Beta Beta Beta
Biological Honor Society


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of our Constitution Booklet.

Article I - Name

The name of this society shall be Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society.

Article II - Purpose

The Purpose of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society shall be to function as an honor and professional society for students of the biological sciences. Its activities shall be designed to stimulate interest, scholarly attainment, and investigation in the biological sciences, and to promote the dissemination of information and new interpretations among students of the life sciences.

Article III - Insignia

Section 1. The official emblem of the Society shall be a shield-shaped key upon which are engraved a coiled serpent and the three initials of the organization.

Section 2. The coat of arms shall be that officially adopted by the 1947 Biennial Convention.

Section 3. The pattern copies of the key and coat of arms maintained in the national archives shall be the official design.

Section 4. The colors of the Society shall be red and green.

Section 5. The flower of the Society shall be a red rose of the type commonly referred to as American Beauty.

Article IV - Membership

Section 1. The membership shall be divided into six classes: regular, associate, graduate, honorary, alumna/ us and corporate. Beta Beta Beta is a non-discriminating organization that does not consider age, race, color, creed, sex, national origin or sexual preference.

Section 2. Regular members shall be:

a) Undergraduate "majors" in biological science at an institution where a chapter of Beta Beta Beta is located.

b) Shall have completed at least one term of the second year of a four-year curriculum or its equivalent.

c) Shall have completed at least three term courses in biological science, of which at least one is not an introductory course, with an average grade of B or its equivalent in those biology courses.

d) Shall have a B average in all courses.

e) Shall be in good academic standing.

Only regular members may hold the constitutionally specified chapter offices, vote on chapter membership nominations and national questions, and represent the chapter or vote at national conventions.

Section 3. Graduate members shall be either graduate students currently enrolled in a life science at an institution where there is a chapter or faculty members actively serving in the biological sciences. They may participate in the local activities of any chapter except for the holding of constitutionally specified chapter offices and voting on chapter membership and national matters. They may attend district or national conventions, and, upon special designation, represent their original chapter at a national convention. They shall not be eligible for undergraduate awards.

Section 4. Associate members shall be those undergraduates whose interests include the life sciences in some significant way but who are ineligible for regular membership. Associate members shall be eligible to participate in all local, district, and national activities except those specifically reserved to regular members by this constitution.

Section 5. Chapter honorary members may be elected by any chapter in recognition of significant accomplishment as biologists, or of outstanding service to the chapter.

Section 6. Biology majors who have graduated from an institution at which a charter is later granted may become alumni members of the new chapter. Alumni members will receive an individual subscription to BIOS. Regular members who have become inactive may become Alumni members with payment of the appropriate fee.

Section 7. Corporate members shall be corporations, institutions or other organizations which support undergraduate education in the biological sciences. A corporation may be elected to membership by a majority of the National Executive Committee. Corporate members will be listed in each issue of BIOS and each corporate member will receive a membership certificate for display. Each corporate member will also have the privilege of providing a display at the national or district conventions.

Section 8. National honorary members may be elected by the biennial convention on nomination by the national officers. (Any member or chapter may propose prospective nominees.) Such membership shall be reserved for persons of outstanding accomplishment and stature in one or more of the biological sciences or persons rendering outstanding service to Beta Beta Beta.

Section 9. Regular, graduate and honorary members may wear the official insignia and shall remain members for life unless removed under the provisions of Section 11. Associate members are affiliated with the local chapter and may not wear the official insignia. Unless they qualify for regular membership, this affiliation shall terminate automatically when they cease to be undergraduate students.

Section 10. Members shall be nominated to the various categories by a committee that includes both regular members and faculty. Election shall be by at least a majority vote of the regular members present at a regular meeting.

Section 11. A regular member transferring from one institution to another shall be automatically eligible for membership in a chapter in his new institution unless he does not qualify under the normally prescribed requirements of his new chapter.

Section 12. Each chapter or club shall adopt specific membership requirements which are not in conflict with the requirements outlined in Section 2 and which are meaningful in the specific local situation. It is assumed that local chapters and clubs will require high standards of scientific conduct in their nominees and members. No person shall be refused nomination on any basis other than failure to meet requirements in this constitution or in chapter by-laws.

Section 13. A regular member of a chapter may be removed from chapter membership only for cause by a vote of 3/4 of the entire voting membership. Any such removal must be approved by the chapter advisor (counselor) and is subject to appeal to the National Executive Committee.

Section 14. Stated local membership requirements shall be submitted to the chapter advisor and the District Director for approval. In case of disagreement or conflict between local requirements or local action and this constitution, the matter shall be referred to the National President for adjudication subject to final appeal to the National Executive Committee.

Section 15. The National Executive Committee shall, from time to time, adopt such by-laws, regulations, and definitions as are necessary to accomplish the equitable and reasonable application of these provisions.

Article V - Officers

Section 1. The national officers shall be the President, a Vice President for each Region, a Director for each District, and a Secretary-Treasurer. The President, Vice Presidents, the last two Past Presidents, and the Secretary-Treasurer (Section 6) shall constitute the National Executive Committee.

Section 2. The President shall lead in all activities of the Society. The President shall preside at the biennial convention and meetings of the Executive Committee and shall perform all other duties customarily associated with the office of the president.

Section 3. In case of absence, disability, or resignation of the President, the Executive Committee shall elect one of the Vice Presidents to fill the unexpired portion of the President's term of office.

Section 4. The duties of the Secretary-Treasurer shall be those normally assigned to such an office. They shall specifically include but not be restricted to the following:

a) Maintain a national headquarters which shall keep all necessary records of Society business and Society membership.

b) Collect all money due the national society and pay all obligations of the Society.

Section 5. The Regional Vice President shall be particularly concerned with the functioning of the Society in his/her region. The Regional Vice President and the District Directors shall be responsible for the investigation of applications for new chapters and clubs and installation of same. They shall encourage the continuing development of existing chapters and clubs. As a member of the National Executive Committee, the Regional Vice President shall serve as representative of the national headquarters in his region.

Section 6. The National Executive Committee, as defined in Section 1 of this article, shall have power to transact urgent society business between conventions including replacements in its own membership if necessary. It shall serve as advisor and consultant to the National President. It shall meet at least once prior to each national convention and may hold interim meetings on the recommendations of the National President. Upon nomination by the President, the National Executive Committee shall appoint the National Secretary-Treasurer who shall be directly responsible to the National Executive Committee. The term of office shall be two years, coinciding with the terms of the President and Vice Presidents. The National Secretary-Treasurer shall be ex officio, a non-voting member of the National Executive Committee.

Section 7. Election of the President and Vice Presidents shall be an item of business at the biennial convention. They shall be professional biologists holding the earned master or doctor's academic degree, and they shall be, or shall become by this election, graduate members of the Society. Their term of office shall be two years, and they may succeed themselves. They shall assume their duties on September 1. The tenure of the President shall be not more than four successive terms.

Section 8. It shall be the duty of the National Executive Committee to determine the boundaries of the geographical regions and to revise them when necessary in order to increase the effectiveness and reduce the problems of national operation. Regional boundaries shall be specified in the by-laws.

Section 9. Each region may be divided into two or more districts. District boundary lines shall be determined by the National Executive Committee and may be changed as necessary to adjust to increases in the number of chapters or shifts in their distribution. On nomination by the President, the National Executive Committee shall appoint a Director for each district whose term of office shall be for two years coinciding with the terms of office of the members of the National Executive Committee. The Director shall be, or shall become by this appointment, a graduate member of the Society. The Director shall be immediately responsible for the organization and functioning of chapters within his district subject to the general policy of the society and the overall supervision of the Regional Vice President. The District Director will be expected to organize a district convention of the chapters within his/her district each year.

Article VI - Chapters and Clubs

Section 1. Any baccalaureate degree-granting college or university approved by the recognized accrediting association for its region and having one or more academic departments in the biological sciences may apply for a chapter of Beta Beta Beta.

Section 2. A chapter may be granted to applicants who satisfy the following conditions:

a) There is a curriculum (curricula) of such quality and quantity that students are recognized as majors in biology or some area thereof.

b) Preliminary application steps, as prescribed by the National Executive Committee, have been completed.

c) A District Director or his representative has visited the institution and recommended favorable action.

d) The National Executive Committee, by vote, has endorsed the visitor's recommendation.

e) A majority of chapters in the district in which the applicant institution is located have approved the application in a poll which shall be taken by the National Secretary.

Section 3.A club charter may be granted to any two-year college granting an associate degree and approved by the recognized accrediting association of its region. This institution may apply for a club of Beta Beta Beta when sponsored by an active chapter that is in good standing with the National Office. The official name of the chartered club shall be the Greek letters of the sponsoring chapter plus the word "Club".

a) To be granted a charter, the two-year college must satisfy the following requirements.

  1. Have a curriculum (curricula) which provides college level courses in the biological sciences.
  2. Have a faculty advisor (Counselor) and/or other biological faculty who has shown strong interest in and has successfully directed undergraduate research.
  3. Have a written agreement with an active chapter at a four-year college or university consenting to sponsor and be supportive of the affiliated Beta Beta Beta club.
  4. Complete the preliminary steps for application as prescribed by the National Executive Committee, including favorable recommendation by vote of that committee.
  5. A club may change its sponsoring chapter by entering into a written agreement with the new chapter (as stated in #3 above) and by giving notification to the original sponsoring chapter. The final decision for such a change shall be made by the National Executive Committee.

b) Student members induced by a club shall be associate members. Club members can be granted regular membership by their sponsoring chapter if they meet both the chapter requirements, and the membership requirements in Article IV (membership), Section 2.

c) Candidates for associate or graduate membership in a club shall be initiated each year at the four-year institution by the officers or advisor of the sponsoring chapter. The chapter's advisor, his/her representative, and/or chapter officers may conduct the initiation ceremony at the two-year institution.

d) Associate and regular club members shall be eligible to compete for all awards at district and national conventions.

Section 4. Unless in its judgment such action should be delayed for a specified additional time, the National Executive Committee shall direct the recall of a charter if:

a) The college or university has been nonaccredited for two years or more.

b) The chapter or club has not, for a period of two years or more, elected additional regular members.

c) The chapter or club refuses to comply with the requirements of the national constitution.

Section 5. The National Executive Committee shall, as necessary, make specific rulings and interpretations to carry out the intent of this article and the National Secretary shall set up procedures for the application process.

Article VII - Chapter Government

Section 1. Each chapter shall adopt by-laws which set forth the specific policies and practices it deems necessary for the effective functioning of the chapter in the local situation. Each chapter shall have full authority to regulate its local affairs as it sees fit, subject to the restrictions of Section 2 of this article.

Section 2. There shall be no provisions in chapter bylaws which are contrary to this constitution or the national by-laws which derive therefrom. The National Executive Committee shall have the power to annul any local by-laws which it holds to be in violation of the provisions or clear intent of this constitution, but it shall not do so without prior consultation with the chapter concerned. Such consultation shall make clear the objection to the by-law concerned and give the chapter an opportunity to state its reasons regarding the provision as valid.

Section 3. Chapter by-laws and all amendments thereto shall be filed with both the appropriate Regional Vice President and the District Director who shall bring to the attention of the National President any provisions which may violate Section 2 of this article.

Article VIII - Chapter Officers

Section 1. Each chapter shall elect a president, a vice president, a secretary, a treasurer, and an historian from among its regular members.

Section 2. The duties of these officers shall be those normally assigned to such offices.

Section 3. These officers should hold office for one year. The time of election and the time for assumption of duties shall be specified in the chapter by-laws.

Section 4. At the same time it elects officers, a chapter shall, if necessary, elect a chapter advisor (counselor) from among the biological sciences faculty. The advisor shall be, or shall become by this election, a graduate member. An advisor shall serve for a term of not more than three years but may be re-elected. The prospective regular members of a new chapter shall elect the first advisor (counselor) prior to the installation of the chapter.

Section 5. The chapter advisor (counselor) shall assist and advise the chapter and especially its officers in carrying out the chapter programs and aid in developing new policies and programs that contribute to its local effectiveness. The chapter advisor shall serve as permanent custodian of chapter records and funds making sure that they are maintained in good order and that each successive group of chapter officers are informed as to their responsibilities. The chapter advisor may delegate custodial duties during the academic year but shall check and reclaim all records and funds at the close of each academic year.

Section 6. Chapter officers are responsible for submitting promptly and in correct form such reports as are requested by the national and district officers. Chapter advisors shall review such reports for accuracy prior to submission.

Article IX - Conventions

Section 1. The Society shall hold a national convention biennially at a place and time to be chosen by the preceding convention. This convention may be a part of the annual meeting of a more inclusive regional or national group, or it may be held separately. The National Executive Committee shall be responsible for convention arrangements, agenda and program.

Section 2. The authorized delegates duly assembled in convention constitute the highest governing and legislative body of the Society subject to provisions of this constitution requiring or permitting a poll of the chapters.

Section 3. Each chapter shall be entitled to three voting delegates. If a chapter has more than fifty regular members on its rolls, it may designate one additional delegate for each added twenty-five regular members. If present at the convention the faculty advisor may be one of the delegates. The other delegates shall be regular members if possible but a chapter may designate graduate members as delegates if no regular members will be in attendance.

Section 4. Each validated delegate shall have one vote on all motions put to the convention. Neither proxy voting nor weighted voting shall be allowed.

Section 5. Rather than making a final decision, a convention may pass final decision to a chapter poll which shall be conducted under the rules and procedures prescribed in Section 2 and 3 of Article XIII. Similarly, the National Executive Committee may require that a substantive action of the convention be confirmed by a chapter poll.

Section 6. Each district shall be expected to hold one or more district conventions each year. The District Director shall be responsible for insuring that such conventions occur at a suitable time and place. The primary purpose of such conventions shall be to offer an opportunity for members to present the results of their research activities to other members. Each district may organize its convention program and activities in any way that facilitates this purpose.

Article X - Journal

Section 1. The Society shall maintain a journal which shall be published on a schedule as planned by the Editor and Managing Editor and approved by the National Executive Committee.

Section 2. The name of the journal shall be BIOS.

Section 3. The National Executive Committee, upon nomination of the President shall appoint a Managing Editor and an Editor who shall be responsible for the biological content and editorial standards of the journal.

Section 4. The Editor shall select an editorial board to advise him and assist in the evaluation of manuscripts.

Section 5. The primary purpose of the journal is to provide a medium of publication for the scientific reports of members of the Society, especially reports of undergraduate research. Articles of general interest, whether research reports, historical accounts, reviews, summaries of the field, or new interpretations of present knowledge shall be solicited and published in so far as space and editorial policy permit.

Section 6. The Managing Editor of BIOS shall be specifically responsible for chapter news, convention reports, and other aspects of intra-society communication.

Article XI - Dissolution

Section 1. In the event of the dissolution of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, the assets, if any, will be distributed to an organization that is exempt from Federal income tax as an organization described in 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, contributions to which are deductible, or to the Federal Government, or to a state or local government for a public purpose.

Section 2. Each chapter of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society shall include a provision identical with Section 1 of this article in its by-laws.

Article XII - By-Laws

The National Executive Committee shall, from time to time, adopt such by-laws as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this constitution. It shall be the purpose of the by-laws to state the specific procedures and practices in effect at any given time.

Article XIII - Amendments

Section 1. Amendments to this constitution may be proposed by the National Executive Committee, any national officer or District Director, any chapter advisor, or any regular member in good standing. Any proposed amendment shall be submitted to the National President who shall submit it to the next meeting of the National Executive Committee. The Committee shall report the amendment to the next biennial convention with its recommendations.

Section 2. If a proposed amendment is approved by the majority of the validated delegates at a biennial convention, it shall be submitted by the National Secretary to a poll of the individual chapters active as of the date of the convention. The amendment shall become effective if it is approved by two-thirds of those chapters.

Section 3. A reply period of not less than sixty days nor more than ninety days shall be specified in the request for approval. The ballot shall be declared closed at the end of the specified time. The timing shall be such that any poll will be completed within the same academic year in which it is initiated.



By-Law I - Membership Conditions

Section 1. Regular and graduate members become members of Beta Beta Beta through a chapter and thus have both national and chapter membership. Once initiated, they are:

a) national members for life unless removed for cause in accordance with Article IV, Section 13 of the national constitution and

b) chapter members so long as they remain matriculated students in the chapter's home institution and meet their obligations to the chapter as specified by its by-laws.

Section 2. Associate members terminate both national and chapter or club membership when they graduate or otherwise terminate their matriculation in the chapter's home institution, unless:

a) they have previously been elected to regular membership, or

b) they are absent on approved leave-of-absence which permits their return.

Note: Fee credit for prior associate membership will apply toward national dues upon elevation to regular membership, regardless of where the associate membership was granted.

By-Law II - Initiation Fees

Section 1. Effective September 1, 2006, members shall pay prior to initiation, through the chapter or club, the following national initiation fees:

a) regular member: $50.00

b) graduate member: $50.00

c) associate member: $40.00

d) associate member becoming a regular member $10.00

e) chapter or club honorary member: $50.00

f) national honorary member: none

g) alumna/us member: $50.00

h) corporate member: $500.00 or more annually

Section 2. Upon receipt of the initiation fee, the national Secretary-Treasurer will forward appropriate membership certificates to the chapter or club.

Section 3. For each regular, graduate and honorary member registered at the National Office, the chapter shall receive a two year subscription to BIOS. For each associate member registered, the chapter shall receive a one year subscription to BIOS. Each member shall have the option of receiving personally the subscription associated with his/her membership upon the payment of $1 .00 for each subscription year in addition to the initiation fee.

Section 4. Associate members who subsequently become regular members shall receive a reduction of the fee for regular membership as detailed in By-Law 1. The chapter shall receive a one year subscription to BIOS for each such member, subject to the option listed in Section 3.

By-Law III - Application Fee

Effective September 1, 2002, a fee of $300 shall accompany each application for a new chapter or club.

By-Law IV - Fiscal Year and Audit

The fiscal year for the Society shall be from October 1 to September 30. The financial accounts shall be audited by a certified public accountant beginning for the fiscal years 1981 and 1982 and biennially thereafter. The complete audit/report shall be made available to the national officers prior to the annual meeting of the National Executive Committee, and an audit report summary shall be published biennially in the journal of the Society.

By-Law V - Regions

Section 1. The geographical regions required by Article V of the National Constitution shall be as follows:

a) The Northeastern Region shall consist of the states north of the northern boundaries of Virginia and Kentucky and east of the eastern boundary of Illinois and of Lake Michigan.

b) The Southeastern Region shall consist of all states and parts of states south of the northern boundaries of Virginia and Kentucky and east of the Mississippi River.

c) The Northcentral Region shall consist of the group of states that are bounded on the east by the eastern border of Illinois and by Lake Michigan; on the south by the southern boundaries of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska; on the west by the western borders of Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota; and on the north by the Dominion of Canada.

d) The Southcentral Region Shall consist of the group of states and parts of states that are bounded on the east by the Mississippi River; on the north by the northern boundaries of Arkansas and Oklahoma, on the west by the western boundary of Texas; and on the south by the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico.

e) The Western Region shall consist of those states lying west of the eastern boundaries of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

f) The Caribbean Region shall consist of countries and U.S. territories in and bordering the Caribbean Sea.

Section 2. When the needs or convenience of an individual chapter will be better served by so doing, the National Executive Committee may transfer that chapter from the geographic region or district in which it is actually located to any contiguous district.

By-Law VI - Jeweler

The National Executive Committee, upon recommendation of the National Secretary-Treasurer, shall select a jeweler for the Society. Insignia shall be ordered from the jeweler only through the National Office.

By-Law VII - Faculty Recognition

Section 1. The Executive Committee of Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta), National Biological Honor Society recognizes that the success of TriBeta is dependent upon committed and devoted faculty members.  A special recognition by the Society will be based on extended and extraordinary service and will be called the "Yokley Award."  All Yokley Award recipients will be listed in the Faculty Honor Roll section of BIOS.  There are three categories for the Yokley Award.

A)  The Yokley Faculty Advisor Award will be presented to an "outstanding faculty advisor."  The recipient will receive a plaque and pin at the National or District/Regional Convention.

Criteria for the "Yokley Faculty Advisor Award"

  1. Years of service as an advisor: minimum of 10 years as a faculty advisor.
  2. Historically stable working relationship with the National Office. All communications with the National Office are timely and accurate as determined by the National Secretary/Treasurer.
  3. Demonstrated involvement in local, district or regional and national conventions.
      1. Personal participation in conventions as judge, organizer, or coordinator.
      2. Students participation in district or regional and national conventions, including student poster or oral presentations.
      3. Student recipients of the Johnson or Brook's Awards.
      4. Student applications and funded recipients in the undergraduate research grant program.
      5. Chapter applications for the Bertholf Award; recipients of the Bertholf Award, or Outstanding Chapter Awards.
      6. Student papers published in BIOS; students receiving the McClung Award.
      7. Evidence of chapter growth and/or stability.

B) The Yokley Faculty Service Award will be awarded to an outstanding Faculty Advisor and/or District Director.  This award will consist of a service pin and a plaque. The criteria will be similar to the Yokley Faculty Advisor Award, but will emphasize performance and years of service as a Faculty Advisor or District Director. 

The criteria for the "Faculty Service Award"

  1. Faculty Advisors with a minimum of 10 years of quality service as determined by effective communication with the National Office and participation in District-Regional and National Conventions.
  2. Student involvement in conventions, undergraduate research grants, donor chapters, and recognition of TriBeta activities on campus.
  3. At the discretion of Executive Committee, "extended service recognition" may be made when a Faculty Advisor retires or is replaced in that position.

C) The Yokley Faculty Leadership Award will be awarded to National Officers that have given long term service as National Officers.  Officers that are recognized with the Yokley Faculty Leadership Award will receive a plaque and pin designating their current office.  National Officers are elected to their positions by the delegates of each biennial convention and subject to peer review by the personnel committee. 

The criteria for the "Faculty Leadership Award"

  1. Extended service, with a minimum of 10 years in an elected capacity.  The years of service are accumulative as long as the officer continues to serve as a regional Vice President, National President Elect, National President, Immediate Past President, or Past President.
  2. Leadership demonstrated by involvement and efficiency in program development, committee activities, convention coordination, and other services sponsored by TriBeta.
  3. The Yokley Service or Leadership Award may be extended to paid National Officers who have demonstrated exceptional merit in job performance and have fulfilled the time of service criteria.  The award will consist of a plaque and pin and selection will be at the discretion of the National Executive Committee.  The award will be presented to the recipients when they terminate their duties with TriBeta.

Section 2.  The Executive Committee has established a category of TriBeta Emeriti for past officers of TriBeta.  The Emeriti recognition will include the elected positions of President, Vice Presidents, and the appointed positions of District Directors and paid Staff positions.  The "Emeriti Recognition" will be bestowed upon individuals that have contributed extensive service to TriBeta, as determined by the Executive Committee, but who are no longer active in that or any other designated position within TriBeta.  The TriBeta Emeriti will be selected by the Executive Committee, then receive a certificate and  plaque of recognition, be listed in BIOS and recognized on the TriBeta web site.  They will also have a standing invitation, with expenses paid, to attend any of the TriBeta Conventions and Executive Meetings to form a permanent bond with the organization that owes them so much.

By-Law VIII - Amendments

Section 1. These by-laws may be amended by a majority vote of the National Executive Committee. At least 60 days prior to the meeting at which an amendments is to be acted upon, the exact wording must be circulated to all national officers.

Section 2. Proposed amendments may be submitted for consideration by any chapter or club, any district convention, or any group of ten or more individual regular members.