Bylaws of the CA AD Chapter

University of California, Santa Cruz

Last Revised June 4, 2010

Article I – General


  1. The official name of this organization shall be Tau Beta Pi, California Alpha Delta Chapter, the Engineering Honor Society at the University of California, Santa Cruz, hereafter referred to as the “Chapter.”

  2. These bylaws shall govern the proceedings of this Chapter.

  3. This Chapter will conform to all rules and regulations of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the School of Engineering.

  4. This Chapter will conform to all rules and bylaws of the Tau Beta Pi Association.

  5. In the event of disagreement between the aforementioned sets of rules, the order of precedence shall be as follows: University of California, UCSC’s School of Engineering, Tau Beta Pi Constitution (TBP C), Tau Beta Pi Bylaws (TBP B), and finally these bylaws.

Article II – Purpose

  1. The Chapter’s purpose is to assist the University of California, Santa Cruz, School of Engineering academic community by promoting excitement, fostering cooperation, and communicating an understanding of the principles associated with proper engineering practices.

Article III – Eligibility

  1. The Chapter is open to any student declared in a major at the University of California, Santa Cruz, which conforms to the outlines in the TBP B-VIII.2. The current eligible undergraduate curricula are Computer Engineering, Robotics Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Bioinformatics, and Bioengineering. The current eligible graduate curricula are Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering.

  2. To be eligible for membership, an undergraduate of junior standing must be in the top eighth of their engineering class; an undergraduate of senior standing must only be in the top fifth of their engineering class.

  3. Transfer students will not be eligible until they have completed three full time quarters at UCSC. Eligible transfer students are subject to TBP C-VIII.2.k.

  4. Students will only be compared against other students in majors eligible for Chapter membership and who meet all residency requirements to determine standing.

  5. In computing one-eighth or one-fifth of the total enrollment of the regular junior or senior classes in engineering, any fraction shall be considered an integer. If the lower limit of one-eighth or one-fifth of the total enrollment falls within a group of students who have the same point rating, all such names shall be included in the list without distinction. An example will clarify:  Suppose there are twenty-one seniors in the engineering class—one-fifth of twenty-one is 4.2.  Five students are therefore in the top 20% of twenty-one students, and the top five of twenty-one would be invited into the honor society.

  6. Before voting, each eligible student must be recommended by an active member of Tau Beta Pi in deference to their character.

  7. Before voting, each eligible student must participate in a Chapter sponsored project or activity.

  8. Any student convicted of any violation of the School of Engineering’s code of academic integrity shall be barred from admission, regardless of class rank.

  9. Initiates may defer initiation up to one initiation period if they are unable to participate in the current initiation period. They must submit a written petition to the Advisory Board requesting deferment before the initiation ceremony.

  10. Only in the case of deferment can a person previously eligible for membership be initiated in a later initiation period in which he or she no longer qualifies.

  11. Voting Procedures:

    1. At the Election Meeting, the Eligibility Code shall first be read.

    2. The election of the senior candidates shall precede the election of the junior candidates. Each name shall be presented in order of decreasing class rank for discussion and shall be voted on before the following name is considered.

    3. After all names have been considered and voted on, there shall be a second individual ballot, to be taken in the same order, for each student who failed election on the first ballot.

    4. No student who fails election on the second ballot shall be considered further unless 25% of the members present so request.

    5. No student who fails election on the third ballot shall be considered again at this election. The student may be considered again at the next election if he or she is then eligible.

    6. Anyone eligible under TBP C-VIII must be elected by an affirmative vote of at least 3/4 of the active chapter membership eligible to vote thereon, who are present and voting affirmatively or negatively, except as provided for in TBP C-VIII.4.a.4 and TBP C-5.a.4. In each case the total affirmative vote must be a majority of the active chapter membership eligible to vote thereon. In computing these ratios, any fraction 1/2 or greater shall be counted as a whole number.

  12. The President shall direct the membership committee to have sufficient letters of notification of election prepared in advance of the Election Meeting. These letters should be signed by the President, addressed to the electees, and mailed within 24 hours of the election meeting.

  13. All members shall keep the election results in absolute confidence so that no candidate shall learn of his or her election except by means of the official letter; likewise, no candidate shall be informed of the details of the vote, especially concerning the personal matters discussed at the time of voting.

  14. At the first meeting of the electees, the President shall explain the requirements, objectives, and activities of the Association and of the Chapter. Those electees desiring to accept election shall formally state their acceptance, in writing, in a letter addressed to the President.

  15. Each electee who refuses initiation for financial reasons shall be interviewed by the Advisory Board, as required by TBP C-VIII.10.a.

  16. The graduate student shall announce their intention to apply for Tau Beta Pi membership in the fall, following the call for applications. This call for applications will be made extremely visible to avoid bias towards any one department or research lab.
  17. Graduate students must have 30 graduate credits completed at UCSC.
  18. The graduate student will submit a packet containing the following:
    1. A short (1-page) personal statement explaining why they are interested in joining the CA-AD chapter of Tau Beta Pi. It should be made clear that TBP emphasizes the ideas of noblesse oblige and outstanding character beyond simple academic merit.
    2. A letter from their adviser asserting that they will have completed 50% of their degree by the end of either the next winter or spring quarter.
    3. A description of the student’s achievements, which can take the shape of a professional resume, an academic curriculum vitæ, transcripts, or any combination of those and/or equivalent documents. The purpose of these is to showcase the student’s outstanding professional merit.
    4. Optionally, the student may include any other materials that exhibit his or her exceptional character, commitment to engineering, history of contribution or strong desire to participate in an active manner.
    5. The Tau Beta Pi president will give the completed packet of information of each interested graduate student to the respective Department Chair to confirm (or not) if the student is in the top 20% of their current class by signature. The Department Chair may wish to delegate screening to graduate director in consultation with the graduate office, but the final signature should be the Department Chair’s.
  19. If the chapter is satisfied (simple majority vote), the graduate student may be accepted as an applicant from the start of winter quarter until the spring initiation period. During this period, the
    student will be expected to participate to the chapter’s satisfaction in chapter events.
  20. If the student will not have met the requirement of 50% completion until the end of spring quarter, their eligibility will be deferred until the fall.
  21. The department chair must reaffirm that they are in the top 20% and the adviser must certify they have completed 50% of their degree.
  22. The graduate student will be voted upon during the voting period and, if elected, initiated at the initiation ceremony.


Article IV – Membership

  1. If an active member fails to fulfill their obligations outlined in this article, he or she will become an inactive member.

  2. An active member must attend every meeting, or submit apologies in writing to the President, Vice President, and Recording Secretary at least three days prior to the meeting.

  3. Apologies less than three days before a meeting may be accepted at the discretion of the officers mentioned in IV.2 of these bylaws.

  4. Only active and alumni members may access member exclusive resources.

  5. Only active members have voting privileges.

  6. An alumni member is a member that has graduated and has active status, who then elects to transition to alumni status.

  7. To return to active status from either alumni or inactive status, a member must attend two consecutive general meetings and be approved by a simple majority vote of quorum. Or, one may lodge a formal request to the executive counsel and recording secretary, at least forty-eight hours prior to the meeting, to be granted at the discretion of the executive counsel.

Article V – Officer Positions

  1. Officers will be elected at the Election of Officers meeting, for a term of one year.
  2. Advisors will be elected and renewed at the yearly Election of Officers Meeting.  To be eligible, potential advisors must have attended a District 15 Leadership Conference or National Convention.

  3. No member may hold a single officer position for more than one year.

  4. Any active member may run for election for any position. A member may run for multiple positions in a single election, but he or she may only accept one.

  5. The election of officers shall be by secret ballot. Two-thirds of the active membership shall constitute a quorum for the Election of Officers Meeting, and a majority of the quorum shall be required for election. A vote by the members present will cause the nominee receiving the least number of ballots to be dropped from further consideration until one candidate receives a majority vote.

  6. Officer positions will be filled sequentially. That is to say that one position will be filled before voting for the next position takes place.

  7. After an officer is elected, they shall become the officer-elect for a period of one month, during which time the outgoing officer will train the officer-elect in the duties of the position.

  8. If an officer position becomes vacant, a special meeting shall be called to fill the position.

  9. The officer positions are as follows: President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, Cataloger, Head of Facilities, Chairperson for Recruiting, Hardware Lab Representative. Treasurer and either secretary position may be combined if necessary. Hardware Lab Representative may be held in conjunction with any other officer position. All officer duties outlined herein are in addition to the duties prescribed in TBP B-V.5.03.

  10. The Advisory Board is a committee consisting of the President, the Vice President, the Corresponding Secretary, the Treasurer, and the four alumnus advisors.

  11. The duties of the President are to preside over the general meetings, and to chair the meetings of the Advisory Board.

  12. The duties of the Vice-President are to oversee all subcommittees and fulfill the duties of the President in the absence of the President. The Vice-President is in charge of maintaining initiation equipment and overseeing rituals.

  13. The duties of the Recording Secretary are to take minutes at each general meeting and facilitate communication within the honor society, in particular the maintenance of the members' mailing list, as well as maintain a record of all activities performed by the Chapter.

  14. The duties of the Corresponding Secretary are to maintain and submit all necessary forms to Tau Beta Pi as outlined in B-V.5.03.d of the TBP Bylaws.

  15. The duties of the Treasurer are to collect dues and initiation fees, and to distribute the funds to projects and other activities as determined by a quorum vote. Any expendetures greater than or equal to $50 must receive prior approval by the treasurer.

  16. The duty of the Cataloger is to maintain an up to date catalog of active and alumnus members of the chapter.

  17. The duties of the Head of Facilities are to oversee the maintenance of and access to all facilities managed by the Chapter. This includes the Computer Engineering Library and the Chapter’s website, as well as the proposed Chapter common room.

  18. The duties of the Chairperson for Recruiting are the initiation ceremony and outreach to nonmembers.

  19. The duties of the Hardware Lab Representative are to properly maintain and manage the Undergraduate Hardware Lab along with the other Representatives from IEEE and SWE. Further duties are outlined in the Undergraduate Hardware Lab Practices and Procedures.

Article VI – Meetings

  1. A meeting shall occur in the spring to elect officers and propose amendments to the bylaws.

  2. The following regular meetings shall be scheduled and held once each year: Organization, Election of Officers, Installation of Officers.

  3. The following regular meetings shall be scheduled and held once in the Fall and once in the Spring semesters (or quarters): Discussion of Election Procedures, Election of Candidates, Initiation of Electees, and one general meeting of a social, literary, or technical nature.

  4. The first meeting of a quarter shall occur within the first two weeks.

  5. Meetings shall be announced no less than one week in advance.

  6. Regular meeting times shall be organized to maximize the possible attendance of active members.

  7. Special meetings may be called by any member of the Advisory Board or with the approval of the Advisory Board due to unforeseen circumstances.

  8. A quorum for the consideration of routine business shall be a majority of the active membership of the Chapter; for the election of new members, for changing the initiation fee or Chapter dues, for passing an assessment on the members of the Chapter, for amending the Chapter Bylaws, and for approval of a proposed amendment to the Constitution of the Association; a quorum shall be (e/π)^2, or three-fourths, of the active membership; for the election of officers, the quorum shall be two-thirds of the active membership. A quorum for an Advisory Board meeting shall be five members of the Board.

  9. If a quorum is unable to be formed for four consecutive general meetings, a quorum may temporarily be formed by the Advisory Board.


Article VII – Subcommittees

  1. A subcommittee shall be formed for projects, events or administrative amendments

  2. A subcommittee shall be defined at a regular meeting, with the chairperson chosen by a majority vote.

  3. Members shall not be denied a position on a subcommittee based on existing skills or class standing; however, members may be asked to leave a subcommittee if they are unable to fulfill their obligations, as defined by the chairperson.

  4. Resources shall be given directly to the subcommittee and distributed by the chairperson.

  5. The subcommittee shall function as an independent body without any interference by the general membership

  6. A committee may be dissolved at any time by a quorum majority, or at project completion or abandonment, at which point any remaining resources are returned to the control of the treasurer.

Article VIII – Finances and Dues

  1. The fiscal year shall be June 1st to May 31st.

  2. Finances shall be maintained by the treasurer, and kept available for audit by request of any two active members, or any single faculty advisor.

  3. Financial records shall be audited upon their transferal to a new treasurer.

  4. Undergraduate Initiates will be assessed an initiation fee of $80.

     Allumni / Graduate Initiates will be assessed an initiation fee of $150.

  5. Chapter funds may not be distributed specifically to any member, advisor or individual associated with chapter.




Articles IX – Records

  1. Records shall be maintained by the Recording Secretary, and kept available for inspection at any time under request.

Article X – Amendments

  1. Amendments to the bylaws may be suggested by any active member, and if approved by a majority vote at regular meeting, will be discussed for at least a week, and passed if approved by at least three-fourths of a quorum vote.

Article XI – Dissolution

  1. The chapter shall be dissolved only under unanimous agreement of the active members.

  2. In the case of dissolution, any residual assets will be distributed to the UC Santa Cruz School of Engineering under the supervision of the primary faculty advisor.