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As revised on April 16, 2000, and March 30, 2003


BE IT KNOWN that this organization grew out of a local society of Phi Sigma, which was founded at the University of Chicago in 1914, and became nationalized in 1924, and its incorporation was directed May 14, 1927, under the laws of the State of Illinois, as the Honorary Undergraduate Classical Fraternity, Eta Sigma Phi. Therefore, we, the members of Eta Sigma Phi, in order to further the spirit of cooperation and good will among the members of classical departments and to stimulate interest in the study of the classics and to increase our knowledge of the art and literature of ancient Greece and Rome, do ordain and adopt this Constitution.


SECTION 1. The name of this Society is and shall be “ETA SIGMA PHI.”


SECTION 1. Eta Sigma Phi is declared to be an Honorary Greek Letter Society of undergraduate students, whose purposes are:
a) To develop and promote interest in classical study among the students of colleges and universities.
b) To promote closer relationships among students who are interested in classical study, including inter-campus relationships.
c) To engage generally in an effort to stimulate interest in classical study, and in the languages, literature, history, and art of ancient Greece and Rome.


SECTION I. Eta Sigma Phi shall consist of its National Organization, which is composed of its Board of Trustees, its Grand Executive Council, and such local chapters which have been established or may be established as hereinafter provided.


SECTION 1. This constitution and amendments thereto shall be the fundamental law of this Society, including its Board of Trustees, its Grand Executive Council, and all local chapters.


SECTION 1. The Board of Trustees of Eta Sigma Phi shall consist of seven faculty members of active chapters.

SECTION 2. The members of the Board shall serve a three-year term of office. The following procedure shall be employed in the election of the members of the Board.
a) The Executive Council shall nominate candidates for the Board to the delegates at the National Convention for ratification.
b) Two members of the Board shall be elected each year, with the exception that only one member shall be elected every third year.
c) The members of the Board, after the three-year term of office, may be reelected to the Board by following the procedure stated above.
d) In case of the resignation of a member of the Board or a member’s inability to serve for some other reason, the Executive Council may appoint a successor to fill the unexpired term. This successor must be approved at the next National Convention.

SECTION 3. The duties of the Board of Trustees shall be:
a) They shall act as an advisory board on all matters of policy and all functions of Eta Sigma Phi. They shall have the power to make executive decrees, except in the instance stated below (d).
b) The Board may request at any time from the Executive Secretary information on any matters pertaining to Eta Sigma Phi.
c) In case of inefficiency or negligence on the part of the Executive Secretary, the Board, with the consent of the members of the Grand Executive Council, is empowered to remove the Executive Secretary and appoint a successor to fill the office until the time of the next National Convention.
d) The Board shall act as custodian of all invested funds of Eta Sigma Phi and shall submit, in written form, a report of such funds at the National Convention. The members of the Board shall be empowered to make only ordinary investments, unless especially authorized otherwise by the delegates to the National Convention; if the funds are to be used for a project, or to be given to another organization, or used for running expenses for Eta Sigma Phi, action must be taken at the National Convention. The members of the Board are not to invest the funds in any doubtful enterprise or securities of a speculative nature that involve a possible loss of the funds.


SECTION 1. The Grand Executive Council of this Society shall be composed of—
a) The undergraduate officers—Grand President (Megas [Megaleˉ] Prytanis), Grand Vice-President (Megas [Megaleˉ] Hyparchos), Grand Secretary (Megas [Megaleˉ] Grammateus), Grand Treasurer (Megas [Megaleˉ] Chrysophylax), with the addition of such other undergraduate officers as the Grand Executive Council may deem necessary; all officers shall be elected in the manner hereinafter provided.
b) The Executive Secretary, who shall be a faculty member of an active chapter of ETA SIGMA PHI.

SECTION 2. The officers, as listed in Section 1 of the Article, shall constitute the Grand Executive Council, which shall be the ruling body of the Society in the interim between the Annual Conventions. In order to comply with the Illinois laws of incorporation, at least one member of either the Grand Executive Council or of the Board of Trustees, or a duly appointed representative of either group, must always be a resident of Illinois.


SECTION 1. The undergraduate officers of the Grand Executive Council shall be elected at each National Convention, the term of office to begin at installation and terminate at the following installation.

SECTION 2. All active members shall be eligible to hold any office, with the exception that the Grand President shall be a Senior while holding office. Any officer with the exception of the Grand President may be re-elected.

SECTION 3. Election shall be by simple majority of those present and voting.

SECTION 4. The Executive Secretary shall be appointed by the Grand Executive Council and the Board of Trustees. The name of the appointee shall be submitted to the National Convention for ratification. The term of office shall be for one year and shall begin at installation. The National Convention shall determine the honorarium, if any, that is to be paid to the Executive Secretary.


SECTION 1. The Grand President shall preside over all meetings, shall be ex-officio member of all committees, and shall be chair of the Grand Executive Council. The Grand President shall see that all resolutions passed by the National Convention are carried into effect, and shall perform such other duties as are in the purview of the Grand President of similar societies.

SECTION 2. The Grand Vice-President automatically shall become chair of the Committee on Reactivation and Expansion, submitting a written report to the succeeding convention concerning petitions received, approved, and rejected by the Grand Executive Council.

SECTION 3. The Grand Secretary shall attend, and record the minutes of, all meetings which shall be held, and these shall be transcribed and kept in a book belonging to the Society. The Grand Secretary shall submit in written form to the chapters any amendments which are to be considered for final adoption at the next National Convention.

SECTION 4. The Grand Treasurer and the Executive Secretary shall receive and have custody of all funds belonging to the Society, and shall disburse said funds from time to time as the needs of the Society may require. They shall keep accurate records of accounts in a book or books belonging to the Society, and shall enter therein accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements, and an accurate account of such sums as may be owing to the Society from time to time, likewise an account of all indebtedness the Society may from time to time incur, together with a record of any other financial transactions in which the Society may engage. The Grand Treasurer and the Executive Secretary shall submit a written financial report to the Annual Convention.

SECTION 5. The duties of the Executive Secretary shall be:
a) To maintain the central office of Eta Sigma Phi.
b) To advise and assist the undergraduate officers and to aid the local chapters in every possible way.
c) To make an annual report to the National Convention in written form.
d) To make to the Board of Trustees, in written form, an annual report, which reviews the status of the chapters of the Society, the financial status of the Society, and any other matters deemed relevant.
e) To manage the medal account and make an annual report of the same in the first issue of the NUNTIUS, or to appoint a registrar of medals who shall be resonsible for the report
f) To serve as editor of the NUNTIUS, or to  appoint an editor.


SECTION 1. In the event of vacancies in the undergraduate offices of this Society, such vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment of the Executive Secretary.


SECTION 1. A local chapter is a body of students interested in classical study, organized under and by virtue of this Constitution and chartered at any Liberal Arts college or university which has been accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency for at least five years. This time period may be waived only upon the consideration and approval of the Grand Executive Council.

SECTION 2. A local chapter may be organized, chartered, and established upon the granting of a petition, which, duly executed by a group of qualified students, has been addressed to and filed with the Executive Secretary. When any such petition shall have received the recommendation, by majority vote, of the Grand Executive Council, the petition shall be submitted to the next National Convention. Upon the approval of two-thirds of the voting delegates assembled at such convention, a charter shall be granted, and after initiatory rites as provided for in the ritual of the Society, the same shall be issued by the Executive Secretary.

SECTION 3. The nomenclature of the local chapters, like that of the  National Society, shall be based upon the Greek alphabet, each local chapter being designated by that letter or those letters of the Greek alphabet which indicate its relation to the others in the order of establishment.

SECTION 4. The officers constituting the Executive Council of each local chapter shall be:
a) Prytanis—President.
b) Hyparchos—Vice-President.
c) Grammateus—Recording Secretary.
d) Chrysophylax—Treasurer.
e) Pyloros—Sergeant-at-arms.
f) Additional officers as deemed appropriate.
This number may be limited and the duties consolidated accordingly.

SECTION 5. The duties and privileges of the local chapters shall be:
a) To adopt a constitution and by-laws, if deemed necessary, for its own government and to determine its own requirements for membership insofar as these do not conflict with the provisions of this Constitution.
b) To promote the spirit and purposes of the National Society upon the campus of its own institution through its chapter meetings, Executive Council, and individual members.
c) To hold initiations, normally at least once each year.
d) To submit an annual report of chapter officers to the National Office by October 31 of each year.
e) To send delegates to the National Convention.
f) To submit at the National Convention, or prior to it, a report of activities since the previous convention.

SECTION 6. Failure of a chapter to comply with Article X, Section 5, Paragraphs c through f may result in the revocation of its charter.

SECTION 7. If any local group which has petitioned Eta Sigma Phi and has been approved for a charter has not had its chapter installed within one year after approval, it must re-petition before the chapter may be installed.


SECTION 1. The active membership of this Society shall consist of undergraduate students of classical languages attending a college or university wherein a local chapter shall have been established, their status being attained only through and by invitation of such local chapter, and conditioned upon an attained grade of not less than “B” in courses in Latin and/or Greek in at least one semester or two quarters. Active membership may be attained by students having a lower grade than “B” only upon the special recommendation of the instructor.

SECTION 2. Each local chapter shall determine its own requirements for active membership, except that these shall not be in conflict with the requirements and provisions of the National Society as set forth in this Constitution.

SECTION 3. Active members who transfer their attendance to another college or university where a local chapter has been or may be established shall be eligible for a transfer of membership. But should they prefer to retain membership in the chapter in which they were elected, they shall be recognized as visiting members, entitled to all privileges of the local chapter except that of voting.

SECTION 4. The associate membership shall include graduate students who were undergraduate members of the Society, and graduate students majoring or minoring in the classics who are qualified and elected under the requirements for undergraduate membership. Associate members shall not have the right to hold office in the National Society, but may be voting delegates from their local chapters, in which they may vote and hold office. Those initiated into the Society as graduate students shall be responsible for the initiation fee to the National Society. Local chapters may charge associate members any fee which is deemed appropriate.

SECTION 5. Honorary membership may be offered by local chapters to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the discipline of classical studies through service to the society or in other appropriate ways.  Honorary membership is not intended for undergraduates, as it carries none of the perquisites of regular membership.  On very rare occasions, chapters may extend honorary membership to a graduating senior who has made an extraordinary contribution to the discipline and the society.  Honorary members do not pay national fees.


SECTION 1. All members of this Society may have a membership badge made up of the letters Eta Sigma Phi or the official key. All such insignia shall be ordered through the official jeweler.


SECTION 1. All national fees will be determined by a majority vote taken at the National Convention.

SECTION 2. The designated charter fee shall be paid to the Grand Treasurer by each local chapter prior to its installation.

SECTION 3. Each elected candidate for membership, prior to initiation, shall pay an initiation fee to the National organization. This payment shall be made to the treasurer of the local chapter and then transmitted to the National Office. The chapter, if deemed appropriate, may charge an additional initiation fee.

SECTION 4. A chapter shall be considered delinquent if it does not submit a list of initiates and their initiation fees to the Executive Secretary immediately after initiation; such failure may result in the revocation of its charter.


SECTION 1. A National Convention shall be held annually, usually between March 15 and April 30, and convened at a place designated at a previous convention, or in lieu thereof by the Grand Executive Council and on a date agreed upon by the entertaining chapter and the Grand Executive Council. In determining the site of the National Convention, every effort shall be made to achieve geographical diversity.

SECTION 2. The purposes of assembling the Convention annually are:
a) To hear, consider, and act upon reports of officers, committees, and local chapters.
b) To fix, determine and declare the policies of the Society.
c) To hear, consider, and act upon such proposals as may be submitted for amendments to this Constitution.
d) To elect and install officers for the coming year and to ratify the appointments to the Board of Trustees and of the Executive Secretary.
e) To conduct such other business as the Convention may deem desirable or expedient for the interests of the Society, and to preserve and maintain unified relationships among the local chapters.

SECTION 3. Each chapter shall be entitled to two voting delegates at the annual National Convention, but all members of the Society may attend its meetings as observers and enjoy all the privileges thereof except that of voting. In case a local chapter is represented by only one delegate, that delegate may cast two votes.

SECTION 4. The National Convention, through its voting delegates, shall constitute the ruling body of the Society while in session.

SECTION 5. A quorum at the National Convention shall consist of a majority of all delegates registered at the Convention.

SECTION 6. The meeting of the National Convention shall be called to order and be presided over by the Grand President, if present. In the absence of the Grand President, the Grand Vice-President or one of the other members of the Executive Council shall preside, or the Executive Council shall appoint a presiding officer from the delegates present.


SECTION 1. The official publication of ETA SIGMA PHI shall be called the NUNTIUS.

SECTION 2. All active members shall receive Nuntius without cost.

SECTION 3. The subscription price for those who are not active members shall be determined by the editor of the Nuntius.


SECTION 1. Any article of this constitution may be amended in the following manner: A proposed amendment shall be presented in writing at one annual national convention, and if passed by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, shall be submitted in written form through individual correspondence by the Megas Grammateus to each chapter at least two months prior to the next annual national convention and shall be presented for final vote at that convention, where a two-thirds majority of all votes shall be necessary for adoption.