Health Sciences & Social Work

Phi Alpha Constitution



Kappa Sigma Chapter of

Phi Alpha Honor Society


Western Illinois University

Department of Health Sciences and Social Work

1 University Circle

Macomb, IL 61455


Effective Date: October 06, 2015



Eager to promote a closer bond among students of social work and to enter into a more intimate fellowship with those dedicated to the promotion of humanitarian goals and ideals by a professional group for which quality educational preparation is deemed imperative, students and faculty involved in social work education as Western Illinois University resolve to sponsor a chapter of Phi Alpha National Honor Society, thereby to foster high standards of education for social work and to invite into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and distinction of achievement as students of social work.


Article I

(Supreme Law)

The name of this organization shall be known as the Kappa Sigma Chapter of the Phi Alpha Honor Society. This chapter of Phi Alpha shall be affiliated with the national organization known as Phi Alpha National Honor Society and to its National Council. The Chapter Constitution and By-Laws shall be consistent with the Constitution and statues of the national organization. This organization is a student organization at Western Illinois University.


Article II


The objectives of this organization shall be:


            Section 1. To recognize and promote scholastic achievement among students and faculty                                involved in the undergraduate social work program at Western Illinois                                                 University.


            Section 2. To recognize, improve and further the goals of social work in the community,                                 state, nation and world.


            Section 3. To promote interest in preparation for a career in social work.


            Section 4. To volunteer our time and talents toward projects that promote social welfare                                 and social justice, and that serve our peers, university, and community.


            Section 5. To recognize professional social workers and others whose service,                                                  contributions, and leadership are held in esteem and serve as a model to the                                         next generation of social work practitioners.


Article III


Membership in this organization shall include:


            Section 1. Any student at Western Illinois University is eligible to be an active member                                  and may hold office. Chapter III, Section 1 of the By-Laws specifies criteria                                      for membership in the national Phi Alpha organization, in accordance with the                                      national Phi Alpha guidelines.


            Section 2. Non-students may act as associate members, but may not vote or hold office.


            Section 3. Full-time faculty members having an official connection with the social work                                 department may be granted membership upon invitation of the Executive                                Committee and approval of the chapter membership.


            Section 4. Honorary membership may be granted to professional social workers and                                        others whose support of social work education and practice merit such                                                 recognition.


Article IV


The officers of this organization shall be president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.


            Section 1. Election of officers

  1. Officers will be elected by written ballot, with each active member casting a vote. A majority of voters will constitute a victory.
  2. Nominations for office will be accepted prior to the second to last meeting of the academic year. Election of officers will take place at the last meeting of the academic year.
  3. Officers will assume office for the period of one academic year.


Section 2. Recall of officers

  1. Officers are subject to recall for malfeasance in office.
  2. Recall procedures will be initiated at the request of 6 active members.
  3. A hearing will be conducted at a regular meeting for the presentation of evidence. Notice will be given to the entire membership two weeks prior to the hearing date.
  4. The hearing will be presided over by a committee of three members of the organization, who are not directly involved in the recall. Duties of the committee will include a chair, recording secretary, and liaison.

                                                                    i.            Chair- Maintains order and directs proceedings.

                                                                  ii.            Recording Secretary- Keeps a written record of the proceeding and prepares a formal report.

                                                                iii.            Liaison- Provides a source of communication between the parties and the committee in an effort to assure due process.

  1. At the end of evidence presentation a written vote will be called. A quorum must be present at the time of voting. A simple majority of those active members voting at the call is necessary to remove any officer.


Article V


            Section 1. Constitutional Amendments

  1. This constitution and by-laws may be amended by a majority vote of the Executive Committee and ratified by a three-fourths vote for the chapter membership present. A quorum must be present for all constitutional issues. The proposed amendment shall be provided in writing to all member of the organization.
  2. Voting on amendments requires a two-week notice to the membership.
  3. Approved amendments will become effective upon acceptance and approval of the members and the Vice President for Student Services.


Section 2. All other business brought to the organization will be passed by a simple                             majority vote.


Section 3. Motions involving the election of officers or expenditures exceeding $100.00                                 require quorum to be present.


Article VI


Section 1. Chapter meetings shall be held a minimum of two times per academic                                 semester.

  1. Meetings for this organization will be open to all active members, social work students, faculty and student program representatives. Notice of the first meeting of the academic year will be posted two weeks prior to the meeting date.
  2. Dates and times of subsequent meetings will be decided at the first meeting by the members present and will be posted.
  3. The president may call special meetings. Notice will be given to the membership at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.


Article VII

(Financial Obligation)

A majority of the voting members of this organization may determine reasonable dues and fees assessed to each member at the beginning of each academic semester. A specific member or members, designated by this organization shall be responsible for payment in full of all debts accumulated by the organization not covered by funds on deposit.


Article VIII

(Non-for-Profit Statement)

This is a not-for-profit organization.




Article IX

(Statement of Non-Discrimination)

The organization shall not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, marital status, national origin, disability, or veteran status. This policy will include, but not limited to recruiting, membership, organization activities, or opportunities to hold office.


Article X

(Statement of Non-Hazing)

This organization will not conspire to engage in hazing, participate in hazing, or commit any act that causes or is likely to cause bodily danger, physical harm, and personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental harm to any fellow student or person attending the institution.


Article XI

(Statement of Compliance with Campus Regulations)

This organization shall comply with all university and campus policies and regulations, and local, state, and federal laws.


Article XII


            Section 1. The supreme governing body shall be the National Council as defined in the                                   National Constitution.


            Section 2. The governing body of this chapter shall be the Executive Committee as                                         defined in the by-laws.


















Kappa Sigma Chapter of

Phi Alpha Honor Society


Western Illinois University

Department of Health Sciences and Social Work

1 University Circle

Macomb, IL 61455


Effective Date: October 06, 2015


Chapter I

(Officers of the Executive Committee)

Section 1. Officers of the organization shall consist of a president, vice president,                                           secretary and treasurer.


Section 2. Cabinet

  1. President

                                                                    i.            President presides over meetings

                                                                  ii.            Prepares the meeting agenda

                                                                iii.            Meets with representatives of social service agencies in the community and arranging for guest speakers

                                                                iv.             Maintaining correspondence with the advisor and members of the organization throughout their active year.

                                                                  v.            Coordinates with the vice president, secretary and treasurer.

                                                                vi.            President presides over each initiation/induction ceremony

  1. Vice President

                                                                    i.            Presides over meetings in the absence of the president

                                                                  ii.            Institutes constitutional changes

                                                                iii.            Organizes and oversees committees as needed

                                                                iv.            Assists in coordinating activities with the organization

                                                                  v.            Reads the constitution at the first meeting.

  1. Secretary

                                                                    i.            Keeps a record of membership and attendance

                                                                  ii.            Takes minutes at meetings and distributes them to members

                                                                iii.            Ensures that all new members receive a copy of necessary information.

  1. Treasurer

                                                                    i.            Keeps financial records

                                                                  ii.            Collects dues

                                                                iii.            Monitors spending and collections during fundraising activities.

  1. Faculty Member

                                                                  i.            Serve as a faculty advisor

                                                                ii.            Attends all meetings

                                                              iii.            Oversees all functions and fundraisers

                                                              iv.            Works with officers on projects involving outside social service agencies.






Chapter II

(Organization and Procedures)

            Section 1. Election of officers shall be held once each year near the completion of the                                     spring semester and as needed as vacancies occur.


            Section 2. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President, Vice President,                                         Secretary and Treasurer.


            Section 3. The Chapter shall meet in official session at least twice per academic semester.


            Section 4. Standing Committees may be appointed by the President and approved by the                               Executive Committee.


            Section 5. The President may appoint special committees.


            Section 6. The Chapter year shall begin August 1 and end May 30.


            Section 7. The Chapter shall maintain adequate and accurate records of its membership,                                 activities, and finances.


            Section 8. Reading of the Constitution

  1. The constitution of this organization will be read to the members once each academic year.
  2. Each student will receive a copy of this constitution upon becoming a member.
  3. This constitution will be available on the Phi Alpha board, right outside of the social work office for review by the general public and will be posted on the department’s website.


Chapter III


Section 1. An undergraduate student is eligible for active membership after achieving the                                following national minimum requirements and local Chapter requirements:

  1. Accepted as a social work major
  2. Achieved a sophomore status
  3. Completed 9 semester hours of required social work courses
  4. Achieved an overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  5. Achieved a grade point average of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale in required social work courses.


Section 2. A faculty member may be granted membership by invitation of the Executive                    Committee and approval of the Chapter Membership.


Section 3. Qualified persons may be inducted into the organization at designated time of the year. –                                                                                           


Section 4. The Executive Committee with approval of the Chapter Membership, may                           grant Honorary Membership to a maximum of two individuals per year who                          have made outstanding contributions to social work. Honorary Members shall                    not be assessed membership dues.


Section 5. The method of granting membership shall be in accordance with procedures                       established by the local chapter.


Section 6. Any member may be expelled from membership for reasons of academic or                                     personal conduct or unbecoming of a student of social work by a three                                                fourths vote of the chapter membership, after a thorough investigation of the                                       Executive Committee, and after the member so charged has been granted an                                   impartial hearing before the Executive Committee. Dismissal from the social                                         Work Program or University is cause for automatic recommendation for                                             expulsion.


Chapter IV


            Section 1. The initiation fee shall be of sufficient amount to include fees required by the                                National Society and fees established by the local chapter. This fee will be                              $30.00.


            Section 2. The annual chapter dues shall be established in accordance with chapter needs                                by action of the Executive Committee and a three-fourths vote of the chapter                                      membership present.


            Section 3. The Executive Committee may levy special fees with a three-fourths vote of                                   the membership present.


Chapter V


These By-Laws may be amended by a majority vote of the Executive Committee and upon ratification by three-fourths of the chapter membership present.