The Phi Beta Kappa Society
Delta Chapter of New Jersey at The College of New Jersey
ARTICLE I: NAME
This Chapter is a constituent member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, an unincorporated organization (hereinafter, “Phi Beta Kappa Society”), or its successor-in-interest, and shall be known as the Delta of New Jersey Chapter or as The College of New Jersey (“TCNJ”) Chapter.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
This Chapter is under the general supervision and control of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The purpose of Phi Beta Kappa is to recognize and encourage scholarship, friendship, and cultural interests, and to support excellence and integrity in the pursuit of the arts and sciences. The Delta Chapter of New Jersey’s activities encourage liberal education, scholarship, and concern for the responsible uses of knowledge. Individuals elected to membership commit themselves to advancing the goals of Phi Beta Kappa.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
The membership of the Chapter shall consist of charter members, members-in-course, alumni/ae members, honorary members, and resident members. Foundation members, elected only at the founding of the chapter, are classified as honorary members.
Section I: General Membership Provisions
A. Only those persons shall be elected to membership whose qualifications have been carefully investigated. The members-in-course shall be elected primarily on the basis of broad cultural interests, scholarly achievements in the liberal arts and sciences, 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 percent and in no case shall exceed fifteen percent of those expected to receive liberal bachelor’s degrees in that class. Only those students whose work has been definitely liberal in character and purpose shall be eligible for election as members-in-course, this requirement being satisfied ordinarily by a proportion of three-fourths of liberal studies. They also shall be completing at least two years of residence at The College of New Jersey and must have obtained a minimum average grade specified in the Chapter Bylaws. A limited number of undergraduates of outstanding ability may be elected in their junior year.
B. Liberal arts and sciences shall be considered to be those designed principally for a knowledge or understanding or appreciation of the natural and social world in which we live, as contrasted with training intended to develop skill or vocational techniques.
C. The Chapter shall be responsible for determining the work or courses which are to be considered liberal in character in accordance with the Stipulations of the Council on eligibility for election of undergraduate members-in-course. The Chapter may take into consideration the results of a candidate’s performance in honors work and also the opinions of teachers and administrative officers concerning the character, capacity, scholarly achievements, and breadth of interest of each student under consideration.
Section II: Categories of Membership
A. Charter Members: The Phi Beta Kappa members of the faculty, administration, and staff to whom the Charter was granted for the formation of the Delta Chapter of New Jersey at TCNJ.
B. Members-in-Course: Those undergraduate students elected to membership in their junior or senior year who satisfy the criteria for election to membership set forth in this Constitution and the Chapter Bylaws.
C. Alumni/ae Members: TCNJ graduates 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 Alumni/ae Membership in accordance with the Chapter Bylaws. A statement of the qualifications of each candidate elected to Alumni/ae Membership shall be sent to the Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
D. Honorary Members: Any person who is not a TCNJ graduate 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 in accordance with the Chapter Bylaws. No graduate of another institution having a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa shall be elected unless the consent of that chapter has been obtained. A statement of the qualifications of each candidate elected to Honorary Membership shall be sent to the Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
E. Resident Members: Those members of other chapters of Phi Beta Kappa who are, or who become, members of the TCNJ faculty, administration, or staff shall thereby become Resident 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 meeting of the Chapter.
F. The Chapter may make further limitations or restrictions concerning any class of members other than Resident Member in its Chapter Bylaws.
Section 3: Revocation of Membership
Since good 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 meeting of the Chapter. A full report of all members elected, expelled, or recorded as having resigned or died shall be sent annually to the Secretary of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
ARTICLE IV: RESPONSIBILITIES OF CHAPTER
In addition to the responsibilities set forth elsewhere in this Constitution and in the Chapter Bylaws, 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 Phi Beta Kappa Society.
ARTICLE V: ADMINISTRATION OF CHAPTER
This Chapter shall, by suitable Bylaws, 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 bylaws shall contain nothing inconsistent with this Constitution or with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and provided further that said Chapter Bylaws and any amendments thereto shall not become effective until approved by the Senate.
ARTICLE VI: LIMITATIONS ON CHAPTER ACTIVITIES
Section 1: Charitable and Educational Purposes
This Chapter is organized and is to be operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Internal Revenue Code § 501(c)(3) (references herein to the Internal Revenue Code, hereinafter “IRC,” include the corresponding section(s) of any future United States Tax Code).
Section 2: Finances
No part of the net earnings of this Chapter shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its directors, officers, members, trustees, or other private persons, except that the Chapter shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth herein.
Section 3: Political Activities
No substantial part of the activities of the Chapter shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the Chapter shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
Section 4: Compliance with Federal Law Governing Charitable and Educational Organizations
Notwithstanding any other provision herein, the Chapter shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under IRC § 501(c)(3), or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under IRC § 170(c)(2), 2055(a)(2), or 2522(a)(2).
ARTICLE VII: AMENDING OF THE CONSTITUTION
This Constitution is based upon the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Model Constitution, which may be amended only by the Council of Phi Beta Kappa. If the Chapter of New Jersey wishes to amend its Constitution to bring it into conformity with the current Model Constitution, it may do so subject to the approval of the Senate of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.
ARTICLE VIII: DISSOLUTION OF THE CONSTITUTION
Upon the dissolution of this Chapter, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the lawful debts and liabilities of the Chapter, the assets shall be distributed to one or more of the following categories of recipients, as the Chapter shall determine:
A. A nonprofit organization or organizations which may have been created to succeed the Chapter, as long as such organization or each such organization shall qualify as an organization described in § 501(c)(3); and/or
B. The Phi Beta Kappa Society, provided that it shall qualify at the time of distribution as an organization described in IRC § 501(c)(3); and/or
C. A nonprofit organization or organizations having similar aims and objectives as the Chapter and which may be selected as an appropriate recipient of such assets, as long as such organization or each such organization shall qualify as an organization described in IRC § 501(c)(3); and/or
D. The Federal government, or to a State or local government, but only if such assets shall be used for a public purpose.
Adopted: October 10, 2007