National Constitution and Bylaws

2015 National Assembly Revision

The true strength of the individual chapter is determined by its obedience to the Constitution of the national fraternity. Wisdom has been shown in making our Constitution sufficiently plastic and progressive to meet the changing conditions inherent in the growth and expanse of a young fraternity and the increasing problems of the chapters.

Yet even at the present stage of adaptation and development it is not always easy for a chapter to be persistent and prompt in meeting all the requirements found in the SINFONIA law. Whenever such a time comes in the life of a chapter—it should *sacrifice*, and it will, if the chapter realizes itself to be a vital part of the organic whole, and not an isolated unity.

Brotherhood stands for mutual obligations and common duties. In the performance of them, inviolate should be respect for an observance of all the laws to each chapter and every member have voluntarily subscribed. Phi Mu Alpha is only as strong as the combined strength—and weakness—of all her chapters, no less, no more. She is a Federation of Chapters, united that she may grow the stronger in the bonds of brotherhood. Therefore, it behooves each chapter and every member to study and know the SINFONIA Constitution made for all, to be reverenced and obeyed by all—that all may remain united in fraternity law and fraternal love.

– Percy Jewett Burrell, Supreme President (1907-1913)

Download the 2015 <i>National Constitution and Bylaws</i>

The primary governing documents of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity are its National Constitution and Bylaws. The National Constitution of Phi Mu Alpha is adopted to define the primary identification and establishment of the Fraternity as an entity. Following the 2012 National Convention, The National Bylaws were adopted in four distinct sections, each defining governance procedures and protocols for specific association and affiliates of the Fraternity: National Policies, Province (regional) Policies, Chapter Policies, and Alumni Association Policies.

In July of 2015, the National Assembly met in session at the 55th National Convention. Out of the deliberations of this meeting, a number of changes to the National Constitution and Bylaws were adopted. The 2015 National Assembly edition of the National Constitution and Bylaws provided above for download incorporates all changes as adopted by your 2015 delegate representatives.  The document will be provided in print once remaining minor editorial changes have been reviewed and approved by the National Executive Committee. Among the near 30 changes include several that have significantly wide-reaching, substantive impact. A brief summary of the most significant changes is included below:

Increase in annual national convention tax
Chapter assessed national convention tax has been increased from $160.00 annually to $320.00 annually. This resolution was adopted as a staggered increase, resulting in the full $320.00 annual assessment not going into effect until the 2017-2018 academic year. The staggered convention tax increase over the next three years has been adopted as follows:

  • For the 2015-2016 academic year, chapters will pay a total of $200.00 in national convention tax, due in two installments of $100.00 each by October 15, 2015 and March 15, 2016.
  • For the 2016-2017 academic year, chapters will pay a total of $260.00 in national convention tax, due in two installments of $130.00 each by October 15, 2016 and March 15, 2017.
  • For the 2017-2018 academic year, chapters will pay a total of $320.00 in national convention tax, due in two installments of $160.00 each by October 15, 2017 and March 15, 2018.

Title I National, Article X Finances, Section 4

Advance payment of per capita taxes to transfer to alumni status
Members who have paid 8 semesters of per capita tax are eligible for transfer to alumni membership status.  In recent years, an increased number of brothers have paid future semesters in advance for the purpose of transfer.

The Bylaws have now been changed to require a member to notify both the chapter and the province governor in writing of his intent to pre-pay for transfer to alumni membership, and this transfer requires PG approval in order to take place.

The practice of advance payment of per capita tax for future semesters is not encouraged by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity, and should occur only in limited cases involving extreme circumstances.

Title I National, Article I Membership, Section 14

Suspended members and payment of per capita tax
The procedures for member suspension have been clarified to state that during the period of that a member is suspended, the chapter does not collect per capita tax for the suspended member, but before reinstatement, the member must pay the tax for the period of suspension. While the suspended member is not required to forward the payment of per capita tax while suspended, he is and will continue to be assessed per capita tax during his period of suspension.

Title III  Chapter, Article IX Chapter Discipline of Members, Section 4

Date of assessment of per capita taxes
Per capita tax will now be assessed to members on September 15 of each year to coincide with the Fall Chapter Reporting cycle. Prior to this adoption Fall per capita tax was assessed on July 1.

Title I National, Article X Finances, Section 1

Consideration of member expulsion
If a member is suspended for failure to pay national per capita tax and the per capita tax in arrears is not paid within 30 days of the date of suspension, the chapter is required to automatically consider the suspended member for expulsion. Prior to this adoption, the chapter was required to consider the member’s status after 60 days.

Title III Chapter, Article X Chapter Discipline of Members, Section 6

Concerning the authority of Province Councils
The authority of Province Councils have been expanded to include the ability to authorize expenditures from province financial accounts.

Title II Province, Article III Province Councils