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Constitution of the Society of Phi Zeta
Adopted July, 1986; Editorial Revision Approved July, 1989
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Name and Object

Section 1: The name of this organization shall be the Society of Phi Zeta.

Section 2: The object of the Society shall be to recognize and promote scholarship and research in matters pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals.


Section 1: Chapters of the Society may be formed at any recognized veterinary medical college or at any other institution of learning or of animal research.

Section 2: A petition for a charter for the establishment of a new chapter shall be communicated to the president of the Society who shall immediately refer it to the executive committee. If the petition is acted upon favorably by the executive committee, the president shall submit copies of the petition to the various chapters. A petition shall be granted providing not more than one dissenting vote is cast when the various chapters are polled.

Section 3: A charter for the establishment of a new chapter shall be issued by the president immediately after the authorization of the act by the chapters is given. It shall be signed by the president and secretary and seal of the Society shall be affixed to it.


Section 1: The membership of the Society shall be elected as active and honorary members.

Section 2: Those eligible to election as Active Members are:

A. Any candidate for the DVM/VMD degree in a veterinary medical college where a chapter exists, and who has completed at least two years of the professional curriculum, and who meets the following requirements:

1. The candidate must have an acceptable personality, be of good moral character, and possess high ideals respecting professional service and conduct.

2. When elected in the junior or third year, students must rank scholastically in the highest 10% of their veterinary medical class.

3. When elected in the senior or fourth year, students must rank scholastically in the highest 25% of their veterinary medical class.

4. The determination of the maximum number of students who are eligible shall be based on the previously stated percentages. In the event of a fraction in excess of the designated percentages, the chapters shall be authorized to raise this to the next whole number.

B. Any veterinarian who has been in possession of a veterinary medical degree for at least two years, and who has displayed ability of high order in dealing with one or more phases of the science of veterinary medicine, and who meets one of the following criteria:

1. The candidate is enrolled as a graduate student in a college of veterinary medicine and has completed at least twenty semester (thirty quarter) hours of graduate credit or has successfully passed preliminary examinations.

2. The candidate has been engaged in an intern or residency program for at least two years or has become board certified in his/her specialty. The candidate has completed two or more years on the faculty of the institution or scientific staff of a scientific institution within commuting distance of the nearest chapter of Phi Zeta and has been involved in veterinary research or service.

Section 3: Those eligible to election as Honorary Members are:

A. Distinguished veterinarians in possession of their veterinary medical degrees for at least five years and who have rendered notable service to their profession.

B. Persons not in possession of the veterinary medical degree, who have rendered distinguished service in the advancement of the science relating to the animal industry and particularly of animal diseases.

C. Only in exceptional instances shall more than two honorary members be elected by any one chapter in any one academic year.

Section 4: Active members who move from the residence of their chapter may:

A. Become known as inactive members and not subject to payment of dues.

B. Transfer their membership to another chapter.

Election of New Members

Section 1: The executive committee shall act as a nominating committee with the vice-president of the chapter as its chairman.

A. The secretary shall notify all active members of the time of the meeting of the nominating committee at least one week in advance. Any member may then propose names for membership to the nominating committee any time prior to the date of meeting of the nominating committee.

B. After receiving proposed names for membership from chapter members, the nominating committee shall prepare a final slate for possible election to membership. This slate shall include eligible persons proposed by the nominating committee.

C. The nominating committee shall prepare a list of names of persons eligible for active and, if desired, for honorary membership, and submit them in writing to the active members of the Society at least one week before the regular chapter meeting for election to membership.

Section 2: Election of new members shall take place at a regular meeting of the Society.

A. Adoption of the report of the nominating committee by unanimous vote of the members present shall constitute election of persons named in that report. In case of failure to elect thus, then the candidates shall be voted on separately by ballot and a two-thirds vote cast in the affirmative shall constitute election.

B. Those elected to membership shall be promptly notified by the chapter secretary who shall ascertain whether or not membership in the Society is acceptable to them.

Initiation of New Members

Section 1: Before exercising the privileges of membership in the Society, members-elect shall be initiated according to the form prescribed in Section 2 of this article. Initiation exercises shall be held as soon as possible following election to membership.

Section 2: The candidates shall be seated in a place of honor among the members of the Society.

A. The president, or his/her deputy, shall explain the aims and objects of the Society.

B. The president shall next read the following pledge to which each candidate shall assent as his/her name is called. Do you hereby pledge yourself to fulfill the principles of the Society of Phi Zeta, and to assume the responsibility incumbent upon membership therein?

C. The president, addressing those who have taken the pledge, shall then formally pronounce them admitted to membership in the Society, and shall invite them to sign the constitution.

D. The signature of each new member shall be affixed to the constitution, and he/she shall then receive, from the hands of the president, the certificate of membership.

E. The president shall present the new members to the chapter.

Section 3: The certificates of membership of the Society shall bear the signature of the president and of the secretary of the chapter, and the seal of the Society.

The form of the certificate shall be as follows:





Section 1: The emblem of the Society shall be a gold pendant or pin consisting of the Greek letter Phi (Ø) superimposed on the letter Zeta (Z). On the back of the emblem, the name of the member may be engraved on the diagonal bar of the letter Zeta, while the name of the institution shall appear on the upper bar, and the name of the chapter and the date of initiation on the lower bar.

Section 2: The seal of the Society shall consist of the monogram Phi Zeta arranged as in the emblem. About the periphery shall be arranged the words “National Society of Phi Zeta.”

National Officers

Section 1: The officers of the Society shall be a president, a president-elect, and a secretary-treasurer.

A. There shall also be an executive committee, consisting of the president, president-elect, secretary-treasurer, and the three most recent national past-presidents of Phi Zeta.

B. The terms of office of the president, president-elect, and secretary-treasurer shall be two years.

C. The officers shall be elected at the annual meeting of the Society in odd-numbered years. At least three months before the time of the meeting, the president shall appoint a nominating committee of three active members who shall submit to the Society at least one nomination for each office.

D. In case of vacancy of the office of president due to disability or resignation, the duties shall be performed by the president-elect. Any vacancy in the office of secretary-treasurer shall be filled by an appointment made by the president until such office is filled at the next regular meeting.

Annual Meetings

Section 1: Annual meetings of the Society shall be held at such time and place as shall be determined by the executive committee and due notice shall be given to all chapters.

Section 2: Each chapter in good standing shall be entitled to representation at each meeting. Voting shall be by chapters and each chapter shall be entitled to one vote. These representatives may be selected from the chapter members, but in case it is impractical to send its own members, a chapter may appoint a member of another chapter as its representative.

Section 3: At any duly called meeting, representation from at least five chapters shall constitute a quorum.

Dues and Expenses

Section 1: Members belonging to, or affiliated with, a chapter shall pay to the chapter such dues as shall be provided for in the by-laws of that chapter.

Section 2: In the initiation fee of each newly elected member, the chapters shall include the sum of one-dollar for the treasury of the national Society, to be collected by the chapter treasurers and forwarded by them to the national secretary-treasurer of the society.

Section 3: General expenses of the Society which are not met by the initiation fees shall be met by a pro-rated levy on each chapter based on the number of active members. Such assessments shall be authorized by vote at an annual meeting, after recommendation of the executive committee.

Real Estate

Section 1: Neither the Society nor any of the chapters thereof shall ever own, lease, or receive as a loan or as a gift any real estate to be used for the purpose of a meeting place or a chapter house.


Section 1: Failure of any chapter to comply with the provisions of any part of this constitution, after due notice has been given by the executive committee, shall constitute sufficient reason for revocation of its charter by vote of the Society at the annual meeting.


Section 1: This constitution may be amended at any annual meeting of the Society by a two-thirds vote of the members present, providing it has been proposed in writing at a previous meeting or has been submitted by the executive committee to all of the chapters before termination of the academic year. If a chapter has been properly notified of an amendment and has not expressed an opinion in writing to the secretary or does not have a representative at the meeting, it is within the jurisdiction of the chapters represented to enact any amendment which will be beneficial to the organization.

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