How to Incorporate

A corporation is a legal entity that can do anything a person can do. Think of it as an artificial person. It can buy and sell real estate, bring a lawsuit and be sued, or anything else that a natural person can do. Unlike a person, though, a corporation has perpetual life, which means it can go on forever.

There are many types of corporations in business: publicly held corporations, domestic corporations, foreign corporations, for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, limited liability corporations, and private corporations, to name a few. Regardless of the type, perhaps the greatest advantage of a corporation is limited liability.

Suppose that you own one share of a publicly held corporation, World Wrestling Entertainment, which trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol WWE. During a performance, one of the WWE superstars is killed and his family later sues the corporation for wrongful death. If WWE is found negligent and the family receives a large judgment against the corporation, will you as a shareholder be responsible for paying off that judgment? If you answered "no", then you understand the concept of limited liability.
 

 

TKE, Incorporated

The Black Book requires each chapter to be an active, registered corporation in the state where they are located. Generally, there will be one corporation for each TKE chapter and the Board of Advisors will be the corporate board of directors. The name of the corporation will be something like "Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Inc. of the University of Florida".

In some cases, there may be a need for separate corporations for the collegiate chapter, the house corporation, the alumni association, the building fund, and the chapter educational foundation. This is uncommon.

How To Become a Corporation

Incorporation is the process of becoming a corporation in your state. Since the process varies from state to state, you will need further clarification for your situation. But here are the general steps that you need to follow:

  1. Every state has a department, usually part of the Secretary of State, that is responsible for corporations. Contact this department to see what the requirements are for starting a tax-exempt corporation. You are probably going to need:
    • Corporation Name. The Black Book requires the name Tau Kappa Epsilon or the letters TKE appear in your corporate name.
    • Articles of Incorporation. This document states the purpose of the corporation, the original incorporators, the life of the corporation, and how the corporate assets are disposed of when the corporation closes. You can use our sample Articles of Incorporation, but know that they need to be modified from state to state.
    • Filing Fee.
    • Registered Agent. The registered agent must be a responsible adult in your state who can be served legal notices.
       
  2. Send a copy of your state certificate of incorporation to the Offices of the Grand Chapter so that it can be filed in your chapter's permanent file.
     
  3. Complete and file Form SS-4 with the Internal Revenue Service in order to receive your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Send this number to the Offices of the Grand Chapter so we can add your FEIN to our subordinate group list so that you will be exempt from federal taxes. This FEIN is the number you need in order to open a checking account at a local bank.
     

Maintaining Corporate Status

Usually, you will be required to file an annual report and pay an annual fee in order to maintain registration as an active, tax-exempt corporation.

Sample Articles of Incorporation

Articles of Incorporation for Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Inc., of {name of school}

The undersigned incorporator or incorporators, desiring to form a corporation (hereinafter referred to as the "Corporation") pursuant to the provisions of the {specific resolution permitting incorporation in your state} (hereinafter referred to as the "ACT"), executes the following Articles of Incorporation.

Article I: Name
The name of the Corporation is Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, Inc., of {name of school}.

Article II: Purpose
The purposes for which the Corporation is formed:

Section 1.
To promote fraternity, scholarship, leadership, high moral standards and recreation among its members and all members of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity (the "Fraternity") in accordance with the principles, traditions and ritual of the Fraternity.

Section 2.
To acquire, own, hold, use, lease, mortgage, pledge, sell, convey or otherwise dispose of, property, real or personal. tangible or intangible, in furtherance of the purposes enumerated in Section 1.

Section 3.
To purchase, improve, operate, manage, own, use or lease, in whole or in part, any building or other structure located on real property owned or leased by the Corporation, or by any other person or entity for use as a chapter house by members and associate members of the Fraternity.

Section 4.
To borrow money, to issue evidences of indebtedness, and to mortgage, pledge and grant security interests in its property.

Section 5.
To enter into and perform, cancel or rescind agreements and contracts of any nature.

Section 6.
To sue and be sued in its own name.

Section 7.
To accept gifts, bequests, contributions and donations from individual corporations, associations, foundations or other entities, with or without restrictions.

Section 8.
To carry out its purposes in this state or elsewhere, in compliance with all applicable laws.

Section 9.
To exercise any and all powers and privileges which it might now or hereafter be lawful for any corporation to exercise, and to have all rights, powers, privileges and immunities, under and pursuant to the Act, or any other law that now or hereafter may be applicable to the Corporation.

Section 10.
To make by-laws for the government and regulations of the Corporation's affairs.

Section 11.
To do any and all other acts and things necessary, convenient or expedient for the furtherance of the purposes for which the Corporation is formed.

Construction and Limitation of the Foregoing Sections
The foregoing sections shall be construed as purposes, objects and powers. The implementation by the Corporation of its purposes and the exercise of its powers shall be subject to the following restrictions:

(a) It is intended by the provisions of these Articles of Incorporation that the Corporation shall be an organization exempt from federal income taxation under the provisions of Section 501(c)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as now or hereafter amended ("Section 501(c)(7)"), and all provisions of these Articles of Incorporation shall be construed so as to effect such intention. The Board of Directors, the officers and the members shall have no power or authority to do any act which would prevent the Corporation from being an organization described in Section 501(c)(7).

(b) The power and authority of the Board of Directors, officers and members are expressly made subject to the general control and supervision of the Fraternity, and the activities of the Corporation shall be conducted in accordance with the laws, regulations and traditions of the Grand Council and Grand Chapter of the Fraternity.

Article III: Period of Existence
The period during which the Corporation shall continue is perpetual.

Article IV: Resident Agent and Principal Office
Section 1.
The name and address of the Resident Agent in charge of the Corporation's principal office is:{name of Resident Agent}

Section 2.
The post office address of the principal office of the Corporation is {address of corporation}

Article V: Membership
Section 1. Classes.
There shall be two classes of members - "Voting Members" and "Undergraduate Members."

Section 2. Rights, Preferences. Limitations and Restrictions of Classes.
The class of Voting Members shall consist of those persons who are the initial members of the Board of Directors of the Corporation and of those persons who are duly elected and qualified as members of the Board of Directors of the Corporation. Any person who ceases to be a member of the Board of Directors, shall cease to be a Voting Member.

The class of Undergraduate Members shall consist of members of the Undergraduate Chapter of the Fraternity (the "Chapter") at (name of school). Any person who ceases to be a member of the Chapter for more than four consecutive months shall cease to be an Undergraduate Member of the Corporation.

No person may become a Voting or Undergraduate Member of the Corporation who is not a member in good standing of the Fraternity. Any person who ceases to be a member in good standing of the Fraternity shall cease to be a Voting or Undergraduate Member of the Corporation.

Section 3. Voting Rights of Classes.
Each Voting Member shall be entitled to one vote upon each question which may properly come before the members of the Corporation. Undergraduate Members shall have no voting rights.

Article VI: Directors
Section 1. Number of Directors.
The initial Board of Directors shall he composed of five members. The exact number of directors shall be prescribed in the By-Laws; provided, however, that under no circumstances shall the minimum number of directors be less than five and the minimum number of directors greater than fifteen.

Section 2. Names and Post Office Addresses of the Directors.
The names and post office addresses of the initial Board of Directors are:
{name of director}     {address of director, including city, state, and zip}

Article VII: Incorporators
Section 1. Name and Post Office Address.
The name and post office address of the incorporator or incorporators of the Corporation is (are) as follows:
{name of incorporator}     {address of incorporator, including city, state, and zip}

Article VIII: Statement of Property
A statement of the property and an estimate of the value thereof, to be taken over by the Corporation at or upon its incorporation, are as follows:
{description of property}     {estimate of property value}

Article IX: Provisions for Regulation and Conduct of the Affairs of Corporation
Other provisions, consistent with the laws of this state, for the regulation and conduct of the affairs of the Corporation, and creating, defining, limiting or regulating the powers of the Corporation, of the directors or of the members or any class or classes of members are as follows:

Section 1. Authority of Board of Directors.
Subject to the express provisions of the Act and to these Articles of Incorporation, the Board of Directors shall have complete and plenary power to manage, control and conduct all of the affairs of the Corporation, to exercise all of the powers, rights and privileges of the Corporation, and to do all acts and things which may be done by the Corporation, without limitation and without any vote or other action by the members.

Section 2. Election of Directors.
At each annual meeting of the members, the Voting Members shall elect directors to bold office until the next succeeding annual meeting. Each director shall hold office for the term of which he is elected and until his successor is elected and qualified, unless he shall die, resign or be removed. Vacancies occurring in the Board of Directors shall he filled in the manner prescribed in the By-Laws.

Section 3. Qualification of Directors.
No person shall qualify as a member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation unless he shall also be a member of the Board of Advisors of the Chapter and his duties as a Director shall also include the faithful discharge of his duties as an Advisor. Any person who ceases to be a member of the Board of Advisors of the Chapter shall cease to be a Director.

Section 4. Meetings.
Meetings of both the Board of Directors and the members may be held either within or without the State of {name of state} as provided from time to time by the By-Laws. Each Undergraduate Member of the Corporation shall have the right to attend each meeting of the Board of Directors.

Section 5. Removal of Directors.
Any or all members of the Board of Directors may be removed, with or without cause, at a meeting of the members called expressly for that purpose, by a majority vote of the members then entitled to vote at an election of Directors.

Section 6. Non liability of Members and Directors.
No Member or Director of the Corporation shall be liable for any of its obligations.

Section 7. Indemnification
To the extent not inconsistent with {name of state} law as in effect from time to time:

(a) Every person (and the heirs and personal representatives of such person) who is or was a director, officer or employee of the Corporation shall be indemnified by the Corporation against all liability and responsible expense that may be incurred by him in connection with or resulting from any claim, action, suit or preceeing (i) if such director, officer or employee is wholly successful with respect thereto or (ii) if not wholly successful, then if such director, officer or employee is determined, as provided in paragraph (e), to have acted in good faith in what he reasonably believed to be the best interests of the Corporation and, in addition, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding is determined to have had no reasonable cause to believe that his conduct was unlawful. The termination of any claim, action, suit or proceeding, by judgment, settlement (whether with or without court approval) or conviction or upon a plea of guilty or of nolo contendere, or its; equivalent, shall not create a presumption that a director, officer or employee did not meet the standards of conduct set forth in this section.

(b) The terms "claim, action, suit or proceeding" shall include every claim, action, suit or proceeding and all appeals thereof (whether brought by or in the right of this Corporation or any other corporation or otherwise). civil. criminal, administrative or investigative, or threat thereof, in which a director or officer or employee of the Corporation (or his heirs and personal representatives) may become involved, as a party or otherwise:

 

  1. by reason of his being or having been a director, officer or employee of this Corporation or of any other Corporation which he has served as such at the request of this Corporation, or
     
  2. by reason of his acting or having acted in any capacity in a partnership, association, trust or other organization or entity where he served as such at the request of this Corporation, or
     
  3. by reason of any action taken or not taken by him in any such capacity, whether or not he continues in such capacity at the time such liability or expense shall have been incurred.
     

The terms "liability" and "expense" shall include, but shall not be limited to, counsel fees and disbursements and amounts of judgments, fines or penalties against, and amounts paid in settlement by or on behalf of, a director, officer or employee.

The term "wholly successful" shall mean (i) termination of any action, suit or proceeding against the person in question without any finding of liability or guilt against him, (ii) approval by a court, with knowledge of the indemnity herein provided. of a settlement of any action, suit or proceeding, or (iii) the expiration of a reasonable period of time after the making of any claim or threat of an action, suit or proceeding without the institution of the same; without any payment or promise made to induce a settlement.

Every person claiming indemnification hereunder (other when one who has been wholly successful with respect to any claim, action, suit or proceeding) shall be entitled to indemnification (i) if special independent legal counsel, which may be regular counsel of the Corporation or other disinterested person or persons, in either case selected by the Board of Directors, whether or not a disinterested person or persons being hereinafter called the "referee"), shall deliver to the Corporation a written finding that such director, officer or employee has met the standards of conduct set forth in the preceding subparagraph (a) and (ii) if the Board of Directors, acting upon such written finding, so determines. The person claiming indemnification shall, if requested, appear before the referee, answer questions which the referee deems relevant and shall be given ample opportunity to present to the referee evidence upon which he relies for indemnification. The Corporation shall, at the request of the referee, make available facts, opinions or other evidences in any way relevant to the referee's finding which are within the possession or control of the Corporation.

Section 8. Disposition of Assets.
In the event that (a) the charter granted to the Chapter by the Fraternity shall be withdrawn, surrendered or suspended, and such condition shall continue for a period of two years, or (b) the Board of Directors, or the members shall determine to terminate the existence of the Corporation, then and in either such event, and after making provision for the payment of the liabilities of the Corporation, the Board of Directors or the members shall, in accordance with the provisions of the International Constitution and International By-Laws and traditions of the Fraternity, provide for payment or transfer of all remaining money and property to TKE House Fund, Inc., or its successor, which in either case shall be an organization described in Section 501(c)(7).

Section 9. Amendments.
The Corporation shall have the power to amend or repeal any provision contained in its Articles of Incorporation and By Laws to the extent and in the manner prescribed by the Act; provided, however, that the power and authority of the Board of Directors and members to take any action to amend or repeal the Articles of Incorporation or By-Laws shall be subject to their obligations as members of the Board of Advisors of the Chapter and to the general control and supervision by the Fraternity in accordance with the laws, regulations and traditions of the Grand Council and the Grand Chapter of the Fraternity.

The undersigned does hereby adopt these articles of Incorporation, representing beforehand to the Secretary of the State of {name of state} and all persons whom it may concern, that a membership list or lists of the above named corporation for which a Certificate of Incorporation is hereby applied for, have heretofore been opened in accordance with the law and that at least {number of persons} persons have signed such membership list.

In Witness Whereof, I the undersigned, do hereby execute these Articles of Incorporation and certify the truth of the facts herein stated, this {number} day of {month}, {year}.

Signature

State of {name of state}
County of {name of county}
Before me, a Notary Public in and for said County and State, personally appeared the above incorporator and acknowledged the execution of the foregoing Articles of Incorporation. Witness my hand and Notarial Seal.

Sample Chapter Bylaws

Chapter I: Organization
The _____ Chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, located at _____, being recognized as a collegiate chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity, specifically adopts, accepts and acknowledges the International Constitution and International Bylaws and Traditions of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and, in addition, the following Bylaws are adopted under which this Chapter shall operate.

Chapter II: Meetings
Section 1. Regular Meetings. Regular meetings of the Chapter shall be held in the Chapter Room (or other designated location) every _____ of the regular school year at _____, provided that in case of emergency or necessity, the day, hour or place may be changed by the Prytanis on sufficient notice placed in a conspicuous location for all members to see.

Section 2. Special Meetings. Special meetings may be called at any time by the Prytanis or shall be called by him upon written request of not less than ten percent (10%) of the undergraduate members by posting the call on the official Chapter bulletin board at least 24 hours in advance of the time fixed for the meeting. The purpose of the meeting shall be clearly stated in any such request, and in the call to order of such meeting.
 

Section 3. Quorum. Fifty-one percent (51%) of the undergraduate members in good standing shall constitute a quorum for the conduct of business at any regular or special meeting of the Chapter.
 

Section 4. Opening and Closing. The first meeting of each month shall be a formal ritual meeting of the Chapter and shall have a specific order of business. The informal opening and closing ritual shall be used for all other weekly meetings during the calendar month and follow the same order of business. However, formal ritual may be used for each and every meeting of the Chapter. Nothing herein shall in any way discourage formal ritual for all meetings at the Chapter.
 

Section 5. Order of Business. The order of business for meetings shall be as follows:
 

  1. Opening by Prytanis, using ritual. (Only initiated members may attend when the formal ritual is used.)
     
  2. Roll Call by Grammateus.
     
  3. Reading of minutes of last meeting by Grammateus
    • Reading of names of unexcused absences
       
    • Reading of names of excused absences
       
  4. Report of Officers and Committee Chairmen
    • Epiprytanis: Report on status of Bylaws, Policies, and committee issues.
       
    • Grammateus: Remind Chapter of unfinished business and pending legislation, read any correspondence received by the Chapter since the last meeting.
       
    • Crysophylos: Report on status of Chapter finances; collection of fees, dues, rent, assessments, etc.; accounts receivable; accounts payable; status of initiation fees. Present a written statement at the first meeting of each month of each member owing monies to the Chapter.
       
    • Histor: Report on communications and visits with/by alumni, status of Chapter’s alumni newsletter, status of communication with the editor of The Teke Magazine.
       
    • Hypophetes: Report on status of Chapter Scholarship Program, status of member and Chapter scholastics, Chapter and campus activities and projects, fraternal activities and projects.
       
    • Pylortes: Report on such special activities as may from time to time be assigned by the Prytanis.
       
    • Hegemon: Report on the Education Committee, the Chapter Education Program, the New Member Education Program, and the Ongoing Education Program.
       
    • House Chairman: Report on condition of the Chapter house, meeting room, etc. Report on status of special house projects.
       
    • Recruitment chairman: Report on Recruitment Committee and the recruitment efforts of the Chapter. Remind members of coming events and note any changes in previously approved plans.
       
    • Athletic Chairman: Report on Chapter intramural activities.
       
    • Membership Quality Board Chairman: Report on date of next meeting, general status of members, and the Member Standards.
       
    • Social Chairman: Report on social activities of the Chapter and the campus, update social calendar.
       
    • Report of Other Committees: any other committee not listed.
       
  5. State of the Chapter Address by Prytanis. Prytanis should probably give report from Board of Advisors.
     
  6. Reading of correspondence, other materials, if any
     
  7. Announcements not previously covered
     
  8. Unfinished business as previously reported by the Grammateus during the reading of the minutes.
     
  9. New business. All new business shall be submitted to the Grammateus at least 24 hours prior to the start of any meeting.
     
  10. Discussion on prospective members, when appropriate.
     
  11. Passing of the gavel for remarks for the good of the Fraternity.
     
  12. Closing by Prytanis, using ritual.
     

Section 6. Special Order of Business. The following shall be special order of business on the occasions specified:
 

  • At the first regular meeting after any Conclave, the report by the Chapter delegate regarding all legislative issues, the results of the Grand Council elections, and any other Conclave matter, shall be given following the reading of the minutes.
     
  • Following official visits by a representative of the International Fraternity, his report shall be given following the reading of the minutes.
     
  • At meetings called by, or because of, a General Court, the business of the Court or its recommendations shall be taken up immediately following Roll Call, following the reading of the minutes.
     
  • Charges against members shall be heard under the proper headings, and the method, time, and procedure of trial determined immediately thereafter, and special court selected if trial is to be by that method.
     
  • At the last regular meeting in the month of April, the nomination of Chapter Advisor, and Campus Advisor, under new business.
     
  • At the next regular meeting after a vacancy occurs in an office, the election and installation to fill said vacancy shall be taken up under the report of the Nominations Committee. This meeting shall be a formal ritual meeting.
     
  • At the last meeting of the year, the Chapter shall conduct the Fraternity for Life ritual, assisted by representatives from the Board of Advisors and/or the Alumni Association in order to induct the graduating seniors.
     

Section 7. Voting. Voting on motions, on Candidates for Membership, on election to office and/or all other voting activities of the Chapter shall be open and by the usual sign, except the Prytanis may call for a division of the house or a Roll Call and must do so if requested by at least five fraters. Secret ballot shall be allowed only on Top TKE Chapter Member or other such awards. Absentee voting is never permitted.
 

Section 8. Elections.
 

  1. Election of officers shall be held at the first regularly scheduled meeting in the month of December, under new business.
     
  2. Two weeks prior to the election, the Prytanis shall post on the bulletin board or other prominent place a listing of each office. Any interested frater may post his own name in nomination for that office.
     
  3. During the election meeting, each candidate for office shall have five minutes to present a statement as to his qualifications and his plans to carry out the office.
     
  4. Voting for each office shall be open and by the raising of hands for each office. Should no candidate receive a simple majority on the first vote, the bottom candidate will be removed and another vote taken. This shall proceed until one candidate receives a simple majority.
     
  5. Special elections to fill unexpired officer terms shall proceed in the same manner as regular elections except that the duty to post notice on the bulletin board for two weeks shall not apply.
     

Section 9. Attendance at Chapter Meetings. Every member shall be present at every meeting unless excused by the Prytanis, said application being submitted to the Grammateus and approved by the Prytanis. If a member is absent from two successive regular meetings without excuse, he shall have his right to vote removed until he shall be reinstated by a simple majority vote of a quorum at a regular meeting. The Prytanis and Hypophetes shall interview any such person as soon as possible after his suspension from voting and counsel him. Suspension of voting rights shall not affect financial obligations to the Fraternity.
 

Section 10. Attendance by Alumni. Any alumnus or honorary member may attend any meeting of the chapter and may join in discussion and debate the same as any active member, but may not make or second motions or vote.
 

Chapter III: Officers and Committees
Section 1. Prytanis. The Prytanis has all the duties and powers of a President and serves as the Chief Executive of the chapter. The responsibilities of Prytanis are:

  1. Oversee the Chapter as the presiding officerat all meetings, including but not limited to, meetings of the Chapter officers, formal Chapter meetings, informal chapter meetings, and rituals.
     
  2. Enforce the constitution, laws, traditions, rituals, and local bylaws and rules, at all times.
     
  3. Listen to the needs of the chapter and attempt to meet them. Clarify the goals of the chapter and carry out the wishes of the chapter, delegating work as appropriate.
     
  4. Appoint all committee chairmen; removing ones who do not fulfill their responsibilities. Appoint a delegate to Conclave, and a delegate to campus interfraternal organizations.
     
  5. Get all chapter members involved during the semester.
     
  6. Ensure communications between your chapter, your school, and other fraternities; between your chapter and the Offices of the Grand Chapter; and between your chapter and your alumni.
     
  7. Along with the Hypophetes, maintain the chapter morale at a high level.
     
  8. Facilitate the running of the operations of the house.
     
  9. Be the spokesman for the chapter.
     
  10. Represent the chapter at Conclave, and see that the chapter participates in TKE educational conferences and programs.
     
  11. Attend Alumni Association meetings as the chapter representative.
     
  12. Coordinate an officer retreat with the Chapter Advisor and a chapter retreat with the Chapter Advisor.
     
  13. Help the Crysophylos prepare an adequate budget.
     
  14. Be a leader; influence others for the benefit of the chapter. Make responsible decisions.
     

Section 2. Epiprytanis. The Epiprytanis has all the duties and powers of a vice president. In the absence of the Prytanis, he performs all of his duties. The responsibilities of Epiprytanis are:
 

  1. Assist the Prytanis as required.
     
  2. Hold copies of The Black Book and the chapter Constitution and Bylaws. Be familiar with their contents, bring copies to meetings, and be prepared to answer or secure answers for any question or interpretation of them.
     
  3. Keep the chapter Constitution and Bylaws up-to-date by inserting all amendments and updates as necessary.
     
  4. Review Bylaws at least annually; look for updates needed to keep them current.
     
  5. Coordinate the activities of all committees.

Section 3. Grammateus. The Grammateus has all the duties and powers of Secretary. The responsibilities of Grammateus are:
 

  1. Keep the list of chapter officers on file with the Offices of the Grand Chapter updated. Do this using the TKE Chapter Module
     
  2. Keep a permanent record of all proceedings of the chapter, sharing the minutes with the Chapter Advisor and Board of Advisors, and passing these records on to your successor.
     
  3. Attend to all correspondence not otherwise delegated, keeping a file of all official chapter correspondence with the Offices of the Grand Chapter, the college or university, and other interested parties.
     
  4. Develop a new phone list every term, providing a copy to each member.
     
  5. Report to the chapter at all meetings any unfinished business.
     
  6. Assist with the compilation of the annual membership roster, which is used by the Offices of the Grand Chapter to calculate Annual Membership Fees.
     
  7. Assist the Prytanis in preparing the Annual Report and any applications for Chapter awards, both due to the Offices of the Grand Chapter each spring.
     
  8. Retiring Grammateus shall notify the Offices of the Grand Chapter with a roster of the newly elected officers within 10 days of officer elections.
     

Section 4. Crysophylos. The Crysophylos has all the duties and powers of Treasurer. The responsibilities of the Crysophylos are:
 

  1. Collect all money due to the chapter.
     
  2. Disburse chapter funds, timely paying chapter obligations. Reference the Fee Structure regarding fees owed to the Offices of the Grand Chapter and cooresponding due dates.
     
  3. Remit promptly (within 15 days) to the Offices of the Grand Chapter all initiation registrations and fees.
     
  4. Prepare accurate monthly financial reports of cash receipts and disbursments. Distribute to the Chapter Advisor, Board of Advisors, and post one for all members of the chapter to read.
     
  5. File an Annual Report with the Offices of the Grand Chapter as required by the Black Book.
     
  6. Make sure that all candidates register and pay their candidate fee on-line, so that they may promptly receive their candidate kits.
     
  7. Ensure that all initiate fees are remitted to the Offices of the Grand Chapter in a timely manner.
     
  8. Assist in making the chapter budget.
     

Section 5. Histor. The Histor has all the duties and powers of a Historian. The responsibilities of the Histor are:
 

  1. Produce newsletters for chapter members and alumni and forward a copy to the Offices of the Grand Chapter.
     
  2. Provide information for The Teke magazine about chapter activities.
     
  3. Safely keep, and transmit to your successor, the chapter scroll.
     
  4. Take photos or videos of chapter events to record chapter history for each term.
     
  5. Coordinate the development of composites.
     
  6. Cooperate with local alumni associations, where they exist, to provide programming for Teke alumni.
     

Section 6. Hypophetes. The Hypophetes serves as the Chaplain. The responsibilities of the Hypophetes are:
 

  1. Develop a calendar for rituals, in conjunction with the Hegemon and Prytanis.
     
  2. Keep all ritual items and make an inventory of them.
     
  3. Preside in the absence of both the Prytanis and Epiprytanis.
     
  4. Administer the oath of officers elect.
     
  5. Counsel with any member about his academic progress and difficulties, arranging for further help, tutoring and counseling as needed.
     
  6. Patricipate on the scholarship committee.
     
  7. Maintain the chapter morale at a high level.
     

Section 7. Pylortes. The Pylortes has all the duties and powers of a Sergeant-at-Arms. The responsibilities of the Pylortes are:
 

  1. Be the primary risk management representative for the chapter.
     
  2. Act as doorkeeper at meetings, maintaining order as needed or directed by the Prytanis.
     
  3. Work with the chapter to develop an alcohol awareness program.
     
  4. Set up before chapter meetings.
     
  5. Be custodian of all flags, properly displaying them whenever customary.
     

Section 8. Hegemon. The Hegemon is the chapter educator, primarily concerned with the preparation of Candidates. The responsibilities of the Hegemon are:
 

  1. Prepare a written program covering all aspects of the new member education program and supervise the program.
     
  2. Ensure that candidates are registered with the Offices of the Grand Chapter. Hegemons should register all candidates using the TKE Chapter Module.
     
  3. Implement a Membership Development Program, "The Blueprint" for all members.
     
  4. Be in charge of Candidate activities, which should stress scholarship, recruitment, active participation, and leadership.
     
  5. Constantly monitor the progress of new members.
     
  6. Cooperate with the Prytanis in the selection of big brothers.
     

Section 9. House Manager. The responsibilities of House Manager are:
 

  1. Obtain and keep a record of signed room rental or other signed housing contracts, distributing new contracts and filing copies of signed contracts with the Chairman of the Board of Advisors or his representative.
     
  2. Meet regularly with the Board of Advisors, assisting in assessing of all room charges by the Board of Advisors.
     
  3. Keep a record of all damages for each occupant, and all other matters concerning the premises and property.
     
  4. Assist in preparing the house budget with the Prytanis, Crysophylos, and Board of Advisors.
     
  5. Ensure that all contracts with repairmen and other services are reviewed and approved by the Board of Advisors prior to being signed.
     
  6. Approve payment of all bills for the house and submit them to the Board of Advisors for payment.
     
  7. Supervise all cleaning and maintenance activities for house and grounds.
     

Section 10. Social Committee. The responsibilities of the Social Committee are:
 

  1. Prepare a social program based on the budget that has been approved by the Board of Advisors.
     
  2. Supervise and direct the social program in accordance with established Risk Management Guidelines, hiring halls, bands, services, purchasing supplies, or making other expenditures within the budget, with all contracts being reviewed and approved by the Board of Advisors prior to being signed by the Chairman of the Board of Advisors.
     
  3. Ensure that sufficient quantities of non-alcoholic beverages and food are available at all social functions.
     

Section 11. Recruitment Committee. The responsibilities of the Recruitment Committee are:
 

  1. Develop and implement an appropriate and effective program to attract new members to the Fraternity, submitting the program in writing to the Chapter at the end of each term for approval for the next term.
     
  2. Ensure that all Chapter members are trained in recruitment techniques.
     
  3. Invite interested individuals to accept membership and to report the same to the Chapter at the next meeting.
     
  4. The Recruitment Committee Chairman serves as a member of the Membership Quality Board.
     
  5. Be aware of all programs and resources available to assist the Chapter in its recruitment efforts.
     

Section 12. Athletic Committee. The responsibilities of the Athletic Committee are:
 

  1. Organize, and supervise, the athletic participation of the Chapter in all appropriate events.
     

Section 13. Risk Management Committee. The responsibilities of the Risk Management Committee are:
 

  1. Ensure that the Chapter follows Risk Management Guidelines.
     
  2. Develop, implement, and enforce a social protocol/strategy that addresses all matters of risk management, which may include but not be limited to alcohol, drugs, hazing, etc. on Chapter property or at Chapter functions, and other risk management concerns.
     
  3. Cooperate with the Pylortes in ensuring that all Chapter members are educated in, and aware of, risk management guidelines.
     
  4. Report violations to the Chapter Advisor, the Board of Advisors, and the Offices of the Grand Chapter.
     

Section 14. Membership Quality Board. The responsibilities of the Membership Quality Board are:
 

  1. Develop Recruitment Standards and Member Standards and to present them to the Chapter for approval.
     
  2. Review these standards each year and present recommendations to the Chapter for approval.
     
  3. Interview each Candidate for Membership.
     
  4. Evaluate Chapter members each academic term, according to the established Member Standards.
     
  5. Recommend placing members on warning, probation or suspension, or refer to the appropriate authority (Judicial Board or Board of Advisors) for action.
     
  6. Recommend charges for revocation of membership for any member who has seriously or repeatedly fallen below the Member Standards. These charges shall be read at the next regular Chapter meeting and a vote should be taken to empanel a Special Court. The Special Court shall be conducted as outlined in The Black Book.
     
  7. Recommend members who have met the Member Standards on a sustained basis for appropriate recognition (i.e., Knights of the Classic Lore, Order of the Founders).
     

Section 15. Duties, Rights, and Responsibilities. The duties, rights, and responsibilities of Officers and Committee Chairman are:
 

  1. Chapter officers are to serve from January 1 to December 31, exercising the duties as defined in the International Constitution and Bylaws of TKE and further defined in these Bylaws. The Chapter officers shall be known as the Executive Committee;
     
  2. The Chapter may remove any of the officers by a two-thirds vote of the members in good standing attending any regular meeting at which a quorum is present;
     
  3. The Prytanis shall appoint, after consultation with the Executive Council, the following: House Manager, Social Chairman, Recruitment Chairman, Athletic Chairman, Risk Management Committee Chairman, and the Membership Quality Board Chairman. The Prytanis may appoint any other committees he sees fit. Committee chairmen should choose their own committee members, subject to the approval of the Prytanis.
     
  4. Each committee chairman is responsible for the successful functioning of his committee, and may be replaced at any time by the Prytanis, who shall report any such changes to the Chapter at the next regular meeting.
     
  5. Each officer may appoint such members as he may see fit to assist him in proper and successful carrying out of the duties of his office.
     

Chapter IV: Finances
Section 1. Candidate and Initiation Fees. After receiving a bid, each candidate shall pay his Candidate Fee to the Offices of the Grand Chapter. Prior to his initiation, each candidate shall pay to the Offices of the Grand Chapter the appropriate Initiation Fee. No extension of time may be granted, nor shall any candiate be initiated until all fees are paid in full.

Section 2. Member Dues. Dues are set by the Chapter based on the requirements of the approved chapter budget that has been reviewed by the Board of Advisors. The budget must include all fees and assessments due to the Offices of the Grand Chapter, including Annual Membership Fees and Risk Management Fees.
 

Section 3. Special Assessments. Special assessments may only be levied by a two-thirds vote of the Chapter and only with the approval of the Board of Advisors.
 

Section 4. Rebate for Prompt Payment. Fraters paying their dues in full for a term before the first day of classes shall receive a 10% rebate.
 

Section 5. Rendering Bills. The Crysophylos shall, prior to the first meeting of every month, give each member a statement for the monies owed.
 

Section 6. Payment of Bills and Delinquencies. All debts to the Chapter or Board of Advisors for dues, fees, rent, assessments or other monies must be paid by the due date established by the Chapter. All unpaid accounts are delinquent and incur a 10% penalty.
 

Section 7. Suspension for Non-Payment. Any member who shall be delinquent shall be automatically suspended from all Chapter activities and shall have no privileges until he shall have satisfied the indebtedness. In case the suspended individual is an officer, the Prytanis shall appoint another Frater to fill the office until the suspended officer is either reinstated or removed. Should the Chapter be unsuccessful in securing settlement of the debt, the Chairman of the Board of Advisors shall commence action under The Black Book to remove the individual’s membership and turn the indebtedness over to a collection agency.
 

Section 8. Expenditures. No expenditure shall be made, indebtedness incurred, by any person not expressly authorized to do so within these Bylaws. No person authorized to spend or incur indebtedness shall exceed his authorized budget.
 

Section 9. Bills, Payments, Disputes. No invoice in excess of $1 shall be paid by cash. No bill shall be paid without presentation of receipts. All checks require at least two signatures (both of whom must be officers); at least one signatory must be the Prytanis or Crysophylos. All disputes over accounts shall be referred to the Executive Committee who, after review, may further refer them to the Board of Advisors.
 

Chapter V: Membership
Section 1. Recruitment. At the last regular meeting of each school term, the Recruitment Chairman shall present his plans, programs and budget requirements to the Chapter for approval. Once approved, the Recruitment Chairman is empowered to conduct activities, to invite new men to join, and to arrange all matters to successfully bring men into the Fraternity as new members.

Section 2. Voting on Candidates for Membership. Selection and voting shall proceed in the following manner:
 

  1. Immediately after a recruitment activity, the Chapter shall meet to determine which prospective members should be referred to the Membership Quality Board for a membership interview.
     
  2. The Recruitment Chairman may individually refer a prospective member to the Membership Quality Board for a screening interview.
     
  3. After the Membership Quality Board interviews a prospective member, it shall determine if the he is to be invited to join TKE. The MQB shall inform the prospective member of its decision within the next 2 days.
     
  4. If a prospective member is approved, he shall be presented with an invitation to join the Fraternity (bid card).
     
  5. After accepting the bid, the candidate shall be inducted (using the candidate induction ceremony) within 14 days.
     

Section 3. Probation. Any member of the Chapter may be placed on a probationary status for failing to meet the Member Standards established by the Chapter. While on probation status, members may lose specific privileges. Some of the privileges that may be taken away include: voting rights, the right to participate in social programs, the right to participate in athletic programs, the right to serve as a Big Brother, the right to select new members, the right to hold office, and the right to live in the Chapter house.
 

Chapter VI: Amendments to Bylaws
Section 1. How Made. Proposed amendments to these Bylaws shall be submitted in writing to the Epiprytanis who shall post the same on the bulletin board and present the same to the Chapter at the next regular meeting under new business for discussion after which the proposed amendment shall lay on the table until the next regular meeting when, if duly seconded and receiving a two-thirds favorable vote, it shall be declared adopted.

Section 2. Duty of Epiprytanis to Enter. It shall be the duty of the Epiprytanis to immediately enter in all copies of the Bylaws all amendments thereto.
 

Colony Budgets

Although a colony budget can be quite different from a chapter budget, many of the budgeting basics are the same. However, you should work from this Sample Colony Budget (xls) and follow these instructions:
 

Semester #1
 

  1. Input the number of men who are forming the chapter and the amount of dues the colony is going to charge.
    • Dues need to cover all expenses. Fundraisers and donations are not reliable sources of income and therefore should never be included when constructing a budget. These are added income and should be used for brotherhood events or as a way to refund dues. They should never be used as a replacement for dues.
       
  2. The expenses for the first semester are laid out for the colony:
    • Risk Management Fees will be $1,000.
       
    • The first Chartering Fee is due (installment #1 of 3).
       
    • The first payment for the Conclave Savings Plan (CSP) is due. Your colony is required to send a representative to Conclave, which is every other year. The CSP covers the cost of sending this representative.
       
    • Candidate Fees for each member need to be paid.
       
    • Attending a Regional Leadership Conference or Province Forum will help the colony get off to a good start. These are held every year and charge a small fee for lodging and food.
       
    • The university might charge each member an Interfraternity Council (IFC) fee.
       

At the end of the semester the colony should have several thousand dollars saved up in their account. This money will be needed closer to chartering.
 

Semester #2
 

  1. Input the number of men returning the second semester and dues charged to each.
     
  2. Input the projected number of new members the colony will recruit this semester and the dues for each.
    • All new members from now on will have to pay Candidate and Initiation Fees in the same semester, so take this into consideration when determining their dues.
       
  3. The expenses for the second semester are laid out for the colony:
    • Risk Management Fees will be $1,000. (Colonies that start in the spring will be invoiced the full amount for the year. However, the colony is only responsible for $1,000 of the principal this semester. The remaining balance will be due in the third semester.)
       
    • The second Chartering Fee is due (installment #2 of 3).
       
    • The second payment for the CSP is due.
       
    • Initiation Fees are due. All members who paid their Candidate Fees the first semester have to pay Initiation Fees now. Initiation will occur early in the second semester.
       
    • Money should be set aside for social events, recruitment and a composite.
       
    • There will also be IFC dues and Regional Leadership Conference.
       
    • A portion of the dues charged to new members will go to fund their new member education.
       

Guide for Petitioners

There are three steps that need to be completed in order to become a chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon:

An interest group of at least 20 men must petition and obtain colony status.

The colony must fulfill all chartering requirements.

The colony must petition the Fraternity for recognition as a chapter in good standing.

When the petition is approved, a charter is granted and the colony becomes an official chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity with all the privileges, rights and obligations thereof.

Preparing the Petition

The petition is your statement about your group. Its purpose is to illustrate how you have met or exceeded the requirements for a charter. It is important that you include everything you feel the chapters and/or the Grand Council of TKE should know about your group. It is based on the information contained in the petition that the chapters and/or Grand Council will make a decision on whether or not you will be installed as a chapter.
 

You are required to provide two typewritten copies and a digital version to the Chief Executive Officer at least 60 days before your anticipated installation date. The copies you provide must be accurate and neat. They should be typed and neatly bound with a cover.
 

A Secondary Inspection Officer will be appointed by the Grand Prytanis to visit your colony in order to verify the contents of the petition. The Secondary Inspection Officer will visit your group when the petition is completed and all fees have been collected. The report of the Secondary Inspection Officer will be attached by the Chief Executive Officer to the petitions that you have submitted to him.
 

Download a sample petition to see how the following required information is compiled:
 

  1. Table of Contents
     
  2. Comparison of your colony's accomplishments to the requirements for a charter.
     
  3. Brief cover letter from the colony Prytanis stating the colony's completion of all of the chartering requirements, and the colony's desire to become a chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon. The Prytanis must also state that the colony is aware of and in compliance with The Black Book and all other Fraternity policies.
     
  4. Brief history (no more than one typewritten page) of the university/college, including:
    • Current enrollment
       
    • Accreditation
       
    • Map of the campus (indicate TKE residence, if applicable)
       
  5. Statement describing the most recent colony retreat, specifically listing goals to be accomplished during the first year after receiving the charter.
     
  6. Letters from the Chapter Advisor and the Board of Advisors Chairman stating their support of the chartering of the colony and their willingness to remain in their current position.
     
  7. List of all social sororities and fraternities at your college/university, including the number of members in each and the cumulative GPA of each.
     
  8. Detailed history of the colony, including lists of campus and community activities and accomplishments.
     
  9. Copy of the Articles of Incorporation (as approved by your State/Province) and documentation from your State/Province of your recognition as a corporation.
     
  10. Scholarship and membership (each of the following must be signed by a university/college official: Greek Advisor, Dean of Students, etc.):
    • Description of the grade-point scale used by the university/college.
       
    • The campus' All-Male Average. (If not computed, a letter from the Dean of Students stating that is the case must be included).
       
  11. Alumni
    • List of all alumni who have participated in any event held by the colony (include name, address, phone number, e-mail address and home chapter).
       
    • Description of recent alumni events.
       
  12. Housing (It is recommended that the colony not become involved in obtaining a house until after chartering.)
    • Owned, rented, or university/college-owned?
       
    • Description including capacity and number of current residents. 
       
  13. Officers
    • List of Chapter Officers: Names, Address, e-mail, and phone numbers.
       
    • Chapter Advisor: Address, e-mail, and phone number. (Is he a Teke?)
       
    • Board of Advisors: Addresses, e-mails, and phone numbers. (Are they Tekes?)
       
  14. List of initiated members and members to be initiated, including:
    • Class status (Freshman, Sophomore, etc.).
       
    • Major.
       
    • Colony offices held, if any.
       
    • Participation in campus activities and offices held.
       
    • Hometown.
       
    • Age.
       
  15. Finances
    • Balance sheet as of the date of the petition, including assets, liabilities, and equity.
       
    • Income and expense statement for the immediate proceeding year.
       
    • Chapter budget and fee structure.
       
  16. Copies of the local Constitution and Bylaws, and any and all other local rules.
     
  17. Letters of Recommendation
    • College Administrator (usually a Dean of Students, or equivalent).
       
    • Interfraternity Council (Unless permission is granted by the Chief Executive Officer to waive this requirement).
       
    • Province Official (optional).
       
    • Others (optional).
       
  18. Summary of Petition - maximum of 1 page
    • University: Founding date, enrollment, and accreditation.
       
    • Local colony: Founding date and participation in campus activities.
       
    • Membership: Size and class-year breakdown.
       
    • Finances: Cash balance and total assets.
       
    • Housing.
       
    • Scholarship: Colony GPA; All-Men's Average; All-Fraternity Average.
       
    • Competition: Number of local and (Inter-) national fraternities on campus.
       

It is critical that all of the above information is included in the petition. Your petition can only be acted upon if all the information is available for distribution (to all chapters of Tau Kappa Epsilon and/or the Grand Council). Under no circumstances will a petition be distributed without all information included.
 

When you have completed your petition, the following should be mailed to the Offices of the Grand Chapter in care of the Chief Executive Officer:
 

  1. Two copies of the petition along with a digital version.
     
  2. Check or money order to cover the cost of the following:
    • Charter Fee (if any remains from the payment schedule established by the Grand Council) to cover the cost of your charter and ritual equipment.
       
    • The membership fee for each non-initiated collegiate member named in the petition.
       

Expansion References

The following university officials have volunteered to serve as references to the effectiveness of our expansion program:
 

University of South Dakota
Mr. Dave Lorenz
Dean of Students
414 East Clark Street
Vermillion, SD 57069
 

Auburn University
Dr. Deborah Shaw
Assistant Vice President for Alumni Affairs
317 South College Street
Auburn University, AL 36849
 

Boise State University
Jason Clark
Associate Director - Sorority and Fraternity Life
1910 University Drive
Boise, ID 83725
 

University of Texas-Austin
Brian Perry
Student Affairs Administrator
University Station A5800
Austin, TX 78712
 

Iowa State University
Alisa Frandsen
Asst. Dean of Students/Dir. of Greek Affairs
B6 Memorial Union
Ames, IA 50011
 

Chartering Requirements

Tau Kappa Epsilon has developed the following requirements that must be fulfilled by a colony in order to petition to become a chapter. It is expected that these requirements will be met within two years after recognition as a colony.
 

  1. Achieve a minimum score of Satisfactory using the Chapter Assessment Tool established by the Grand Council.
     
  2. Membership as follows, providing in either case that 80% of the members must be planning on and qualified to return as active collegiate members during the subsequent academic year:
    • Number of members equal to the median size of fraternities on campus, but in no case less than 35 members or
       
    • Number of members based on the full-time male enrollment on campus:
      • 10,000+ Full-time Males >>> At least 50 members
         
      • 5,000 - 9,999 Full-time Males >>> At least 40 members
         
      • 4,999 or fewer Full-time Males >>> At least 35 members
         
  3. Academic Requirements:
    • Each individual is required to have equal to, or above, the minimum GPA considered to be in good standing with the university/college.
       
    • The colony Grade Point Average must be equal to, or greater than, the campus All Men's Average. (If not available, a letter from the Greek Advisor explaining why is required.)
       
  4. Have an active Chapter Advisor. It is also useful to have a Campus or Faculty Advisor.
     
  5. Functioning Board of Advisors (Board of Directors).
     
  6. Be incorporated as a not-for-profit organization under the laws of your State/Province. The name "Tau Kappa Epsilon" or the letters "TKE" must be included as part of the name of the corporation. A copy of the corporation papers, as approved by your State/Province, must be filed with the Offices of the Grand Chapter prior to the time of petitioning.
     
  7. Written approval from the college or university prior to the date of installation as a chapter.
     
  8. Demonstrate strong participation in campus activities (i.e. SGA, Student Senate, Judicial Board, Student Activities Board, Class Officer, IFC, Yearbook, Newspaper, etc.).
     
  9. Hold a retreat prior to installation as a chapter. At the retreat, specific objectives are to be established and should be based upon the chapter's goals for the year following the actual installation. A copy of the goals needs to be included in your petition.
     
  10. Be financially stable, which includes having a zero dollar balance with the Offices of the Grand Chapter. At the time of petitioning, the following fees must be paid-in-full:
    • Chartering Fee (currently $1,750) which is billed on your colony statement in three installments (one due every 6 months).
       
    • The individual membership fees for those who will be initiated at the installation.
       
  11. At least one collegiate member must attend a Conclave, and a minimum of three collegiate members must attend a Regional Leadership Conference.
     
  12. Colony progress reports must be submitted to the Offices of the Grand Chapter (may be included with your petition).