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Mu Beta Psi, National Honorary Musical Fraternity

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policies:colonization

Colonization Procedures Document

  1. Making Contact
    1. Any communication from Chapters to a prospective school about items in this policy must be approved by the National Vice President of Expansion (NVPE). It is essential that all prospective schools see Mu Beta Psi as a NATIONAL Organization from the outset, and that expansion is a National goal of the Fraternity. General information about a Chapter's service, social, fund-raising, or other activities is fine to pass along, but if there is interest in having a Chapter at a new school, all available names and addresses of interested faculty and/or students should be passed on to the NVPE as soon as possible.
    2. The NVPE will have available “Information Packs” with letters from the NVPE and the National President, letters from advisors and faculty of various Chapters, letters from community figures who have a relationship with a Chapter (such as the beneficiaries of Mu Beta Psi service projects), the expansion brochure, and possibly some additional information ready to be mailed out to any interested school at a moment's notice. These packs will also be mailed out “cold” to schools, used as first communication to a school that has expressed interest in learning about Mu Beta Psi, or to establish “diplomatic relations” with other small musical fraternities that may have expressed interest in a merger.
    3. A Chapter may send its own letter of communication to an interested school along with the information pack or after the pack has been sent, but only after that letter has been read and approved by the NVPE. Chapters may compose such a letter at their discretion to be submitted for approval; they need not wait (and please don't!) until it is time to communicate with a school. (An outline of such a letter exists separately from this document). This will prevent delay in sending out information. The NVPE must be notified of all schools to which a Chapter sends this letter, in order to keep an accurate record of what communication has occurred. Copies of any written communication to a prospective school from any source should be sent to the NVPE to be kept on file for future reference.
    4. Establishing contact with a prospective Chapter shall consist of three steps.
      1. The first step may consist of personal contact by any individual Brother to an interested party. This knowledge does not require the foreknowledge of the NVPE.
      2. The second step should be organizing a group at the prospective school, consisting of no less than twelve (12) members. Groups with less than fifteen (15) members should be able to show convincingly that they can increase their number to fifteen (15) or more before their petition is submitted, in order to comply with the National Constitution. Communication should remain on a personal level in which the contacting Brother(s) should act as liaison. The NVPE and National Committee on Expansion (NCE) should be informed of contact at this time.
      3. The third step should be establishment of official contact. The NVPE should take over as liaison for the Fraternity. Personal communication shall not be discouraged; however, all official communications will come from or be approved by the NVPE. This step should not be taken until the interested party feels prepared to begin the petitioning process.
      4. All members of the committee, as well as all Brothers involved in colonization attempts are required to sign a non-hazing agreement as prescribed by the NCE Policy Manual, Section 10.
    5. If there are several interested schools within the area of a particular Chapter, how they decide which school to target is not important — the important thing is that they narrow their focus and begin to take positive steps toward expansion at a particular institution. Criteria such as size of the institution as well as size and quality of its music department could be used to limit the selection. The only true limitation, however, is that Chapters of this Fraternity shall be limited to four-plus (4+) year educational institutions of collegiate grade (National Constitution, ARTICLE IX, Section 1).
    6. The National Committee on Expansion shall vote to allow petitioning to proceed based on information gathered by the NVPE as outlined in Section 5 of the Expansion Policy.
  2. Enlist The Aid of a Chapter’s Faculty Advisors and Other Faculty Members of a Chapter’s Music Department to Make Contact with the Faculty of the Target School’s Music Department.
    1. Support and cooperation from the faculty of the target school is essential and, in most cases, required. If a Chapter tries to lay the groundwork for building a new Chapter without the faculty’s advice or consent, they may become hostile toward our efforts, and in that event our work will have been for nothing. Contact from faculty attesting to the benefits of having a Chapter of Mu Beta Psi at their institution will give our efforts credibility with the members of the target faculty.
    2. Faculty from the Host Chapter’s music department should be asked to participate as much as they like to lend support and communication to the faculty of the prospective school. This request can be made by the Brothers at the Host Chapter(s). It will be accompanied by a formal letter of request from the NVPE outlining the various ways they could help: by phone, by letter, by assisting in the presentation to the faculty of the target school, by assisting in the presentation to the students of the target school. At the Chapter's request, the letter will also convey our National Organization's appreciation of their efforts.
  3. Make Contact with Student Leaders of the Target School.
    1. In order to generate interest in Mu Beta Psi among the music department students, it is essential that the support of as many of the student leaders as possible is enlisted. They can generate interest among their fellows much easier than a Brother can as an outsider. Student leaders can be identified by the faculty after initial contact has been made. Student leaders need not be elected or appointed officers of musical groups. They should be identified as motivated students who have dedicated themselves in the music department and show a genuine interest in finding out about Mu Beta Psi.
  4. The Initial Information Meeting
    1. The NVPE and Brothers available, especially from the potential Host Chapter(s), should meet if possible with faculty and/or student leaders to go over the information that would be presented at a general interest meeting. Essentially, the information will be “presented” to them so that they may be able to participate in the presentation during the general meeting described in Section 6.
    2. Also at this meeting, the student leaders will receive flyers and brochures to post for publicity. The student leaders in any and all appropriate locations will post these flyers if there is to be a general interest meeting. Brothers should offer to help post these if there is time. The flyers will be a generic form with blanks beside the date, time, and place for the meeting.
    3. If the prospective school is sufficiently far away to prevent a timely face-to-face meeting, this initial information meeting may need to be replaced by either a conference call or a series of letters and phone calls. The flyers and brochures would then be mailed to the music department for posting.
  5. Contact Student Affairs Office
    1. As soon as it has been determined that there will be a general interest meeting, a letter will be sent from the NVPE to the Office of Student Affairs or other such office at the prospective school. This letter will introduce Mu Beta Psi, our purposes, and our intentions for the music department at the school. Such a letter is critical to our acceptance by the administration on campus.
  6. Organize A General Interest Meeting
    1. In cooperation with the faculty of the target school, the NVPE and NCE members will organize a general interest meeting. This meeting should be announced at rehearsals of the musical organizations on campus, and advance notice of its purpose, time and place should be posted on the appropriate bulletin Boards. All pertinent information about the Fraternity should be made available at this time.
    2. Student leaders and faculty interested in Mu Beta Psi should be incorporated into the presentation of information as much as possible to help gain the confidence of those in attendance. The meeting should, however, be conducted by an NCE representative (and potential Pledgemasters, if possible). As many Brothers as possible from the potential Host Chapter(s) should also attend. Brothers in attendance should not ask their own questions at this time. The entire presentation should be interesting and entertaining. A thorough discussion should follow to allow the students in attendance to make their ideas known. Guidelines for the presentation exist separately from this document.
    3. After the discussion has ended, and before closing the general interest meeting, take a show of hands to determine if there is sufficient interest in forming a Chapter of Mu Beta Psi at that school. The petitioning body must consist of at least fifteen (15) people. Take down names, addresses, phone numbers, year in school, and number of semesters/quarters in musical organizations for each student. A date, time, and place should be arranged for an organizational meeting to occur within the following week or so. Establish contact people for each musical organization to re-address each group in order to catch any students that may have missed the interest meeting and announce the organizational meeting. It should be stressed that students not attending the general interest meeting are still welcome to come to the organizational meeting.
  7. Appoint the Host Chapter(s)
    1. The National Committee on Expansion shall recommend to the National Executive Committee a Host Chapter or Chapters as outlined in Section 6 of the Expansion Policy.
  8. The Organizational Meeting
    1. The organizational meeting is set up to further discuss petitioning and training and to describe officer positions (President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Member-At-Large, and possibly a Musical Activities Coordinator (MAC) only for now). The discussion should be led by the NVPE or NCE members in attendance.
    2. At this meeting, which advisors should attend if possible, the petitioning process should be discussed in detail along with National responsibilities of a Chapter, Chapter goals, and money matters: training dues, costs associated with the training semester (such as purchasing material for paddles), thinking about handling a bank account if they become a Chapter, managing fundraisers, etc. Trainees will not be required to pay the national initiation fee, but should be made aware that there are yearly national dues, a liability fee, and a shingle fee if they become a Brother. Guidelines for this discussion and a financial policy for the petitioning and training process exist separately from this document. We need to let the students and advisors know what they are getting into when they are deciding to petition. It is not too early to think about these things, even though they have yet to even prepare their petition. Concentrating on concrete issues and real concerns can provide direction and purpose for the petitioning members and begin to get them to work together, even at this early stage.
      1. NOTE: Let the petitioning body know about the guidelines regarding the minimum number (12) required to continue training (if training is approved) and the amount of time involved both in training and being an active Chapter (i.e. holding pledge seasons, National business, service, etc.).
    3. This meeting should also have presentations from Brothers who hold or held those offices being elected or at least a letter from them about the office and its duties/time requirements. (Letters from officers in these positions at other Chapters will also be available and kept on file for reference by the new officers). Anyone interested in holding an office should meet in small groups with those officers from the Host Chapter(s) or their representatives to discuss the office in greater detail. There should be a break in the meeting for the petitioners to think/discuss/plan who will run for which offices. Following there should be speeches along with questions/answers from the candidates and then election of officers.
    4. The new officers, NCE members, and/or potential Pledgemasters are then responsible for appointing committees to prepare the petition and fill in the skeletal set of By-Laws provided for them (sets of “pared-down” By-Laws from the other Chapters will also be provided to help give ideas and guide the By-Laws committee). Any changes from the skeletal By-Laws will eventually be voted on by the petitioning body to be later approved by the Board of Trustees. The By-Laws committee will also be responsible for going over the proposed By-Laws with Student Affairs or other such organization on campus to assure that they are in line with any school regulations. A letter should be requested from the Student Affairs Office once the By-Laws have been approved by the school. This letter should be included in the petition. NCE members, potential Pledgemasters or other designated representatives should be prepared to help with revisions to the By-Laws as much as possible. They might be asked to attend the meeting with Student Affairs in order to help answer any questions and/or assure that accurate information is obtained about what changes need to be made to make them in accord with school regulations. It would also be advisable for at least one of the advisors to attend such a meeting. Deadlines should be set for completion of each section of the petition and By-Laws. Let the members of the Board of Trustees know an approximate date that they can expect to receive the By-Laws for approval.
    5. At this time it would be appropriate to start thinking about, and select if possible, a fund- raising/finance committee to begin investigating fund-raising ideas for the potential training semester to follow as well as banks that have services that would suit their needs if installed as a Chapter. For the purpose of coordinating any services to the music department by the petitioners, a separate committee can be formed to be headed by the MAC (if elected) or this can be handled by the fund-raising/finance committee.
  9. Pledgemasters Assigned
    1. The National Vice President of Expansion and all members of the National Committee on Expansion shall appoint Pledgemasters to see petitioning and training through as far as it may progress as described in Section 7 of the Expansion Policy.
    2. Any conflicts between the Pledgemasters shall be arbitrated and resolved by the National Vice President of Expansion.
  10. Submitting A Petition
    1. The National Committee of Expansion shall review and approve the Petition to become a Chapter.
    2. The petitioning body shall submit the original Petition to the National Vice President of Expansion
    3. A complete Petition to become a Chapter includes all of the following:
      1. A letter from the prospective colonists to the National Vice President of Expansion expressing the prospective Chapter's interest in receiving a Charter, including a list of specific plans the prospective Chapter has if they are granted a Charter;
      2. A working set of By-Laws (the skeletal ones should be sufficient);
      3. A membership list of at least fifteen (15) persons, including the number of semesters/quarters completed by each person in any musical organization at the prospective institution as well as the academic standing of each potential member, as per National Constitution, Article III, Section 3, subsections a and b;
      4. The name and school address of at least two (2) faculty advisors;
      5. A letter from the advisors to the National Vice President of Expansion describing why a Chapter of Mu Beta Psi at his/her school would be beneficial, and giving some goals of the Chapter;
      6. The criteria used by the petitioning body for selecting faculty advisors;
      7. Information about the prospective school, including a short history, basic facts (student population, location, etc.) a school catalogue, and any interesting or unique facts about the institution;
      8. A certified check for $100 to cover the cost of printing, mailing and framing the Charter which shall be refunded if the Charter should be refused, as per National Constitution, Article XI, Section 1, subsection b.
      9. A letter from the School's Office of Student Affairs or equivalent governing office to the NVPE indicating acceptance of Mu Beta Psi at said institution, and approval of the prospective Chapter’s By-Laws;
      10. A letter of recommendation from the Host Chapter(s) to the National Vice President of Expansion.
      11. Each prospective colonist will include a personal statement of intent and a short biography.
    4. If the petition is approved by the members of the National Committee on Expansion, training will be allowed to begin the following semester.
    5. A copy of the petition shall be sent to the National President, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and the National Secretary. Upon request, copies of the petition will be available from the National Vice President of Expansion.
    6. Fraternal response to the petition shall be reported to the petitioners within forty-five (45) business days of receipt.
  11. Big Brothers Assigned
    1. Once officers are in place and work begins on the petition, Big Brothers will be assigned to the petitioning members by the Pledgemasters and NVPE. There will be two Big Brothers for each petitioning member and a Brother may be a Big Brother to more than one petitioner. One of the Big Brothers will be from the Host Chapter(s) and one will be selected from a pool of volunteer Big Brothers from the non-hosting Chapters.
    2. It is preferred that any officers of the petitioning body have one Big Brother (from the Host Chapter(s), if possible) that either currently holds or held the corresponding office in their Chapter. Other than this type of matching, Big Brothers will be assigned randomly. Pledgemasters may not be Big Brothers.
    3. NOTE: The Host Chapter(s) Big Brother assignments will be spread out among the co-hosting Chapters if the training responsibilities are shared.
    4. Big Brothers are responsible for one communication per week with their Little Brother through the petitioning period and subsequent training. The Little Brothers are responsible for returning all communications from their Big Brothers.
    5. Both Host and Remote Big Brothers will be responsible for filling out weekly reports that will express their opinion of their Little Brother’s progress and will document the required weekly communication.
    6. Host and remote Chapter Big Brothers are jointly responsible for communicating every thirty (30) days about their Little Brother, once assigned.
    7. Big Brothers may answer any questions about their Chapter or National functions and get to know their Little Brother as well as possible BUT, they may NOT answer any questions about the petitioning or training process lest they distribute incorrect information or information the petitioners need not know at the time. Big Brothers should direct any questions about the activities of petitioning or training to the Pledgemasters who may further direct them to the NVPE if needed. Information can then be correctly passed on to the petitioner.
    8. BIG BROTHERS FROM THE HOST CHAPTER(S) ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND INFORMAL AND FORMAL INITIATIONS and should attend the Pinning Ceremony/Party as described in a separate document. They will hopefully attend any other related festivities as their schedule permits. There will be no additional required face-to-face meetings with Big and Little Brothers established by the Host Chapter(s) unless justified to and pre-approved by the NVPE.
  12. Finishing the Petitioning Semester
    1. At this point, Pledgemasters and new officers should be working on By-Laws, the petition, and setting up a potential training schedule for the following semester. The schedule will need to include such things as:
      1. Pinning ceremony/party;
      2. Weekly meeting times (same time each week, if possible);
      3. Deadline for book design (must include at least MBΨ and “TRAINEE last name”), due during the petitioning semester; and deadline for book preparation for interviews, due during training;
      4. New Chapter Pledgemaster selection, meetings to begin Pledgemaster training for potential new Chapter Pledgemasters (see Step 13);
      5. Fund-raiser(s)/Service Project(s) (What/When/Where).
      6. When the Final Test will be;
      7. When informal and formal initiations will be;
      8. What/Where/When to do after initiation (banquet or reception??);
    2. The schedule should be set and distributed to all Chapters and National Officers as soon as possible. It will hopefully not conflict with the pledging schedule at the Host Chapter(s).
    3. Any By-Laws revisions the Board of Trustees designates as “major” must be in place BEFORE the beginning of training. The Board of Trustees will also set a deadline by which all revisions (spelling errors, etc.) must be in the By-Laws. This deadline should fall somewhere in the training semester, but be a few weeks before the installation date. The final By-Laws will thus be approved before the deadline for the Charter vote (see Section 15). Allowing the trainees to make minor revisions during the course of training gives them ample time to discuss the changes among themselves and with the Fraternity, implement them, and learn to work under them before they become a new Chapter.
  13. Training
    1. THE TRAINING PERIOD SHALL LAST FROM EIGHT TO TEN WEEKS. The training program will be designed, as described in section 9 of the Expansion Policy, by the NCE and the Pledgemasters, in accordance with these guidelines, and shall be conducted by the Pledgemasters and the Host Chapter(s). Any deviations from the program as designed by the NCE should be approved in advance by the NVPE unless extreme circumstances make this highly impractical. Any such deviations must be written down by the Pledgemasters, signed by the NVPE, and kept on file for future reference.
    2. The Pledgemasters are responsible for the items prescribed in the NCE Policy Manual, Section 10.3. This is to ensure the safety of the trainees, and to ensure that the Fraternity is operating in compliance with the Fraternal Life and Conduct policy and related guidelines.
    3. During the training period, the training Chapter will hold weekly meetings. In accordance with the program designed by the NCE, the trainees will receive the required Fraternity information, outlined in Section 9.2 of the Expansion Policy, from the Pledgemasters on a periodic basis. In addition, other information deemed necessary by the NCE may be distributed at the meetings, such as facts about the trainee’s music department.
    4. The trainees may also be required to obtain on their own and learn additional information, such as information on each of their fellow trainees, Big Brothers, Pledgemasters, and Advisors (name, home town, year and major, romantic attachment, etc.). Any such additional information will be specified in the training program designed by the NCE.
    5. During training, the trainees will complete any By-Law revisions requested by the Board of Trustees. These revisions must be in place by the final deadline set by the Board of Trustees. If the revisions significantly alter the content or intent of the By-Laws, an effort should be made (but is not required) to have these changes approved by the school’s Office of Student Affairs. Documentation of approval should be sent to the NVPE to place on file for future reference.
    6. There will be a project committee (can be an extension of the fundraising/finance committee described above) to develop service, fund raising, and class projects for the class to be conducted under the supervision of the Pledgemasters and faculty advisors.
    7. The trainees will carry books and wear pins as a group at their discretion. This will provide them with experience needed to run their own pledge seasons. The benefits of carrying these things as they relate to dealing with their own future pledge classes should be discussed before they make the decision about which times they will be carried/worn.
      1. The trainees will be given the needed amount of pledge pins by the National Executive Committee. Twenty (20) pledge pins should be in stock with the National Treasurer to be used by training chapters. If they complete training, they will be awarded fifteen (15) of these pins to be paid for by the Expansion fund. All pins over fifteen (15) must be paid for by the new Chapter. If the trainees do not complete training, all pins will revert back to the set kept on hand by the National Executive Committee.
      2. Different Chapters' “points” systems should be introduced as a guide for the new Chapter to develop their own. There should also be a paddle committee from the training class that looks at other Chapters' paddle designs and creates one for the potential new Chapter. Paddles of this design will be completed by each trainee prior to initiations. The paddle design must include at least the required elements as outlined in Section 9.3 of the Expansion Policy. Any other items such as the Crest, class name and signatures are optional and their inclusion should not be influenced by the Host Chapter(s). All paddle designs should be presented equally.
    8. Weekly quizzes will be given on Fraternity and school (alma mater, school songs, group directors, etc.) information provided the week before. It should be stressed that these quizzes are important preparation for the Final Test and Big Brothers should check on how their Little Brothers are doing, BUT these quizzes will IN NO WAY affect whether a trainee is eligible for initiation.
      1. Weekly quizzes shall be designed and distributed by the Pledgemasters and approved by the NVPE, based on the information sets and calendar approved by the NCE
      2. Weekly quizzes shall be administered and graded by the Prospective Pledgemaster(s) (see Section 14) who shall report the grades to the Pledgemasters within two days of administering the quiz.
    9. The Final Test should be given at least one week prior to initiation to allow plenty of evaluation time. A passing grade for the test will be established by the NVPE, Pledgemasters and NCE once the test has been made. Any trainee not passing the test shall be eligible for one re- test. Failure to pass the re-test will result in expulsion from the training class.
      1. It is not the responsibility of the National Fraternity to judge these trainees by the degree to which they passed the test. The only information about the test that will be distributed beyond the Pledgemasters, Host Chapter(s) NCE, and NVPE is the number of trainees that passed the test.
  14. Prospective Pledgemaster Training
    1. Any trainees interested in being among the first Pledgemasters for the new Chapter will be required to attend additional training sessions (no privileged information will be given until after initiations). The Pledgemasters or appointed Pledgemaster trainers from the Host Chapter(s) (hopefully Brothers who have been Pledgemasters before) will review pledge season overviews with the Pledgemaster trainees. These overviews shall be supplied by each Chapter and should detail elements of planning and running a successful pledge season from drop-ins/smokers to publicity to Big Brother selection/assignment all the way through to all but initiations.
    2. Detailed information on initiations will be provided after the new Chapter is installed. The new Pledgemasters as well as any other available new Chapter Brothers should be strongly recommended to attend at least one other Chapter's initiations (FORMAL AND INFORMAL) before the new Chapter initiates its first class. This would require some creative scheduling between their Pledgemasters and a neighboring Chapter in order to coordinate the initiation schedules. It might even be possible for new Brothers to attend their Host Chapter(s)'s own initiations the same semester they are installed if it can be planned well enough in advance.
  15. Reports On Training Progress
    1. During the petitioning process, two Brothers (or more if multiple Chapters are participating) assisting in the petitioning will be responsible for reporting, in oral or written form, to the NVPE on petitioning progress every week based on a schedule provided by the NCE. The NVPE shall pass the reports on in written form to the NCE members.
    2. During training, the Pledgemasters will be responsible for bi-weekly reports on training progress (as well as fund raising, service projects, etc.) to the NVPE. Any events of interest from the training class should be provided by the MAL from the training group for inclusion in these reports. These reports will be sent from the NVPE to NCE members as well as National Officers.
    3. The Secretary of the training class shall submit minutes from each colony meeting to the Pledgemasters and the NVPE.
    4. The request for a Charter — approval of which is pending successful completion of the Final Test by at least twelve (12) trainees — shall be made by the Host Chapter(s) to the NVPE no less than forty-five (45) days prior to the Final Test. This is to allow distribution of ballots so they can be easily decided on within the thirty (30) day Chapter deadline. (Example: The vote on the Charter will be called 4–6 weeks into training, depending on the 8–10 week training total. This way, all Chapters will have 2 or 3 progress reports before a vote is even called, and they should have 1 or 2 more before a decision is needed.) Of course, it is critical that communications of the reports and mail ballot are executed in an efficient manner. THE VOTE SHOULD BE SCHEDULED IN SUCH A WAY THAT ALL RESPONSES FROM CHAPTERS ARE DUE BEFORE THE FINAL TEST.
  16. Voting on Chapter Acceptance
    1. Upon receipt of a request for Charter, the NVPE shall present it to the National Executive Committee and Legislative Council. A copy of the prospective Chapter's completed By-Laws shall also be presented to the Board of Trustees by the deadline set for final revisions to ensure compliance with the National Constitution and National Policies.
    2. As per the National Constitution, ARTICLE XI, Section 2, subsection a, the prospective Chapter shall be eligible for a Charter upon the unanimous vote of the Legislative Council. As per subsection b, the National Executive Committee may grant a Charter over the veto of one dissenting Chapter vote.
    3. Also as per Section 2, subsection a, each Chapter shall cast two votes and shall be allowed a period of thirty (30) days — in accordance with the National Office Operations Policy — in which to vote. At the end of this time, a Chapter is barred from participating in the voting.
  17. Initiations
    1. If a Charter is granted, informal and formal initiations will take place on the date(s) specified in the training schedule. All Chapters will be informed of the initiation dates well in advance, and all Brothers are encouraged to attend. Informal and formal initiation procedures exist separately from this document and must be strictly followed. Any necessary deviations from these procedures must be approved by the NCE before initiations may take place.
  18. Policy
    1. This document shall be revised as necessary by the NCE, and shall be approved by a two-thirds (⅔) vote of the National Executive Committee and presented to the National Convention for information only.
Approved January 26, 2011
Amended March 17, 2018
policies/colonization.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/14 20:05 by katpet