigma Xi and to assume the responsibilities of your membership therein, and so far as possible, to encourage original investigation in science?"
d. The President, addressing those who have given assent to the pledge, shall then formally pronounce them admitted to membership in the Society of Sigma Xi. (The Executive Director will have previously sent all initiates copies of the Constitution and By-laws of the Chapter accompanying the Chapter’s invitational letter).
e. The President shall then present the new members and associate members of the Chapter.
Section 4. Should any member-elect or associate member-elect be unavoidably absent from the general initiation, he may, at the pleasure of the Chapter, be provided with a separate opportunity to assent to the pledge given in Section 3(c) of this Article and to sign the Constitution and By-laws. The president shall then formally admit them to the Society, and the Secretaries shall mail them the certificates of membership.
Section 5. The certificate of membership of this Society shall bear the signatures of the president and of the chair of the Membership Committee of the Chapter and the seal of the Society of Sigma Xi.
Article VI – Chapter Meetings and Representation at the Annual Conventions of the Society
Section 1. There shall be at least two (2) meetings during each Chapter year to be called at such times as may be fixed by the Executive and Program Committees.
Section 2. Special meetings may be called at such times as may be designated by the President or by the Executive Committee.
Section 3. Notice of any meeting shall be sent to the membership at least one (1) week in advance of the meeting.
Section 4. At any duly called meeting of the Chapter, ten (10) members and/or associate members shall constitute of quorum for the transaction of business.
Section 5. A representative who has been selected by the Executive Committee shall officially represent the Chapter at the annual meeting of the Society of Sigma Xi. Necessary travel and subsistence expenses of this delegate, above that paid by the national society headquarters, shall be paid to the extent permitted by available funds of the Chapter, as determined by the Executive Committee. The official representative shall make a written report of the national meeting available to the membership at the following annual meeting of the Chapter.
Article VII - Dues and Assessments
Section 1. Initiation fees. Each newly elected member, associate or full, will pay an initiation fee to be determined annually by the Executive Committee. In assessing these fees the Executive Committee should consider the current annual dues structure, the cost of membership certificates from the national society headquarters, the cost of the annual banquet and other associate expenses.
Section 2. Regular national dues are billed directly to, and collected from each member and associate member of the Chapter by the Society (at national headquarters). A percentage of the national dues, which is determined by vote of the Assembly of Delegates, is returned directly to the Chapter as local support.
Section 3. Assessments. Special assessments may be made on the membership of the Chapter at any time by majority vote of the membership who vote. This vote may be taken by email at the direction of the Executive Committee.
Section 4. Suspension of Chapter Membership. Members and associate members who are in arrears according to National Society Headquarters records shall be automatically suspended.
Section 5. Reinstatement of Chapter Membership. Any member or associate member dropped from the rolls under Section 4 of this Article may be restored to his or her original status by a favorable vote of the Executive Committee and the payment of dues for the current year.
Article VIII - Amendments
Section 1. Changes in these by-laws may be proposed either by action of the Executive Committee or by petition of ten (10) members. The Executive Committee is required to honor any such petition. However, the petition must be in the hands of the Executive Committee four (4) weeks in advance of the meeting at which the vote is to be taken to permit the Committee’s discussion of the petition and preparation of its recommendation on the merits of the petition.
Section 2. Changes in the by-laws may be made by two-thirds majority vote of those present at a meeting of the Chapter called to consider such changes. Notice of the proposed changes shall be sent to the Chapter membership at least two (2) weeks before the meeting at which the vote is to be taken.
Article IX. Chapter Dormancy
If the Chapter goes inactive and remains dormant over 5 years or dissolves, any funds the chapter possesses which were the direct result of local dues and chapter support will go back to the Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.