Constitution of the Omicron of California Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa

1997: San Francisco State University

ARTICLE I - Name

This Society is a constituent member of the United Chapters of Phi Beta Kappa and shall be known as the Omicron of California or as the San Francisco State University Chapter.

ARTICLE II - Purpose

The purpose of Phi Beta Kappa is to recognize and encourage scholarship, friendship, and cultural interests.

ARTICLE III - Membership

The membership of the Chapter shall consist of charter members, members in course, alumnae and alumni members (if any), honorary members (if any), and associate members.

  1. The members in course shall be elected primarily on the basis of broad cultural interests, scholarly achievements, and good character. The number of undergraduates elected from any class, including any who may be elected in their junior year, shall ordinarily not exceed ten (10) per cent and in no case shall exceed fifteen (15) per cent of those expected to receive liberal bachelor degrees in that class. Only those students whose work has been definitely liberal in character and purpose shall be eligible to election as members in course, this requirement being satisfied ordinarily by a proportion of three-fourths in liberal studies. They shall also be completing at least two years of residence in the sheltering institution and must have obtained a minimum average grade specified in the Chapter-By-Laws. A limited number of undergraduates of outstanding ability may be elected in their junior year.
  2. Only those persons shall be elected to membership whose qualifications have been carefully investigated. To maintain the historic character of Phi Beta Kappa, members of the faculty on the Nominating Committee shall be chosen predominantly from teachers of liberal subjects. Here, as elsewhere in this Constitution, liberal subjects and studies shall be considered to be those designed principally for a knowledge or understanding of appreciation of the natural and social world in which we live, as contrasted with training intended to develop skill or vocational techniques, such as most courses in departments or schools of technology, business and administration, home economics, or applied arts, or those for the training of teachers.
  3. The Chapter shall be responsible for determining the courses or work which are to be considered liberal in character in accordance with stipulations. The Chapter may take into consideration the results of such methods as honors work and comprehensive examinations and also the opinions of teachers and administrative officers concerning the character, capacity, scholarly achievements, and breadth of interest of each student under consideration.
  4. If graduate students in course are elected, they must be completing, with an unusually high record, at least two years of graduate study leading towards the Ph.D. degree, must meet the same standards as to liberal studies as are applied to undergraduates, and shall ordinarily be graduates of institutions not having a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and the possessors of a superior standing in their undergraduate work.
  5. Graduates of the institution of not less than ten years' standing who, by contributions in the fields of the humane sciences and letters or by works of pure literature, have since graduation given clear evidence of the possession of distinguished scholarly capacities, may be elected to alumnae/alumni membership. The number elected in any triennium should be strictly limited by the Chapter-By-Laws.
  6. Men and women, not graduates of the institution, who, by contributions in the fields of the humane sciences and letters or by works of pure literature, have given clear evidence of the possession of distinguished scholarly capacities, may be elected to honorary membership. No graduate of another institution having a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa shall be so elected unless the consent of that chapter has been obtained. The number elected in any triennium should be strictly limited by the Chapter By-Laws.
  7. Members of other chapters of Phi Beta Kappa who are, or who become, members of the faculty or staff of the institution shall thereby become associate members of the Chapter with full privileges in the conduct of its affairs. Other members of Phi Beta Kappa in the vicinity may be invited to any meetings of the Chapter.
  8. The Chapter may make further limitations or restrictions concerning any class of members other than associate.
  9. Since good moral character is a qualification for membership, any member found, after being given due notice and an opportunity to be heard, to have lost this qualification may be expelled from Phi Beta Kappa by a four-fifths vote of the members present at a regular annual meeting of the Chapter.
  10. A citation of the qualifications of each person elected to Alumnae/Alumni or Honorary membership shall be entered upon the minutes and submitted for record to the Secretary of the United Chapters. A full report of all members elected, expelled, or recorded as having resigned or died shall be sent annually to the Secretary of the United Chapters.

ARTICLE IV - Representation and Contribution

This Chapter shall send a delegation to represent it at each meeting of the Council of Phi Beta Kappa and shall contribute its share to the financial support of the United Chapters.

ARTICLE V - Conduct of Business

This Chapter shall, by suitable by-laws, provide for the election of officers, the selection of members, the conduct of its meetings, and such other matters as may be deemed proper, provided that said by-laws shall contain nothing inconsistent with this Constitution or with the Constitution and By-Laws of the United Chapters, and provided further that said by-laws and any amendment thereto shall not become effective until approved by the Senate of the United Chapters.

ARTICLE VI - Amendments

This Constitution may be amended only by the Council of Phi Beta Kappa.