Pi Tau Sigma

University of Wisconsin-Madison



Wisconsin Alpha Chapter


Pi Tau Sigma International Mechanical Engineering Honor Society

Adopted April 25, 2005

Article I. Name and Objectives

Section 1: Name

The name of this Organization shall be the Wisconsin Alpha Chapter of the Pi Tau Sigma International Mechanical Engineering Honor Society.

Section 2: Objectives

The object of this Organization shall be in accordance with Article II of the Constitution of Pi Tau Sigma International Mechanical Engineering Honor Society.

Article II. Membership

Section 1: Active Members

To become an active member with full voting rights, an individual must be accepted into the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and be in the top 25% of the junior class or top 33% of the senior class. The initiates must be voted into organization by a majority vote of the members in attendance at a general meeting prior to the initiation ceremony. The initiates must also pay lifetime dues of $40 and attend an initiation ceremony.

Section 2: Honorary Affiliates

To become an honorary affiliate an individual must be accepted into the Department of Mechanical Engineering and be in the top 20% of the sophomore class. The honorary affiliates do not have voting rights nor can they become an officer until they become an active member. Individuals can only remain honorary affiliates until they have junior standing. At that time, they may either become an active member if they are eligible, or discontinue their membership in Pi Tau Sigma.

Article III: Officers

Section 1: Officer Positions and Duties

Only active members who are currently students may be elected to an officer position. The following is the current list of officers, their respective duties, and the order in which officers should be elected:

Section 2: Terms of Service

The President serves a one-year term from May to May of the following year. The Vice President serves a one-year term from December to December of the following year. All other officers hold their positions on a semester basis.

Section 3: Procedure of Removal

The officer will either be warned or an immediate vote will be taken at the next general meeting for their removal depending on the severity of their offense. The punishment is up to the discretion of the executive board.

Article IV: The Executive Board

Section 1: Board's Duties and Powers

The Executive Board shall have general supervision of the affairs of the society between its business (general) meetings, fix the hour and place of meetings, make recommendations to the Society, and perform such duties as are specified in these Bylaws. The Board shall be subject to the orders of the Society, and none of its acts shall conflict with the action taken by the Society.

Section 2 : Board Meetings

Board meetings are referred to as officer meetings in these Bylaws. See Article V, Section 1.

Article V: Meetings

Section 1: Meetings

The officers must meet at the beginning of each semester to schedule that semester's meetings. There must be at least 4 general meetings and 5 officer meetings (i.e. one before each general meeting and one after the last general meeting). Active members may attend both kinds of meetings, but they only have a vote at general meetings. Active members will be notified of the general meetings and their respective agendas at least 3 days before the meeting. The President runs the general meetings and the Vice-President runs the officer meetings.

Section 2: Quorum

Fifteen (15) active members at a general meeting shall constitute a quorum.

Article VI: Elections

Section 1: Elections

Elections are held at the last general meeting of each semester. Prior to that the general members are made aware of the vacancies. At the last meeting, each position is elected in the order listed in these Bylaws. Nominations are taken, candidates receive 30 seconds to speak and then they are asked to leave the room. Active members, except for the President and Vice-President are allowed to speak on the candidate's behalf before the vote is taken of the active members. By count of the President and Vice-President, the candidate who receives the plurality of the active members present wins the position. If for some reason the President or Vice-President can't verify the count, the next eligible officer on the list will assist. Only one member may be elected to each office. If co-officers are required for a given position, then they should be viewed as two separate positions. In the case of a tie, the active members are made aware of the tie and the vote is retaken with the individuals who tied.

Section 2: Vacancy

If a premature vacancy of an officer position occurs, the members are told and an emergency election is held as soon as possible. The emergency election is held in the same manner as a regular election.

Section 3: Turnover

Each old officer is required to go through turnover procedures with the new officers. The old officer must also update their binder and give it to the new officer. Both old and new officers are required to attend the last officer meeting of the semester in order to complete any additional transition procedures the President and/or Vice-President deem necessary.

Article VII: Faculty Advisor

Section 1: Duties

The duties of the faculty advisor include attending initiation, attending meetings whenever possible, and advising the officers when necessary.

Section 2: Election

The faculty advisor is to be the Department Chair whenever possible. If the Department Chair is not a member, he/she should be initiated as an honorary member as soon as possible after their appointment as Department Chair. If the Department Chair declines the position, nominations for a new faculty advisor shall be taken at the following general meeting. Those nominees will be informed, and those who accept the nomination shall be voted upon at the next general meeting.

Section 3: Term

The term of service is the same as the term of service for Department Chair. This term is 4 years.

Section 4: Removal

The faculty advisor can be removed by a majority vote at a general meeting.

Article VIII: Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Society in all cases which they are applicable and do not come in conflict with these Bylaws or any other special rules of order the Society may adopt.

Article IX: Amendment of Bylaws

These Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting by a three-quarters vote of the active members, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous regular meeting. Officers may also propose amendments to the Bylaws at officer meetings. In this case, the officers must agree on the amendment, it must be presented and explained to the active members at the following general meeting, and a vote must be taken.



National Pi Tau Sigma Bylaws

Article I. Rituals

The initiation proceedings of the society shall be conducted in accordance with the document "Rituals of Pi Tau Sigma" (1992 edition).

Article II. Election of Members

  1. Each chapter is to elect new members regularly in accordance with Article III of the Constitution.
  2. Each new member is to be formally initiated using the official rituals of the society.
  3. In any traditional informal initiation activities no form of harassment is permitted.
  4. For each new member initiated, chapter officers are responsible for submitting sufficient information, including complete name, date of initiation, membership category, and permanent address to allow the national secretary to maintain a permanent record on file for each member at the national headquarters of Pi Tau Sigma.
  5. Each new member is to receive a certificate of membership and a membership card. (See IV-5 of these Bylaws).
  6. Effective September 1, 2002, there shall be paid into the National Treasury the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25) per initiate. This fee must be submitted before names submitted are recognized as new members and processed accordingly. Five dollars ($5) of this fee is designated for the society's endowment fund. The balance will be used to offset annual operating expenses of the society which shall include the costs of membership certificates, publications and a sum to go toward the expenses of one delegate from each chapter that is represented at the annual convention.
  7. Each chapter may elect two or more honorary members per year. Two of these shall be exempt from payment of national initiation fees.
  8. A Chapter may appoint as "honor affiliates" Sophomores with a declared major in Mechanical Engineering, and a scholastic ranking in the top 10% of their class. These "honor affiliates" would have voice and voting privileges, with the exception of voting on new members, and would be expected to attend general meetings and participate in special activities. They would not be members of Pi Tau Sigma, but would simply be "designated by the (name) chapter of Pi Tau Sigma as an Honor Affiliate to the (name) Chapter." They would lose that designation in lack of participation, or by losing their academic 10-percentile ranking. There would be no fee, nor a certificate issued by the National Office. Chapters should, however, list any "honor affiliates" in their annual reports.

Article III. Government

  1. The society is governed by actions made at the annual convention and appropriately approved in accordance with the Constitution of the Society and the Bylaws.
  2. The quorum shall be the majority of the delegates who have registered at the convention as in attendance.
  3. The following agenda and procedure apply to the annual convention
    1. Roll Call.
    2. Confirm approval of New Chapters.
    3. Minutes of previous meeting.
    4. Annual report of National Secretary.
    5. Annual report of National Treasurer.
    6. Instructions to Convention Committees by National Officers.
    7. Submission of Written Reports from each Chapter Delegate, covering the following: (to be printed in the CONDENSER)
      1. List of officers for previous school year and at present.
      2. Major activities of Chapter since last convention.
      3. Members dropped.
      4. Deaths.
    8. Reports from committees.
    9. Election of officers.
    10. Unfinished business.
    11. New business.
    12. Resolutions.
    13. Adjournment.
  4. At each convention the delegates shall decide upon the place of the convention two years hence and set an approximate date. Confirmation of the place and an approximate date for the next convention shall be made by the delegate body.
  5. The organization shall in no way enter politics, nor shall any member be obliged to support any man or woman for any office or position of honor or trust because of a connection with the honor society.
  6. Neither the society nor any of its chapters, officers, and/or members shall have the authority to acquire, rent or lease any structure, enclosure, or item of equipment without authorization by the convention or the National Council.
  7. A house may be established by a chapter if it is sanctioned by the National Council.

Article IV. National Council

  1. Any action requiring approval of the National Council must receive an affirmative vote by at least 4 of the 5 members.
  2. The first of the council members elected shall be the national president of the honor society, who's duties shall be to preside over the meetings of the National Council and over the annual convention, to install or deputize others to install new chapters, to inspect or deputize others to inspect any chapter whose condition may be considered as unsatisfactory, and to perform other appropriate duties.
  3. The second, third, and fourth members of the National Council shall be the national vice presidents of the honor society. Their duties shall be:
    1. to assume the duties of the national president in the absence or incapacitation of that officer;
    2. to cooperate with the national president and national secretary-treasurer as members of the National Council;
    3. to serve as members of a special committee to recommend awardees for the annual Gold Medal, Richards Memorial and Larson Memorial Awards; and to act as advisor to the official delegates in the preparation of an order of business to be presented to the national convention to complete other tasks designated by the president.
    4. Regional Vice-Presidents shall assume primary responsibility or communicating with Chapters in their region relative to maintaining their status as active Chapters in good standing. Each Vice-President will contact Chapters within his/her Region at least once in the Fall and once in the Spring.
  4. Each geographical division shall be represented by a vice president actively associated with a chapter in the respective division. The division shall be arranged by the National Council. A new chapter shall be assigned to the appropriate division by the National Council.
  5. The fifth of the National Council members elected shall be the national secretary-treasurer. The national secretary-treasurer shall have custody of all books, records, moneys, seals, constitution, and rituals of the honor society. All communications of the society-at-large shall be addressed through the office of the national secretary-treasurer; and all assessments and collections authorized by the national convention or the National Council shall be administered through the office of the national secretary-treasurer. The office of national secretary-treasurer serves a dual role and is the resource center for all chapters. An outline of the dual duties follows:
    1. National Secretary: Responsibilities include: (1) maintaining an accurate, up-to-date roster of the membership of Pi Tau Sigma; (2) maintaining current correspondence of the honor society and specifically communicating with chapters regularly informing them of actions they need to take, any special requirements they must meet and advisement concerning matters of general importance which should be brought before their members; (3) responding to requests from chapters for information and publications; (4) serving as editor for publications of the society; (5) maintaining a supply of publications and initiation materials; (6) keeping all records, and (7) representing the society at certain functions. The national secretary plays a vital role to the organization by keeping operational matters flowing timely and smoothly and by maintaining continuity. The national secretary gives a report on activities to each annual convention. 

      The national secretary maintains a supply of blank charters, appreciation certificates, rituals, Pi Tau Sigma brochure, the insignia used during initiations, The Story of Pi Tau Sigma, and The Condenser. The national secretary serves as editor for each of these publications/documents, seeing that materials are collected on time and that arrangements have been made for timely printing of the item. The national secretary is responsible for seeing that all appropriate information is obtained and timely prepared to have The Condenser printed each year in time for copies to be shipped to all chapters in early April. It is practice to print enough copies that all new members receive one. A few extra copies should be kept on hand for special requests. The national secretary is responsible for keeping The Story of Pi Tau Sigma current and keeping a sufficient supply printed so that shipment to each chapter can be made in September. A few extra copies should be kept on hand for special requests. The national secretary should keep a supply of blank charters, blank appreciation certificates, Pi Tau Sigma brochure, the rituals, the emblem and the crest. Cognizance of anticipated needs should control updating and printing requirements.
    2. National Treasurer: Responsibilities include: (1) serving as a faithful, conservative steward in monitoring use of the society's resources. (2) keeping faithful and accurate records of fiscal transactions with the respective charters and creditors of the national honor society, (3) operating the national office while keeping expenses in each category within the annual budget that was approved at the preceding annual convention; (4) making timely deposits of income; (5) preparing a detailed treasurer's report each year for auditing and having an audit made and available for distribution at the annual convention; and (6) submitting all documents needed to comply with IRS regulations including annual filing of Form 990 with IRS. The National Treasurer should be bonded. The National Treasurer gives a report of fiscal activities and society operation to each annual convention.
  6. The national secretary-treasurer of the honor society shall provide a certificate of membership and a membership card for each new member initiated. Forms shall be submitted to the national secretary with the requested information on each person recommended for membership in Pi Tau Sigma. Keys and pins may be ordered from the approved supplier by processing them through the office of the national secretary for approval. Such orders should be submitted using forms provided for ordering. Processing of new members, including placement of names in permanent records and ordering of certificates, shall not be done by the national secretary-treasurer until the national dues have been paid.

Article V. New Chapters

  1. A new chapter may only be installed after a duly processed petition has been approved. The petition to establish a new chapter, along with a current catalog of the institution, shall be submitted to the National Council and shall contain:
    1. name of the institution and address,
    2. general entrance requirements (plus requirements for mechanical engineering, if different),
    3. degrees granted annually in the mechanical engineering program,
    4. current enrollment in the mechanical engineering program,
    5. a survey of the general conditions of honor societies in the institution,
    6. appropriate faculty and administrative endorsement.
  2. A petition for a new chapter must be in the hands of the National Council and each active chapter before January 1 to be considered for installation before the close of that school year.
  3. The fee shall be two hundred dollars ($200).
  4. The expense of the installation shall be paid by the national treasury.
  5. In the event of dissolution of any chapter installed after July 15, 1959, the chapter's assets must be transferred to another organization organized and operated for a similar exempt purpose, or to the Federal or State or local government. This transfer must be approved by the National Council prior to any distribution of funds.
  6. A chapter which has not initiated members for two consecutive years shall be classified as inactive upon the recommendation of the National Council and three-fourths of a national convention. To reactivate, an inactive chapter would follow the same procedures used in the installation of a new chapter.

Article VI. Government of the Chapters

  1. During the academic year, each chapter shall elect officers. These elections may be held annually or semi-annually, the election for the fall term being held at the first regular meeting in May.
  2. The duties of the chapter president shall be to call and preside at all regular and special meetings, to appoint committees, and to approve on order of a quorum of the chapter all bills presented against the organization.
  3. The duties of the vice-president shall be to preside at all regular and special meetings in the absence of the president and to act as president pro-tempore in case of the resignation or disability of the latter.
  4. The duties of the recording secretary shall be to keep a record of the transactions at all regular and special meetings and to issue all necessary notices concerning chapter meetings.
  5. The duties of the corresponding secretary shall be to handle all necessary correspondence with past and honorary members and all correspondence with active members, and all correspondence with the National Council.
  6. The duties of the treasurer shall be to issue notices of special assessments and to collect all dues and assessments. The treasurer shall have charge of all funds of the chapter and shall pay on order of the president all bills presented against the chapter.
  7. The initiation fee per initiate for any chapter shall not exceed fifty dollars ($50.00).
  8. Graduate Members and Honorary Members shall not be allowed to vote or hold office unless chapter bylaws permit.

Article VII. Chapter-At-Large

  1. Students at an institution having a curriculum of Mechanical Engineering accredited by ABET in which there is no chapter of Pi Tau Sigma may be recommended for membership in the Chapter-At-Large, Alpha Omega.
  2. Chapters of Pi Tau Sigma may initiate as honorary members of their respective chapters duly qualified faculty members from any institution where no chapter exists. These particular honorary members shall be exempt from payment of national initiation fees. This exemption is in addition to that provided in Article III, Section 4, of the Constitution.
  3. Honorary members in an institution, whose mechanical engineering curriculum has been accredited by ABET by does not have a chapter of Pi Tau Sigma, may recommend to a sponsoring chapter seniors in their Mechanical Engineering Department who have the qualifications for membership in Pi Tau Sigma in accordance with Article III of the Constitution.
  4. The sponsoring chapter shall vote on those recommended for membership in the chapter-at-large at the same time as they vote on their own members. Those elected shall be formally initiated along with the sponsoring chapter's own members.
  5. The initiation fee shall not exceed an amount equal to that for active membership in the sponsoring chapter, which fee shall include the $22.00 national initiation fees plus the cost of any jewelry.
  6. Each member of the Chapter-At-Large shall receive a copy of the "Story of Pi Tau Sigma," an issue of the current "CONDENSER," a membership card, and a certificate of membership.

Article VIII. Publications

  1. The Condenser is printed annually. It includes the minutes from the preceding convention. It contains information about the next convention. Chapter reports are also included. The National Council shall post a copy of the "Condenser" on the web and send two hard copies to each Chapter every year.
  2. The Story of Pi Tau Sigma contains historical and factual information about the honor society including the Constitution and Bylaws. It is updated and printed on a regular basis. The National Council shall post the "Story of Pi Tau Sigma" on the web and distribute two hard copies to each Chapter when revised.

Article IX. Amendments

Any proposed amendments to these Bylaws shall become effective when approved by the National Council and three-fourths of affirmative vote of the delegates voting as the convention before which the amendments are proposed.