|Membership & Finance|
References to The Code of Beta Theta Pi are formatted as such [Chapter VI, Section 14 of The Code]
Monthly Chapter Statements
At the beginning of each month chapter financial statements are emailed to the chapter president, treasurer, chapter counselor, financial advisor, accountant (if applicable), district chief, and leadership consultant. These officers must hold current appointments in the Fraternity’s membership system. Each chapter is responsible for maintaining its current chapter officers in the online reporting system at all times. Any finances charges resulting from non-delivery of the chapter statement due to out of date officer appointments are also the responsibility of the chapter.
Various Billing Procedures
The General Fraternity bills chapters for financial transaction at the end of each month. Each chapter then has 30 days to remit payment. For example, if XYZ chapter pledges a new member on September 15 the associated fees will be billed on September 30, and payment must be received by October 30.
Special Case: Fall dues, heritage fees and insurance fees are billed early on July 31 (August 31 for quarter schools) to allow for adequate chapter planning, but are not due for 60 days. Similarly, spring dues, heritage fees and insurance fees are billed on December 31, but are not due for 60 days, in the spring that is February 28.
The registration fees for the eight chapter officers required to attend the Keystone Regional Leadership Conference are billed in eight installments throughout the academic year. One registration is billed on each of the following dates: August 31, September 30, October 31, November 30, December 31, January 31, February 28 and March 31.
The registration fee for the chapter delegate to the General Convention billed on February 28.
If payment in full is not received within 30 days of the billing date a delinquent chapter will incur the standard finance charge of 1.5% per month [Chapter X, Section 2 of The Code]. This fee is calculated on the delinquent balance from the prior month end. The Director of Chapter Services reserves the right to make final determination on all finance charge disputes.
Filing 990 Form
Beginning in 2008, tax-exempt organizations with gross receipts of $25,000 a year or less are required to remind the IRS of their tax-exempt status by filing a Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations not required to File Form 990 or 990- EZ. The change will affect most Beta Theta Pi undergraduate chapters, alumni associations and house corporations. These organizations will be required to submit electronically a Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard, to the IRS annually.
The new filing requirement took effect for the 2008-2009 fiscal year, and the due date is the 15th of the 5th month following the end of your fiscal year. Organizations that are required to file a Form 990-PF and those required to file a standard Form 990 or 990-EZ tax return are exempt from this requirement.
The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) requires the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt status of any organization that fails to meet all filing requirements for three consecutive years. This means that any organization that fails to comply with the new filing requirements as specified above will lose its tax-exempt status on the filing date of the third year. The organization will then be required to reapply for tax-exempt status and comply with the new filing regulations. For more information, you are encouraged to visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov or call the IRS at (877) 829-5500.
Chapters and Colonies are required to file with both the IRS and the General Fraternity annually. While it is ultimately the individual chapter and colonies’ responsibility to file each year, eligible Billhighway groups can be included on a group return filed by the Administrative Office.
Please note, each chapter, house corporation and alumni association will file Form 990 under its own Federal Tax ID number (EIN). Chapters should also include Beta Theta Pi’s group ruling number. Please contact the Administrative Office if you need the group ruling number and/or do not have record of your EIN.
A pledge member is a newly elected member, serving a period of orientation as proscribed by the chapter and approved by the district chief. Each newly pledged member must be registed by an authorized chapter officer: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, pledge education chair or recruitment chair. This should occur immediately upon joining, and no later than 72 hours after the “pledge date” [Chapter VI, Section 9 of The Code]. The pledge date is defined as the date of the first formal pledge function (ceremony, meeting, etc.) or the date of moving into the chapter house, whichever comes first.
Each pledge member is responsible for a pledge fee and insurance fee to the General Fraternity during their pledging semester. They are only charged one pledge fee during their lifetime even if they de-pledge and re-pledge the Fraternity at any point. Pledge members are exempt from member dues and heritage fees only during their pledging semester, which is determined by the term in which the effective date of pledging resides. If a pledge member is “held over” or re-pledges in a different term the chapter will be assessed the fees for that semester. These policies are the same for pledges that transfer to a new school and pledge a different chapter.
A pledge member that has not yet been initiated into Beta Theta Pi can become a former pledge member (de-pledge) by either resignation or expulsion by the chapter. If this is reported via the online reporting system within 14 days of the date of pledging his fees will be waived or refunded.
Pledge kits including the Son of the Stars, song books and CDs are mailed Mondays and Thursdays.
All pledges that are “held over” and then depledged in the online reporting system will also require a chapter officer to request a manual refund of fees by the Administrative Office finance department.
Each member upon initiation into the Fraternity will be responsible for a one-time initiation fee. Chapters must report all initiations via the online reporting system within 72 hours [Chapter VI, Section 9 of The Code]. Further, chapter officers are responsible for the accuracy of information reported, including initiation dates and roll numbers, and resulting modifications or replacements will be at the expense of the chapter.
Honorary Initiation – A chapter may initiate on their rolls any male non-student deemed worthy by his efforts for and continued interest in the chapter provided he meets qualifications for membership, is approved by the district chief and pays the portion of the General Fraternity membership (pledge & initiation) fee upon initiation.
All initiated members of Beta Theta Pi are considered collegiate members until they graduate, permanently leave school, or are designated an alumnus by the Board of Trustees or General Convention via a chapter reorganization effort.
Each collegiate member is responsible for an insurance fee, annual dues and a heritage fee. The total number of collegiate members is determined semiannually for financial purposes on October 1 and March 1, and includes any remaining pledges for each term after their affiliation [Chapter X, Section 1 (d) of The Code]. Note, the chapter roster can be updated at any time, but no financial adjustments will be allowed after the established deadlines.
Temporarily Inactive Collegiate Member
The chapter president must certify that the chapter has approved the temporary inactive status of such member, specify how they qualify and certify that the member is paying no dues and not participating in fraternity events. This status can only be granted for one semester or quarter at a time. Temporarily Inactive Collegiate Members under these provisions are exempt from all fees provided they comply with the conditions/reasons for inactivity.
A suspended member is still a collegiate member simply with suspended rights and privileges as a result of chapter discipline. This status, related conditions and associated time-frame are determined by the respective chapter and need not be reported to the General Fraternity. A suspended member is still responsible for all dues and fees to the General Fraternity.
The online chapter membership roster may be updated by authorized chapter officers at any time and officers are encouraged to make changes as they occur to ensure accuracy. However, no financial adjustments or refunds are allowed after the October 1 and March 1 deadlines for roster changes.
The insurance fee was established by the 148th General Convention in 1987 to equitably distribute the costs of the insurance and risk management program among the chapters. All collegiate and pledge members of the Fraternity are responsible for this annual fee. The $120 cost is split evenly between the fall and spring billing and refunds are granted according to the regular policies and procedures for membership.
Early alumni status may only be granted as part of a chapter reorganization process. The 158th General Convention in 1997 affirmed that members who do not wish to participate in the chapter or who fail to meet their obligations to the chapter must either resign or face expulsion.
Early alumni status is for only collegiate members that have been designated as alumni by the General Convention or Board of Trustees. These individuals may have various restrictions as members, but upon graduation they are entitled to all the benefits granted to Beta Theta Pi alumni. Early alumni members are exempt from all fees.
It is the responsibility of chapter officers to promptly report all graduating members on the official chapter roster in a timely manner. Failure to report graduations can result in inaccurate billing and misrepresentation of chapter information in fraternity publications. Like all membership status changes, graduation may be reported prior to the actual status change occurring, the reporting officers simply needs to indicate the future date on which the status change should be scheduled.
A collegiate member who transfers institutions may become an alumnus member or choose to affiliate with a different chapter provided that chapter members express confidence in his character and qualifications by electing him to membership and receive a certificate of his good standing from his previous chapter. [Chapter VII of The Code]
Officers at the “transfer from” chapter should mark the member as “Left School/Transfer” in the online reporting system. Officers at the “transfer to” chapter should complete the transfer form under Initiation in the online reporting system BEFORE assigning a roll number to the transferring member.
A pledge member who transfers institutions should be resigned from pledging by chapter officers and is free to pledge a chapter at another institution. In this case the one-time pledge fee is NOT assessed again, but dues, heritage and insurance fees are assessed.
Members on early alumni status who transfer institutions are not considered eligible for membership at other chapters and must remain as alumnus members.
A collegiate member who permanently leaves the college or university at which his chapter is established becomes an alumnus member of the Fraternity, unless he transfers to and affiliates with another chapter. Authorized chapter officers should mark such individuals a “Left School/Transfer” in the online reporting system. This should not be confused with withdrawal from the institution which is not considered permanent. A reinstatement fee will be assessed if the member chooses to rejoin the chapter as a collegiate member at a later time.
If a member desires to resign his membership from the Fraternity, he must provide a reason for his resignation, meet all his financial obligations and surrender his badge and shingle. Chapter officers are then responsible for processing the resignation online, from which a notification email is sent to the chapter president, secretary, chapter counselor, district chief and person resigning. The individual and chapter will have 30 days after the notification mail is sent to dispute or correct the resignation. Reinstatement to membership after that time can only be granted by the General Convention or Board of Trustees and will result in a reinstatement fee.
Trial by Chapter & Expulsion
The “Trial by Chapter” is the formal member disciplinary procedure as outlined in Chapter XI, Section 4 of The Code. Please reference this section for full details or questions arising from member discipline. Chapters are also authorized to institute informal procedures (often termed the Kai Committee) for all cases not involving possible expulsion, suspension for more than one year, the accused is no longer in school or the accused request the formal procedure.
Chapters should report any Trial by Chapter that results in a guilty verdict via the online reporting system regardless if the penalty imposed is expulsion or some lesser result.
Resulting in Expulsion
Any member expelled from the Fraternity must be done via the formal Trial by Chapter procedure and uploaded online. A man who is expelled ceases to be a member of the Fraternity and his name is cancelled from the roll. Discipline and possible expulsion of alumni is the jurisdiction of the Board of Trustees.
According to The Code of Beta Theta Pi, “No person who shall have been expelled, or who shall have resigned from the Fraternity, may be reinstated to membership except by a majority vote of the General Convention or the Board of Trustees.” [Article II, Section 7 of The Code] Expulsions through member discipline are considered final once the time for appeal expires or the next General Convention has concluded its review, whichever comes first.
This is defined as the chapter a member prefers to be recognized by when he belongs to more than one chapter due to transfer or graduate study (e.g. the school name displayed behind his name when written in the standard format: First Last, School ‘Grad Yr). Note that a collegiate member who has transferred institutions and affiliated with the chapter on that campus must have that as his preferred chapter. He may then change it once he graduates.
Entering/Updating Information Online
Each individual is responsible for all activity performed using his or her account. Please ensure you have a secure password that only you know and do not share your account login info with others.
Each chapter is responsible for the accuracy of information reported and displayed via the online reporting system. Failure to abide by established policies or submission of misinformation resulting in undue reconciliation may result in penalties.
Reporting timelines and deadlines will be extended only if the online reporting system is inaccessible only if verified by the Administrative Office. Chapters are still responsible for on-time reporting despite local network and technical outages, so report early.