Constitution and Bylaws
Constitution of the North-American Interfraternity Conference
(Revised April 23, 2012)
ARTICLE I. Name. The name of this Conference shall be the North-American Interfraternity Conference.
ARTICLE II. Purpose. The purpose of the North-American Interfraternity Conference shall be to promote the well-being of its member fraternities by providing such services to them as the House of Delegates may determine. These services to include, but not be limited to, promotion of cooperative action in dealing with fraternity matters of mutual concern, research in areas of fraternity operations and procedures, fact-finding and data gathering, and the dissemination of such data to the member fraternities. Conference action shall not in any way abrogate the right of its member fraternities to self-determination.
ARTICLE III. Membership. The Conference shall be composed of those men's general college fraternities which (a) were members on December 1, 1921, or (b) are thereafter admitted in conformity with this Constitution. Provisions may be made in the By-Laws for Associate Membership.
ARTICLE IV. House of Delegates. The Powers of the Conference shall be vested in a House of Delegates.
Section 1. Composition. The House of Delegates shall be composed of one delegate from each member fraternity, chosen by that fraternity for such term and upon such qualifications as it may determine. Each member fraternity may also choose an alternate delegate who shall represent it in the absence of the delegate.
Section 2. Voting. Each delegate present, or in his absence the alternate delegate, is vested with one vote. Each Past Chairman of the Conference shall have the privilege of a seat in the House of Delegates with voice and shall have the right to participate in all discussions, but in such capacity may not vote.
Section 3. Responsibilities. The House of Delegates shall be responsible for the broad general policies of the Conference, for electing a Board of Directors, a Chairman and a Vice Chairman as herein provided, and for instructing the Board as to activities in behalf of the Conference. All such activities shall preserve the autonomous right of each member fraternity over its own affairs.
ARTICLE V. Board of Directors. The executive and administrative powers of the House of Delegates shall be vested in a board of nine Directors from which a Chairman and a Vice Chairman shall be elected as herein provided.
Section 1. Qualification: term. As provide herein, five Directors shall be elected at each Annual Meeting held in an even-numbered year and four Directors shall be elected at each Annual Meeting held in an odd-numbered year. The term of office for each Director so selected shall be for two years. No Director shall serve more than three full terms, excluding time served as Chairman. Five Directors shall constitute a quorum. All directors shall have served either as staff members or as a volunteer for their respective fraternities. A full term is defined as two years in length.
Section 2. Eligibility. No person shall be elected or chosen a Director unless he is a member of a fraternity which is a member of the Conference with its dues paid and in good standing. For this purpose, a fraternity which has been granted an extension by the Board of Directors as provided in the By-Laws for the payment of dues, shall not be deemed a member in good standing. An elected member of the Board of Directors whose fraternity is not in good standing because of failure to pay its dues and/or withdraws membership in the Conference shall have his office vacated forthwith.
Section 3. Vacancies. In the event of the death, incapacity or resignation of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, or a Director occurring between Annual Meetings, such vacancy shall be filled by a majority vote of the remaining Directors, and the person thus elected shall serve the unexpired term of the deceased, incapacitated or resigned person. The resignation of a Director shall be submitted to the House of Delegates, if assembled, otherwise, the resignation shall be submitted to the Board of Directors through the President and CEO (Chief Executive Officer). A Director elected to serve an unexpired term may be elected thereafter to three full terms.
Section 4. Duties. The Board of Directors shall be responsible for carrying out the purpose and policies of the Conference, for the employment of an President and CEO.
ARTICLE VI. Officers. The House of Delegates shall elect a Chairman and a Vice Chairman who shall serve a term of one year. In the event of a vacancy in the position of Chairman, the Vice Chairman shall assume the duties of Chairman until the next Annual Meeting. The President and CEO of the Conference shall serve as the Secretary-Treasurer, ex officio, but shall not be a member of the Board, nor vote in Board meetings.
ARTICLE VII. Committees. There shall be the following committees of the House of Delegates:
Section 1. Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall consist of eight at-large members, together with the immediate Past- NIC Chairman willing and able to serve as Chair of the Committee. The selection of the at-large members shall be determined by alphabetic rotation of the names of NIC member organizations. The Nominating Committee shall select nominations for and prepare and present for election, by the House of Delegates, a slate of nominees for election to available Board positions, including the Directors being nominated for the positions of Chairman and Vice Chairman. In preparing its slate of nominees, the Nominating Committee shall conduct interviews with each nominee.
Section 2. Legal Advocacy Fund. The Legal Advocacy Fund shall be appointed by the President and CEO of the NIC. The Committee shall be responsible for recommending financial support of either pending or recommended litigation which supports the interests of the Conference's member organizations.
Section 3. Membership Committee. The Membership Committee shall be appointed by the President and CEO. The Committee shall be responsible for review and recommendations regarding applications for membership in the Conference, adjudication of disputes between member fraternities, and the resolution of alleged violations of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Conference.
Section 4. Other Committees. The Board of Directors or the President may form such other committees as they deem necessary to perform the work of the Conference. The President shall appoint the chairman and members of Board committees with the concurrence of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE VIII. Annual Meetings. The Annual Meeting of the North-American Interfraternity Conference shall be held at such time and place as designated by the Board of Directors. The Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates shall be held at the same time and place as it may decide in annual session or by the Board of Directors or by petition signed by at least two-thirds of its regular delegates.
Section 1. Notices. Notices of the Annual Meeting of the Conference and of the House of Delegates shall be issued by the Conference not less than sixty days preceding the Annual Meeting, and thirty days preceding a special meeting.
Section 2. Attendance. Each NIC member fraternity is required to attend the Annual Meeting of the Conference through its regular delegate or appointee. Any NIC member fraternity who has failed to attend any 2 of the last 3 Annual Meetings of the Conference shall be denied representation in the House of Delegates and shall be dropped from membership in the Conference unless granted a reprieve by the Board of Directors. The Membership Committee shall be tasked with advising the Board of Directors on the granting of any reprieves.
Section 3. Registration. Registration for the Annual Meeting shall be limited to representatives of NIC member fraternities, representatives of Associate Members, representatives of North-American Interfraternity Conference Foundation member foundations, and guests specifically invited by a member of the NIC Board of Directors or staff of the Conference. A person who is not registered shall not be admitted to any official function of the Annual Meeting.
ARTICLE IX. Admission to Membership. Every general college fraternity eligible for membership in the Conference under Article III of this Constitution and under Section 1 of the By-Laws must apply to the Membership Committee no later than 60 days prior to the Conference's Annual Meeting. Admission will be granted upon two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors in attendance at the meeting when the vote is taken on a positive recommendation by the Membership Committee. In the event of the failure by the applicant fraternity to obtain the approval of the Board of Directors for admission to membership in the Conference, such fraternity may thereafter appeal to the House of Delegates, which by a two-thirds vote of the member fraternities represented at such meeting may approve the application for admission and admit the fraternity to membership in the Conference. Failure to obtain a two-thirds vote in the House of Delegates shall affirm the action of the Board in rejecting the application for admission.
ARTICLE X. Conduct: Disciplinary Action.
Section 1. No NIC member fraternity or Associate Member shall engage in any conduct or activity which is detrimental or prejudicial to the college or university community or the Conference. A violation or attempted violation of this Constitution or of the By-Laws shall be deemed evidence per se that the conduct or the activity is detrimental or prejudicial.
Section.2. The Conference may establish in its By-Laws Standards of Membership to be maintained by all member fraternities.
Section 3. Investigation and Hearing. The Board of Directors, through the Membership Committee, shall investigate all complaints which come to it in writing and shall forthwith communicate any such complaint to the alleged offender. Such written complaint shall specify the section of the Constitution or By-Laws alleged to have been violated and shall, in general, set forth the conduct or activity complained of. Both the complainant and the alleged offender shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to appear and be heard before the Membership Committee. The Board of Directors, by a two-thirds vote of all its members, may expel, or impose lesser disciplinary action which the Board may determine to be appropriate under the circumstances, against the offender for conduct or activity found by the Board to be detrimental or prejudicial to the college or university community or the Conference. Lesser disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, fines, public censure, or a period of suspension of voting rights. All correspondence and communications which occur during the investigation of a complaint, along with any testimony or evidence presented during a hearing of the Membership Committee or Board of Directors are of a privileged and confidential nature between the complainant, alleged offender, the Membership Committee, and the Board of Directors. No such correspondence, communications, testimony and/or evidence, except for any final decisions or reports, shall be shared with any individual or group who was not a party to the investigation and/or hearing, nor shall such items be introduced as evidence in a court of law or equity.
Section 4. Appeal. The member fraternity, or Associate Member shall have the right to appeal the disciplinary action of the Board of Directors to the House of Delegates at its Annual Meeting next following the notice of appeal. Appeal may be taken by the filing of a written notice or appeal with the office of the North-American Interfraternity Conference within sixty days from the date of the notice of the disciplinary action. The disciplinary action of the Board of Directors shall stand until the appeal shall be heard by the House of Delegates. The House of Delegates, by a majority vote of the members in attendance, may affirm or reverse the action of the Board of Directors and may lessen or increase the disciplinary action imposed by the Board.
ARTICLE XI. Dues. The annual dues of members shall be fixed from time to time by the House of Delegates and, absent contrary action by the House of Delegates, adjusted biennially based upon the percentile average adjustment of the previous two year period as published by a commonly accepted system of measuring changes in price level of consumer goods and services. Such biennial adjustment shall not exceed 3% and shall be applied to any minimum, maximum, or other limits.
Section 1. Payment: delinquency. All dues shall be payable in January of each year. On any amount unpaid on the first day of June next following, a charge of ten percent (10%) will be imposed. An additional charge of one percent (1%) will be added on the first day of each calendar month thereafter in which default continues, to and including the first day of December of that year. Thereafter, an additional one and one-half (1 ½ %) will be added on the first day of each calendar month in which default continues. If the charges for unpaid dues exceed those permitted by the applicable law, the said charges shall be the maximum so permitted.
Section 2. Suspension of Representation. If dues have not been fully paid for the current year prior to the Board of Directors meeting immediately preceding the Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates, the delinquent member shall be denied representation in the House of Delegates and shall be dropped from membership in the Conference unless granted an extension by the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE XII. Amendments. The Constitution may be amended at any meeting by a two-thirds vote of all the member fraternities entitled to vote in the House of Delegates, whether or not present at the meeting. If written notice of any proposed amendment has been mailed to all member fraternities at least 30 days before such meeting, then such amendment may be adopted by a two-thirds vote of all member fraternities present and voting on such amendment, provided that such two-thirds vote is not less than one-half of all members entitled to vote in the House of Delegates, whether or not present at the meeting. Amendments may be proposed by means of such advance written notice upon proper authorization of the governing body of any member fraternity or of the Board of Directors. Amendments may be adopted without a meeting by the written approval of two-thirds of all member fraternities entitled to vote in the House of Delegates. The Board of Directors may make recommendation to the House of Delegates regarding action to be taken on any proposed amendment.
ARTICLE XIII. Incorporation. The Conference shall be incorporated under the membership corporation laws of the state of Indiana under the title "North-American Interfraternity Conference, Inc."
Section 1. Membership Requirements.
(a) Fraternity Membership. To be eligible for membership in the Conference, a fraternity must:
- (1) Be devoted to general fraternity ideals and in compliance with the Standards of the Conference;
- (2) Be (inter)national, as distinct from local, in character, meaning that it shall (I) consist of no fewer than five undergraduate chapters, each of which has a current undergraduate membership of at least ten members, (ii) include not less than three undergraduate chapters, which have been part of the fraternity for at least five years, and (iii) have constitutional provisions for national conventions or equivalent with interim authority in trustees, directors or other officers who supervise the affairs of the fraternity.
- (3) Be mutually exclusive of and in competition with other general fraternities, meaning that no member fraternity shall initiate a member of another fraternity until such time as the second fraternity shall have been formally notified in writing by the national office of the first fraternity that a candidate for membership in the second fraternity is no longer regarded as a member of the fraternity.
- (4) Attend the annual meeting and specific meetings of the House of Delegates.
- (5) Timely payment of annual membership dues.
- (6) Abide by the NIC's Constitution and By-Laws.
- (7) Honor the resolutions adopted by the House of Delegates.
- (8) Share best practices, statistics and information that will benefit member organizations.
- (9) Hold all chapters and colonies accountable to all policies/procedures and values statement(s) (i.e. Creeds) of their fraternity.
- (10) Have no undergraduate chapters related to institutions other than accredited (i) four year colleges or universities which grant Bachelor Degrees, or (ii) two-year degree granting colleges.
- (11) Submit an application fee of $500.00 that will be applied to first year dues if admitted.
(b) Associate Membership. To be eligible for Associate Membership, the member must be either an individual, a firm, an association, a partnership, a corporation, or an officer or an employee of a corporation, or a member or employee of a partnership actively engaged in the business of manufacturing, selling, distributing, or providing supplies, products, or services to member fraternities. Election to Associate Membership shall be by majority vote of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall fix dues, and establish and publish rules and procedures pertaining to Associate Membership in the Conference.
Section 2. Standards
The North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) is a voluntary trade association and membership in the NIC requires each member organization to adhere to certain Standards of Membership. However, nothing in the NIC Standards shall be interpreted as implying that a NIC member organization has a duty to supervise, direct, or control collegiate students or chapters associated with that member organization. Failure of a member organization to adhere to the NIC Standards shall subject the member organization to appropriate action by the NIC, up to and including suspension or expulsion of membership in this voluntary trade association.
1. The following data, covering the preceding academic year, will be reported to the NIC headquarters by November 1st of each year:++
Number of pledges/new members*
Retention of pledges
Number of initiates*
Number of initiated men (undergraduate)*
Retention of men for past academic years (annual retention rate for those who left fraternity prior to graduation)
Graduation rate of members
Number of chapters opened and size at time of chartering
Number of closed chapters and reason for closure
Number of active chapters*
Number of members involved in campus leadership positions
Number of community service hours
Number of dollars raised for charitable causes
++information collected will only be made public in a three tier aggregate of all NIC members. Raw data will be destroyed after aggregate data is compiled.
*provided through normal course of member's financial audit notes
2. Member organization policies will include:
- Member's chapters agree to and support open expansion on their respective campuses (implemented no later than September 1, 2004)
- Member organizations are insured with liability coverage (implemented no later than September 1, 2005)
- Each associate/pledge/new member has a minimum high school GPA of 2.3 for first semester freshman year and (whichever is appropriate per NIC member decision)
+minimum college GPA of 2.25 thereafter;
+or has a GPA at or above each campus all-men's average thereafter (implemented no later than September 1, 2005)
- Annual cumulative GPA of (whichever is appropriate per NIC member decision) +at least a 2.5 for each chapter
+or at or above each campus all-men's average (implemented no later than September 1, 2005)
- The associate/pledge/new member program shall last no longer than twelve weeks and encourages a program lasting less than twelve weeks. (implemented no later than September 1, 2005)
- Fraternity-chapter women's auxiliary groups (i.e. "little sisters") are not allowed (implemented no later than September 1, 2004)
- Risk management policies that address alcohol use, fire safety, hazing, and sexual assault/abuse (implemented no later than September 1, 2004)
- Alcohol free at all rush/recruitment activities including formal, informal and summer/break recruitment activities (implemented no later than September 1, 2004)
- Alcohol free pledge/associate/new member programs (implemented no later than September 1, 2004)
- Language allowing for immediate chapter emergency, temporary suspension by individual fraternity (implemented no later than September 1, 2004)
3. Each member will communicate its values through its ritual at least annually or as prescribed by its policies (implemented no later than September 1, 2004)
4. Each member organization will communicate the importance of its undergraduate members participating in educational programming (whether campus, national fraternity or independently led) covering any of the following: academic achievement, alcohol consumption, career preparation, civic engagement, hazing, leadership development, sexual assault, and values & ethics. (implemented by September 1, 2004)
Members will be required to verify during compliance reports
Not only will the Standards documents set basic expectations for NIC members, the NIC anticipates the following from NIC member host campuses:
The following data:
Campus, all men's Greek system and chapter GPA by semester/quarter
Total number of men who pledged all chapters in an academic year
Total number of men who initiated all chapters in an academic year
Percentage of fraternity men compared to total number of all men on campus
Total number of chapters closed/opened in an academic year
Total number of Greek-life full-time professionals on each campus
Graduation Rate of fraternity men compared to total number of men on campus
Host institution will provide a leadership class for credit for all pledges/new members (and if desired by institution, other members in other campus organizations) each term
No NIC member organization is prohibited from selecting undergraduates for the purpose of establishing a chapter on the campus of the host institution. The host institution's Interfraternity Council may not deter expansion by withholding membership of NIC group from IFC.
Host institution will support open recruitment and will not prohibit any male enrolled as a full time student in good standing from participating in rush recruitment activities and joining an NIC member fraternity. Host institution will not prohibit NIC member fraternity from recruiting/rushing male students on campus.
Encourage faculty through incentives to become involved as faculty advisors to chapters.
Provide individual chapter, greek system and campus demographic information to chapters as requested.
Provide impartial judicial process with right of appeal.
Work to reestablish a five-day academic week.
Provide financial management, property and accounts collection support.
Campus-led programming designed to inhibit/prevent problem behaviors (for example, alcohol abuse or sexual assault) will not single out greek organizations from other campus organizations for mandatory participation requirements.
For the purposes of these By-Laws, "accredited" shall mean, in the United States, institutions which are accredited by one of the following regional associations: Middle States, New England, North Central, Northwest, Southern, or Western, and the accrediting agencies recognized by the American Council on Education; and, other than the United States, institutions which are accredited or approved in some similar manner.
For the purposes of these By-Laws, a chapter is "related to" an institution if its membership is drawn from students enrolled at such institution, and no formal agreement with or recognition by such institution shall be required or implied.
This subsection shall not be deemed to prohibit undergraduate chapters related to extension, branches or regional campuses of accredited institutions.
Section 3. Followup of Standards. The Board of Directors, by a two-thirds vote of all its members, may expel, or impose lesser disciplinary action which the Board may determine to be appropriate under the circumstances, against the offender for conduct or activity found by the Board to be in violation of Article X Section 1. Lesser Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to; fines, public censure, or a period of suspension of voting rights.
Section 4. Colonies. A colony, meaning a newly-formed group or association of students sponsored, organized or assisted by a fraternity with the intent of it becoming a chapter or otherwise affiliated in any manner with that fraternity, may be established by a member fraternity only in relation to an accredited college or university. No member fraternity shall sponsor, organize, assist or participate in any manner in the formation, organization or establishment of a colony related to an accredited college or university, unless such college or university shall hold an approved candidacy status with the appropriate regional association, and such colony may become chartered only upon full accreditation of the institution.
Section 5. Comity. No member fraternity shall accept a petition for membership, grant colony or other affiliated status, or grant a charter to any group substantially representing an existing or previously resigned or disassociated colony or active chapter of another member fraternity, until the fraternity with which such group was previously connected has officially given written notice to the Conference that all rights have been waived by them, or until five years have elapsed from the date of resignation or disassociation. No member fraternity shall, communicate with any active chapter or colony associated with another member fraternity about transferring, merging or consolidating its membership with the communicating member fraternity nor shall it communicate with the active chapter or colony about its member fraternity's status without the express written permission of the affected Member Fraternity and which is subsequently recorded with the Conference.
Section 6. Affiliation of Local Chapter. Member fraternities may accept petitions for a charter from and grant charters to eligible local chapters in accredited colleges or universities. Upon receipt and acceptance of such petition, a member fraternity may give written notice to the Conference of such acceptance, identifying the local chapter and the institution with which it is related. Upon receipt by the conference of such notice, the local chapter shall be subject to the rules of comity set forth in Section 5, except that the elapsed time from the date of resignation or disassociation shall be three years instead of five years. A petition may not be accepted unless it has been approved by both the undergraduate and alumni components of the local chapter.
Section 7. Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Conference shall begin September 1.
Section 8. Governing Rules. The business of the Conference shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order, except as hereinafter noted.
Section 9. Amendments. Amendments to By-Laws relating to membership in the Conference, the qualifications, or privileges of membership of members may be made in the same manner as amendments to the Constitution are made. Other amendments to the By-Laws may be made by the House of Delegates by a majority of the voting members voting thereon, with or without notice of the proposed amendment.Back To Top