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Sample: Bylaws for Tri-M Local Chapters

All Tri-M chapters function under the governing policies of the Tri-M Program Guidelines. Only NAfME staff is allowed to amend the Tri-M Program Guidelines. These sample bylaws have been written in accordance with the Tri-M Program Guidelines and may be used as an example by Tri-M chapters. Each chapter is expected to amend, revise, and amplify these bylaws in simple, direct language with information and procedures pertinent to the chapter's operation. When complete, these bylaws should define the limits of authority for the organization and give a sense of both order and purpose to the chapter's activities.

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We, the members of the ______________________________ (school) music department, in an effort to inspire music participation, create enthusiasm for scholarship, stimulate a desire to render service, and promote leadership in the music students of our school, accept these bylaws for the establishment and operation of our Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter.

Article I: Chapter Name and Location

The name of this chapter will be known as: Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter __________ (number) at ______________________(school).

Article II: Division

This chapter will be a __________ (Senior or Junior) chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Members will be __________ (Senior or Junior) division members of Tri-M.

Article III: Purpose

The purpose of this chapter will be to:

  • Provide an appropriate method for recognizing the musical achievements of our members
  • Strengthen our school's music program
  • Help our members reach their full musical potential
  • Motivate and recognize our members' musical and personal achievements, credits, and grades
  • Encourage our members to work together toward the same goal
  • Inspire and challenge our members
  • Focus public attention on our school's music program through community service

Article IV: General Powers

The Tri-M chapter participants are limited to the powers vested to them by NAfME, the Tri-M Program Guidelines, and these bylaws.

In any matter not provided for in the Tri-M Program Guidelines, these chapter bylaws, or by local, state, or federal law, Tri-M Chapter __________ (number) at ________________(school) will act by majority vote of those present at any annual, regular, or special meeting.

As a program of ______________________________ (school), this Tri-M chapter understands that the principal and school administration have the power to veto any local Tri-M decisions.

Only NAfME has the power to amend or revise the Tri-M Program Guidelines.

Article V: Membership

Section One: Membership Classes
Members shall be Active, Alumni, or Honorary.

Section Two: Active Membership
A. Requirements
Candidates for active student membership shall be chosen by (select one) the chapter advisor/a faculty committee made up of __________ (number) faculty members appointed by ____________ (advisor/ principal). Candidates for active student membership shall be chosen from those students enrolled in the music department at ______________________________ (school). Candidates, at the time of their selection, shall meet the following requirements:

  • They must have enrolled in a music ensemble and/or class for at least one semester of the current school year at ______________________________ (school);
  • They must exhibit leadership, service, and character in their activities while at ______________________________ (school); and
  • They must have maintained for the previous semester at least an A average grade or equivalent in music with at least a B average grade or equivalent in other academic subjects.

(These are the minimal requirements that appear in the Tri-M Program Guidelines. The local chapter has the option to raise these minimal requirements at the discretion of the chapter advisor.)

B. Public Notice
A written description of the selection procedure shall be made available to all music students and their parents prior to candidate consideration. The selection procedure shall be consistent with articles of the Tri-M Program Guidelines.

C. Lapsed Membership
Members and their eligibility for Tri-M membership (shall/shall not) be reviewed on an annual basis to consider their continued participation in the Tri-M program. (If reviewed annually) These reviews shall be done (at what part of the school year), by (advisor/committee of __________ (number) faculty/committee of __________ (number) students/other). The review shall confirm the member's enrollment in a ______________________________ (school) music ensemble and/or class for at least one semester of the current school year and that the member has maintained for the previous semester at least a B average grade or equivalent in music, with at least a C average grade or equivalent in other academic subjects.

If a current member does not or cannot meet the academic or music criteria necessary to be considered a Tri-M member, his or her membership will lapse in good standing until the music and academic criteria are once again met.

The chapter advisor shall determine when a lapsed member is reinstated based upon proof that membership criteria have once again been met.

D. Dismissal
Dismissal is a permanent revocation of Tri-M membership without the option of reinstatement unless overturned by an appeal.

Dismissal is warranted by flagrant violation of school rules or criminal law. A member may be dismissed without warning. A written documentation of the dismissal procedure shall be available to interested parties.

Any member who is dismissed shall surrender all Tri-M insignia items to the chapter advisor. If the member paid for the membership insignia items, the chapter will reimburse the student for the original cost of the items.

E. Dismissal Appeal
A member who has been dismissed may appeal the decision. The principal of the school shall assign an impartial faculty committee of three or more to review the appeal. The same rules that would be used for a disciplinary appeal in the school district shall apply.

Section Three: Alumni Membership
Upon graduation, active members shall become alumni members. Alumni members shall have no voice or vote in chapter affairs.

Section Four: Honorary Membership
The chapter advisor may award honorary memberships in recognition of achievement and/or outstanding service rendered to the chapter in keeping with the purpose of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. Honorary membership may be awarded to guest clinicians, school officials, principals, teachers, Tri-M advisors, adults, or students with disabilities who are unable to fully meet the active member criteria. Other students are not eligible for honorary membership. Honorary members have no voice or vote in chapter affairs.

Article VI: Executive Committee

Section One: Committee Members
The executive committee of this chapter will consist of a chapter advisor and student officers.

Section Two: Chapter Advisor
The chapter advisor of this chapter shall be a teacher in the music department at ______________________________ (school). This chapter will (have/not have) co-advisors appointed by the advisor to assist with chapter operations.

Section Three: Student Officers
The student officers of this chapter will include a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, historian, _____________ (other).

Section Four: Quorum Requirement
A majority of the officers and the chapter advisor constitute a quorum.

Article VII: Duties of the Executive Committee

Section One: Chapter Advisor
The advisor of this chapter will act as supervisor, guide, and counselor in all matters pertaining to chapter operations. The advisor will attend all executive committee and chapter meetings and will help officers fulfill their respective duties, including maintaining chapter records and submitting chapter fees with the proper forms.

Section Two: President
The chapter president will lead the members toward the attainment of the goals of this chapter and of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. The president will preside at all meetings of the chapter and of the executive committee. The president and the other officers will conduct the induction ceremony for new members and will hold an election to appoint new officers to preside the following year.

Section Three: Vice President
The vice president of this chapter will preside at all meetings of the chapter in the absence of the president, and it will be his or her duty to assist the president. If programs, special projects, or activities are planned in addition to the membership presentation ceremony, the vice president will also serve as program chairperson.

Section Four: Secretary
The secretary of this chapter will be responsible for all correspondence of the chapter and will keep an accurate record of attendance, minutes, and all transactions and meetings of the chapter. The secretary will also serve as social chairperson.

Section Five: Treasurer
The treasurer of this chapter will keep an accurate record of all monies received and disbursed, membership fees paid to the honor society (if any), and all membership pin emblems, cards, certificates, and insignia items secured from the national office. The treasurer will report at each meeting the receipts, disbursements, and cash balance on hand. The chapter advisor should make an audit of the treasurer's records at the end of each semester. The treasurer will also serve as membership chairperson.

Section Six: Historian
The chapter historian shall keep a comprehensive record of all programs presented by the chapter and its members, including pictures and news clippings; serve as publicity chairperson; and be responsible for compiling the chapter's entry for Chapter of the Year.

Article VIII: Nomination and Election of Officers

During a spring meeting, the president will appoint a nominating committee of three who will propose a slate of officers for the coming year and present it at the following meeting. Nominations may also be made from the floor. The candidates will be elected by a majority ballot vote. New officers for the coming year will be installed before the close of the school year in which the election takes place.

Article IX: Vacancies on the Executive Committee

Vacancies occurring on the executive committee during the school year will be filled on a temporary basis with chapter members selected by the chapter advisor. Temporary executive committee assignments are valid only until the next meeting of the chapter, when an election will be held to fill such vacancies.

Article X: Meetings

Section One: Planning
The executive committee will meet in advance to outline scheduled meetings.

Section Two: Times
Regular meetings during the school year shall be on days designated by the executive committee and in accordance with school policy and regulations.

Section Three: Frequency
There will be at least __________ (number) scheduled meetings of this chapter per year and determined by the chapter advisor.

Section Four: Voting
All members may attend scheduled meetings. No meeting may be held unless the chapter advisor is present. Only the chapter advisor and active student members have a voice or vote in chapter affairs.

Section Five: Special Meetings
The chapter president or other designated student leader may call special meetings approved by the executive committee.

Section Six: Meeting Decorum
Meetings shall be conducted according to Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised (Perseus Publishing) in all points not expressly provided for in the Tri-M Program Guidelines or these chapter bylaws.

Article XI: Induction Ceremony

This chapter will hold at least __________ (number) public induction ceremony/ceremonies each school year as planned by the executive committee. All induction ceremonies will be held after school hours with parents, friends, school officials, faculty members, and other students in the music department invited to attend.

Article XII: Bylaw Ratification

Bylaws must be approved by the chapter advisor and school administration and receive a twothirds affirmative vote from chapter members to be ratified as law of the organization.

Article XIII: Amendments

The chapter shall regularly review these bylaws and amend or revise them if they do not meet the current needs of the chapter. Any amendment or revision must be consistent with the Tri-M Program Guidelines.

Any member may submit minor revision drafts to the Executive Committee for consideration. A specially appointed bylaws revision committee shall draft major revisions or complete bylaw rewrites. Revision proposals must be passed by an Executive Committee majority vote to be presented to the chapter membership for a vote.

When the Executive Committee passes a revision proposal with a majority vote, that revision proposal shall be presented to the chapter in written form prior to a chapter vote for adoption as chapter law. Proposed amendments or revisions require a two-thirds affirmative vote by chapter membership and school administration approval for adoption.