Mortar Board Honor Society (Updated 09/28/2012)


Section 1. The name of this society shall be Mortar Board.

Section 2. The insignia shall consist of a black mortarboard with gold edging and tassel. The Greek initials of the motto shall be stamped on the pin: Pi Sigma Alpha.

Section 3. The colors of the Society shall be silver and gold, signifying opportunity and achievement.


The purpose of this organization shall be to recognize and celebrate outstanding scholarship, exemplary leadership, and dedicated service among senior undergraduate students at Oregon State University. Additionally, this organization shall strive to serve the campus and surrounding communities through various scholarship, leadership and service initiatives.


Section 1. Qualifications for active membership shall be service, scholarship, leadership and a commitment to promote the goals and purposes of Mortar Board.

Section 2.

  1. (a)  New members shall be elected in the spring. An individual shall be considered elected upon

    receiving a minimum percentage of votes agreed on by the chapter. Said percentage shall not be less than eighty percent (80%) of the members of the collegiate voting chapter voting. No candidate shall be excluded from membership due to lack of one vote of the total number of votes cast. No absentee or proxy votes shall be accepted. Each member may utilize the Guidelines for Voting during membership selection, as set forth by Mortar Board, Inc.

  2. (b)  No candidate shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, disabled veteran, or Vietnam- era veteran status.

  3. (c)  The Candidate shall be in at least his/her junior year or equivalent status in units or hours depending upon the institution or the candidates accelerated or prolonged curriculum. The intended date for the candidate’s graduation shall be no sooner than one semester or one quarter following initiation, summer school excluded. Active membership shall be or the senior year of its equivalent.

  4. (d)  All voting members and officers must be full time students of Oregon State University.

  5. (e)  A candidate must be duly enrolled at Oregon State University. Duly enrolled shall be

    interpreted to include students verified by the institution for study abroad or for special assignments at another institution in the United States. If these approved programs involve an absence of no more than one term so that the criteria of election are the same as for other candidates, the election may be announced although initiation shall be deferred. If the absence is or an entire school year, the election in the spring is subject to academic verification at the time of actual return to the campus and shall not be announced until the candidate’s return. The initiation shall be deferred to the fall but shall be duly reported with the candidate list in the spring to the Section Coordinator.

  1. (f)  In exceptional cases, permission for election and initiation may be granted by the National Council. This shall include scholarship exceptions. The petition for such an election shall be submitted at least fourteen (14) days prior to the individual’s tapping to the National Director of Elections for consideration by the National Council.

  2. (g)  Because Mortar Board operates on the concept that equality does not mean sameness and because diversity of experiences should be a prime goal of each chapter in order to enrich each person’s own experience, Mortar Board, Inc. shall (1) strive to eliminate covert, overt, or inadvertent racial religious, or cultural discrimination in each chapters selection procedures by critically examining said procedures; (2) not overlook potential members whose opportunities for meaningful service may have been limited as a consequence of geographical are from where they come; (3) not discriminate due to alternative lifestyles; (4) strive to be representative of all academic disciplines off the institution and (5) follow through on all invitations to membership so that de facto discrimination is eliminated as a reason for lack of response.

Section 3.

  1. (a)  The names and qualifications of candidates elected to membership shall be sent to the Section

    Coordinator for verification of national membership standards.

  2. (b)  The list shall carry signatures of advisors, showing that all those eligible for membership

    have been considered and the proper election procedures followed. The list shall include

    verification for students studying off campus.

  3. (c)  The list shall be verified prior to the date of tapping and shall be acknowledged by the

    Section coordinator before new members may be announced.

Section 4.

  1. (a)  Scholarship requirement shall be the minimum of a 3.25 average or its equivalent on any

    given campus. With the consent of the Section Coordinator, a chapter may raise its scholastic


  2. (b)  If the requirement of a 3.25 average is not feasible on a particular campus because of the

    initiation of a pass/fail system, no grade system, etc., a special request for an appropriate

    standard may be made to the National Director of Elections.

  3. (c)  A candidate’s cumulative average for all terms preceding the election shall be he grade point

    average used for determining initiation eligibility.

  4. (d)  All possible information concerning previous college records should be obtained for transfer


  5. (e)  The Elections Chairperson, with the approval of the President of each chapter, shall be

    responsible for setting up a schedule for tapping of new members. The tapping should occur between six weeks after the fall grading period ends and the six weeks before the end of the school year to allow sufficient time for careful selection and adequate orientation of new members.

Section 5. The National Director of Elections may consider as a scholarship exception for a candidate whose cumulative average deviates more than 0.1 on a four-point (4.0) scale, or its equal from minimum GPA requirement set by the electing chapter.

Section 6. Students who continue as undergraduates the year following initial membership may continue for one additional year as full collegiate members. They must continue to uphold the same membership requirements as the rest of the collegiate chapter. Those no longer enrolled are not eligible to serve.

Section 7. Honorary membership, being the highest honor given by the Society, may be conferred by a collegiate chapter or the National Council only upon a person who has made a distinguished contribution toward the advancement of the goals and purposes of the Mortar Board, Inc. within the college or university and the community or region. A Mortar Board, Inc. advisor shall not be eligible for election to honorary membership during his/her term as advisor. Alumni chapters may recommend a person for honorary membership to a collegiate chapter, but only the collegiate chapter may request a petition for honorary membership from the National Director of Elections. The petition must be supported by two recommendations: one from the Dean of Students of administrative equivalent form the section coordinator. This petition is to be sent to the section coordinator at least four weeks before tapping, but no later than March 15. Final approval shall be made by the National Director of Elections and two other National Officers.

Section 8. An active member of Mortar Board who transfers shall be accepted on the campus to which he/she transfers and given the privileges of an active member.

Section 9. In order for a member to remain in good standing in his/her chapter, he/she must meet the requirements for attendance and participation set up by the individual chapter. A member not remaining in good standing is dismissed by his/her local chapter. The National Council shall be notified of the chapter’s action by the chapter secretary and the member’s name shall be taken off the National roll.

Section 10. A Chapter Citation Award may be conferred upon a person in recognition of an important contribution to an individual Mortar Board, Inc. chapter or the community in which it is located. The nomination will be submitted to the section coordinator for approval four weeks prior to presentation.

Section 11. A National Citation Award may be given to a person in recognition of distinguished contribution to the nation within the ideals of scholarship, service and leadership. In addition, this person shall promote equal opportunities among all peoples while emphasizing the advancement of the status of women and shall have promoted the goals and purpose of Mortar Board, Inc. Nominations shall be submitted to the National Council by collegiate members and alumni of Mortar Board, Inc. the nominations shall then be voted on by individual chapters. The award shall be presented at the Triennial Conference. It may be conferred upon no more than two persons at a time.


Section 1. The officers of the association shall be President, Vice-President of Membership, Secretary,

Treasurer, Service Chair, Public Relations, Historian, and Alumni Chair. These officers shall perform the duties prescribed by the constitution and bylaws and by the parliamentary authority adopted by the association

Section 2. Officers shall be nominated in May of each year. Election shall be by secret ballot and the candidates receiving the most votes shall be named to their respective offices.

Section 3. Elected student leaders must have:
(a) Earned at least twelve (12) credit hours in his or her most recently completed term. (b) Be registered for at least twelve (12) credits hours currently.
(c) Not be on conduct probation.
(d) Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25

Section 4. Duties of elected officers:

  1. (a)  President – The chapter president will be a supportive leader who is able to establish and

    maintain a regular meeting schedule, work with the chapter to set reasonable goals early in the academic year, facilitate chapter goal-setting, communicate with national and regional Mortar Board contacts and represent the chapter at the national conference in July. The president will be responsible for making sure that national reports are turned in on time. The President shall be the parliamentarian and maintain meeting structure and order.

  2. (b)  VicePresident–Themembershipchairwillplan,manageandexecutethemembership selection process. Other responsibilities will include: publicizing Mortar Board’s application or nomination process, selection, tapping, orientation, initiation and reporting new member information to the National Office.

  3. (c)  Secretary – The secretary will be responsible for recording all minutes of each meeting and distributing copies to all chapter members and maintaining good internal communication with all chapter members. The secretary will also maintain an accurate roll of member attendance and standing within the chapter.

  4. (d)  Treasurer–Thetreasurerwillmaintainaworkingbudgetandpayallchapterbills,while keeping good financial records. The treasurer will be required to submit all financial reports and pay all national fees by the appropriate deadlines.

  5. (e)  Service Chair – This officer will be in charge of planning both one-time and recurring service events. There may also be a committee to support this office.

  6. (f)  Public Relations – This officer is responsible for managing all external, and sometimes internal, chapter communications efforts. He or she is responsible for submitting contributions to the Mortar Board Forum and national website, establishing good relationships with campus and local media, publicizing chapter activities and events by submitting newsworthy story ideas and press releases, and maintaining the chapter website.

  7. (g)  Historian–ThehistorianisaliaisontothenationalHistoricalPublicationCommittee.The historian records important chapter information by photographing all events, compiling and updating chapter history and preparing a scrapbook of the chapter’s year.

  8. (h)  AlumniChair–Thischairisaliaisonwithareaandchapteralumniandmaintainsstrong relationships with these members. He or she establishes and updates contact information for area alumni, submitting address changes or updated contact information to the National Office periodically. He or she also submits nominations for outstanding alumni for national Mortar Board awards.

Section 5. Officers shall be elected to serve for one year or until their successors are elected, and their

terms of office shall begin at the close of the meeting at which they are elected
Section 6. Vacancies in offices shall be filled by nomination and voting of a quorum of active members.


Section 1. Other committees, standing or special, shall be called on by the President, as the association or the Executive Committee deems necessary, to carry out the work of the association.


Section 1. General members and elected or appointed leaders should be expected to meet certain standards and conduct themselves in a way that reflects well on the organization. In the event that a member or leader does not meet those expectations, the individual shall be placed on probationary membership status or removed from the organization.

Section 2. An individual up for removal shall be acknowledged at the organization’s general meeting. Charges shall be read aloud and a 2/3-majority vote by members present shall be required for removal.

Section 3. The organization’s non-discrimination policy shall protect members from removal based on those listed statuses.


Section 1. Proposed amendments should be in writing and should not be acted upon but read in the general meeting in which they are proposed.

Section 2. Proposed amendments should be read again at a specified number of subsequent general meetings and the general meeting in which the votes will be taken.

Section 3. Approval of proposed amendments should require at least two-thirds of voting members present

Section 4. The constitution should not be amended easily or frequently.


Section 1. The President shall chair meetings with order following the set agenda. The President shall be the parliamentarian and decide the structure of the meeting.

Section 2. The rules contained in the current edition of Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the constitution, bylaws and special rules of order the organization may adopt.