Preamble to the Constitution of Mu Kappa Upsilon Fraternity
On this day April 8, 2014 these members of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Bands and Mu Kappa Upsilon, as noted by our signatures, do hereby renew the Charter and Ideals established by our Founding Fathers with this new Constitution. On March 19, 1978, members of the University of Pittsburgh Band, charged to the service of that Band, its administration, and its members, and for the following several purposes and functions, formed Mu Kappa Upsilon. They realized the importance that such a body can play in the workings of the Band and the service of those that belong to it. We, the current Brothers, do hereby rededicate ourselves to these ideals established by our Founding Fathers.:
- To strive at all times towards the attainment of the highest possible musical standards in marching and playing, exemplifying these in our conduct, and thus by our example serve as an inspiration to the band as a whole to never be satisfied with less than total effort and commitment.
- To assist the administration of the band in its day-to-day workings, and to cheerfully offer our services to that administration, over and above those rendered by the average band member.
- Recognizing that we are a service organization as well as an honorary body, to aid all band members in their daily rehearsal and performance, to offer whatever financial aid is possible to the University of Pittsburgh Bands, and to insure that the training and integration of new band members is done in the spirit of friendship and co-operation. Only through such efforts can we play a role in helping to produce a superior musical organization.
- To provide, whenever possible, pleasant social functions to the band, to enable the band members to get to know one another, not merely as marchers, but as persons, and in order to foster a continuing espirit-de-corps.
- To cooperate, in every manner possible, with any other organization engaged in service to the University Bands, and to actively secure support from all possible groups, both within the University, and from the community as a whole.
- To help foster a positive and favorable image for the University of Pittsburgh Bands in the eyes of the University, its administration, students, and alumni, as well as others who would come into contact with the University of Pittsburgh Bands, through outstanding performance and impeccable conduct.
- To honor, by offering membership in this organization, those bandsmen, who, through their activities, talents, and spirit, have demonstrated outstanding loyalty and dedication to the ideals of this fraternity and the Band which it serves. This is not an invitation to be tendered easily or accepted lightly, for those chosen for such a privilege must realize that it is also a charge, which, once accepted, endeavors those bandsmen to do their utmost in the service of the University of Pittsburgh Bands and Mu Kappa Upsilon Fraternity.
Dedicating ourselves formally and irremediably to the above stated ideals, we, the undersigned members, do pledge to uphold them, in every way, to the best of our individual and collective abilities.
Signed, The Brothers of Mu Kappa Upsilon
The Constitution of Mu Kappa Upsilon
The name of this organization shall be Mu Kappa Upsilon.
Article II - Constitution
This constitution shall be the supreme document of Mu Kappa Upsilon Fraternity. All decrees, procedures and actions shall be in accordance with its precepts.
To revise the Constitution, the President appoints a committee of 2-5 people headed by the Historian to draft revisions. Those revisions then must be approved by a plurality vote by the Executive Board. If the revisions are approved by the Executive Board, they are then discussed (if necessary) and voted on by the Active Brotherhood. A seventy-five (75) percent affirmative vote of the total Active Brotherhood will ratify the new revision.
The purposes of Mu Kappa Upsilon have been duly stated in the Preamble to this document.
Section 1 - Active Status
To qualify for and maintain active status a brother must:
- have successfully completed the requirements of the pledge program and have been duly installed;
- have paid his financial obligations in full and on time unless granted an extension by the Executive Board;
- have not exceeded more than three (3) unexcused absences per term;
- participate to a reasonable extent in chapter projects and;
- have lived up to his responsibilities as stated in the Preamble;
- participate in one Band under the Department of Bands at the Universit of Pittsburgh: Either the Marching Band, or the Concert Band during the academic year;
- attend First, Fourth, and the Fifth Degree Rituals and the Biannual Camping trip; and
- Failure to abide by Article IV, Section 1, Part G is grounds for Inactive Status as described in Article IV, Section 6, unless an excuse is given before the event that is approved in a formal vote by seventy-five (75) percent of the total Active Brotherhood
Section 2 - Pledge Brother
The qualifications for Pledge Brother shall be put forth under Article V.
Section 3 - Honorary Brother
- An Honorary Brother shall be one who, though not eligible for active status, nevertheless has contributed in a significant or notable manner the University of Pittsburgh Bands and/or the brotherhood of Mu Kappa Upsilon.
- A candidate for honorary membership does not necessarily have to be a member of the University of Pittsburgh Bands or its administration.
- A bid for honorary membership will be extended so long as the candidate receives no more than two(2) negative votes.
- If a person is rejected, his name may again be brought up at the end of that same meeting. If rejected again, the candidate may not be proposed again until the next bid session.
- No more than two (2) honorary bids may be extended per Academic Term.
- An honorary brother shall be entitled to all rights and privileges awarded to an active brother with the exception of holding office, voting at meetings, taking a Little Brother and participating at Bid sessions.
Section 4 - Alumni Brother
- Any active brother in good standing with the Fraternity, but who does not register as an undergraduate with the University, shall be an Alumni Brother.
- An alumnus of the chapter not in good standing may be returned to alumni status provided he corrects that which caused him to lose his good standing during his active membership.
- An alumni brother shall be entitled to all rights and privileges awarded to an active brother with the exception of holding office, voting at meetings and participating at bid sessions.
Section 5 - Conditional Status
- A Conditional Brother is a Brother who has conflicts (e.g. Internship or Co-Op) that would interfere with normal attendance at meetings and responsibilities, but does not lose his rights or Active Status;
- Conditional Status must be preceded by a petition to the Executive Board and is obtained by a majority vote of the Brotherhood;
- Conditional Status only lasts for the duration of the Academic term in which it is petitioned for;
- Conditional Status does not excuse a Brother from the payment of dues, fees, or special assessments;
Section 6 - Inactive Status
- An Inactive Brother is a Brother who has relinquished his Rights: Rights to vote, Right to take a Little Brother, Right to attend Formal Brotherhood Events;
- Voluntary Inactivity must be preceded by a grant of permission by the Executive Board for those members still in school. Permission will be given in cases of financial difficulty, severe time limitations, etc;
- Voluntary Inactivity does not entitle a Brother to remission of dues, fees, or special assessment already paid to the Active Brotherhood;
- Those Brothers who fail to meet the requirements of Article IV, Section 2 shall be considered Voluntarily Inactive;
- Enforced Inactivity will be forced of those Brothers who have been issued three (3) unexcused meetings during the term or have not paid the required dues, fees, and/or assessments.
All Active Brothers and Pledge Brothers are entitled to one vote, either in the positive, negative, or abstention, for any formal vote called by a member of the Brotherhood and that has been seconded.
Section 2 - Unexcused Absences
Any Brothers vote during a meeting where a formal vote is taking place, which he has an unexcused absence from, as discussed in Article VI, Section 2, will not be counted in the total for the vote.
- Any Brothers vote during a meeting where a formal vote is taking place, which he has an excused absence from, as discussed in Article VI, Section 2, will be counted as an abstention in the total for the vote unless he awards his Proxy to a Brother in attendance.
- Proxy Votes must be given prior to the start of the meeting that the absent Brother is excused from, and must be confirmed with the President by person, writing, or electronic message.
- A Brother can only hold one Proxy Vote per meeting and he cannot vote more than twice in one formal vote.
Section 1 - Qualifications for Pledgeship
Prospective Pledges must be enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, or any institution of higher education which allows cross-registration of its students into the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Bands. They must have fulfilled the requirements of completing at least one academic semester, and have completed at least one session of Band (either the Marching Band or Concert Band) under the Department of Bands. They must participate in at least one session of any Band during the academic school year in which they are rushing. They must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on 4.0 grading scale. Above all, they must meet the ideals as stated in the Preamble.
Bid session meetings are to occur after rush, and the order of the meeting is to follow the below stated parts
- An alphabetical list of candidates eligible, by class standing and grade point average only, shall be prepared by the Secretary.
- Discussion on each eligible candidate shall be held before a vote takes place on each candidate.
- An affirmative vote of seventy-five (75) percent of the active non-abstaining brothers awards a candidate a bid on the first ballot, provided the number of abstentions does not exceed fifty (50) percent of the brothers present.
- If a candidate is rejected on the first ballot, he may be discussed again and voted upon on a second ballot. The voting shall be the same as for the first ballot. If rejected again, said candidate shall neither be discussed further nor voted upon until the next bid session.
- Candidates awarded with bids shall be notified by mail. They shall be required to respond in the form of a written letter to the Vice-President.
When the Bid has been accepted, the respective Pledge must then adhere to the following code in the below stated parts.
- During the pledge process of Mu Kappa Upsilon, the pledge must wear the Pledge bBadge at all times until he is initiated and classed as an Active Brother.
- Pledges shall abide by all rules for Pledging and initiation set by the Brothers of Mu Kappa Upsilon.
- Each Pledge must go through the Rituals and Pledge Training Program in accordance the Brotherhood of Mu Kappa Upsilon, set forth by the Vice-President.
Section 4 - Pledge Evaluation
To ensure that only those Pledges with a sincere desire to learn the ways of Mu Kappa Upsilon and uphold its ideals shall be inducted as Brothers. There shall be Four Week Evaluation and Eight Week Evaluation. Evaluation week meetings are to follow the below stated parts.
- At Four Week and Eight Week Evaluation the Pledges shall be formally voted upon by the Brotherhood. The vote and discussion shall take place following Good and Welfare and in the absence of the Pledges.
- Discussion on each Pledge shall be held before a vote is taken on said Pledge. At this time, any point (positive or negative) that a Brother feels should be said regarding the performance of a Pledge thus far should be aired. Correctional guidance pertaining to these remarks will be the responsibility of the Pledges Big Brother and/or the Vice-President. This discussion shall provide the Pledge with a reference as to his performance as well as his strengths and weaknesses in the various areas of the Pledge Program, and the areas in which he needs improvement.
- An affirmative vote of eighty (80) percent of the total Brotherhood is required in order for the Pledge to continue in the Pledge Program.
- Failure to attain this percentage results in dismissal from the Pledge Program.
- If a Pledge fails to attain the required percentage of affirmative votes on the first vote, the Pledge may again be discussed and voted upon a second time. If he does not attain the percentage of affirmative votes again, the Pledge shall be discussed no further.
- Pledges who have been dismissed shall be informed jointly by their Big Brother and by the Vice-President.
The time and place of meetings shall be decided upon at the first meeting of
each semester. This meeting shall be called by the Executive Board.
- All Active Brothers and Pledges shall attend all regular and special meetings.
- Before being granted an excused absence, the Brother must submit a
written/electronic excuse for the absence to the Secretary before the
event he is to miss. If he misses the event unexpectedly he may submit
the excuse at the next meeting he attends.
- Failure to submit a written/electronic excuse for an absence as stated
above automatically constitutes an unexcused absence.
- If a member misses three (3) meetings in any semester of the school
year, without an excuse, he shall be classed as Inactive as stated in
Article IV, Section 5.
- During any Formal Vote absences will be counted as described in
Section 3 - Major Penalties
If a member misses a Bid Session, Amendment Vote, Election of Officers,
Pledge Training Function, or Degrees of Ritual without an excuse, he shall be
assessed at two (2) unexcused absences.
No business will be transacted unless a quorum is present. A quorum consists of a majority of the active brothers and at least four (4) officers.
The order of business at the regular meetings shall be as follows:
- Call to order by the president,
- Attendance taken by the Secretary to determine the presence of a quorum,
- Reading of the minutes of the preceding meetings by the Secretary,
- President's report
- Vice-president's report
- Treasurer's report
- Secretary's report
- Historian's report
- Statistician's report
- Webmaster's report
- Report of Standing Committees
- Report of Special Committees
- Unfinished or Old Business
- New Business
- Good and Welfare
Section 6 - Pledge Brother Rights
Pledges shall be allowed to vote on all business except voting on current pledges.
No one shall talk without being formally recognized. Abuse shall result in
censure for that meeting.
Article VIII - Officers and Their Duties
- The President of Mu Kappa Upsilon shall preside and run all meetings.
- He has the power to recommend special committees and is to be the
ex-officio member of all committees, both standing and special.
- He shall cosign with the Treasurer all checks for monies dispersed
and cosign all contracts and other instruments of business incurred by
Mu Kappa Upsilon
- He shall have the ability to call a vote by affirmation if no discussion
takes place on any matters that require a Formal Brotherhood vote.
Section 2 - Executive Vice-President
- The Vice-President shall assume the duty of the President in the case
of the Latter's absence.
- He shall be responsible for all the Pledges and their actions.
- He shall be responsible for the Pledge Training Program, Degrees of
Initiation, the Biannual Camping trip, and the Initiation of all members
of Mu Kappa Upsilon.
Section 3 - Advisory Vice-President
The Advisory Vice-President is an honorary position that shall be held by the preceding year's president.
- The Treasurer shall have general oversight of the financial condition
of the chapter and collect all dues, fees, and assessments.
- He shall cosign with the President all checks for monies dispersed and
cosign all contracts and other instruments of business incurred by Mu Kappa Upsilon.
- The Treasurer shall represent Mu Kappa Upsilon to the Student
Government Board (SGB). In doing so, he will be empowered to act in
the following ways on behalf of the Brotherhood. He is to
communicate Mu Kappa Upsilon opinions and objectives to the SGB.
He is to communicate SGB reactions to Mu Kappa Upsilon. He is to
attend all budgetary meetings, prepare all budgetary forms, and
process all business dealings with the SGB, as well as updating the
Brotherhood of his progress in these matters.
- Mu Kappa Upsilon will maintain the ability to function independent of
the SGB. The Treasurer shall coordinate activities as given in Article
VII, Section 4, Part C, in such a way that they do not jeopardize the
autonomy of Mu Kappa Upsilon.
- The Treasurer shall prepare an annual report to determine any
outstanding debts that are owed to that of the Brotherhood by any
Brother and to be given on the first meeting of the fall and winter
- The Treasurer shall accept all Donations made to the Brotherhood
from the Alumni.
- Expenditures related to the Biannual Camping Trip, Degrees of
Initiation, Rush, or any other Brotherhood/joint event, that is
recognized by the Executive Board, will be under the Treasurer's
discretion and responsibility.
- The Secretary shall record the minutes of the meetings.
- He shall handle all correspondence of Mu Kappa Upsilon and notify all
members of the time and place of meetings.
- The Secretary shall keep a record of Mu Kappa Upsilon attendance for
- He shall present a list of candidates eligible for bids.
- He shall maintain a continuous record of the addresses of all alumni of
Mu Kappa Upsilon in good standing.
- The Historian shall maintain an official Mu Kappa Upsilon Archives
which must contain the following information to the most accurate
The Historian shall maintain an official University of Pittsburgh Band
Archives which must contain the following information to the most
accurate extent possible:
- The family trees of the Brotherhood of Mu Kappa Upsilon
- The list of Honorary Brothers of Mu Kappa Upsilon
- The list of former officers of Mu Kappa Upsilon
- The History of Mu Kappa Upsilon
- Any other material relevant to the evolution of Mu Kappa Upsilon
The Historian shall act as the Mu Kappa Upsilon representative in
alumni affairs. He shall communicate with alumni of both the Pitt
Band and of Mu Kappa Upsilon when necessary.
The Historian shall submit an Annual report at the last meeting of the
term. It shall contain annual additions to the respective histories and
progress reports on the display and maintenance of appropriate
materials as given in Parts A and B.
- A collection of Annual Band Directories
- A collection of audio and video recordings of the Pitt Bands
- A collection of awards received by the Pitt Bands
- A collection of Photographs of the Pitt Bands
- The History of the Pitt Band
- Any other material relevant to the evolution of the Pitt Bands
- The Statistician shall keep a record of the Band's instruments and
- He shall keep a record of official Pitt Band equipment which is loaned
out to the students.
- If he wishes he shall delegate fellow members of Mu Kappa Upsilon,
one brass and one woodwind, in the securing of the record of
- He shall be responsible for organizing the Brothers of Mu Kappa Upsilon in coordination with the Director of Game Day Operations to
load and unload the truck.
- He shall be the direct correspondent to the Director of Operations,
and Director of Game Day Operations, and responsible for any
logistics necessitated by the Pitt Band or Mu Kappa Upsilon.
Section 8 - Faculty Advisor
The Faculty Advisor shall be a member of the Faculty of the University and shall act as advisor on all necessary matters.
Section 9 - Responsibilities of Officers
- All Officers are required to attend First, Fourth, and Fifth Degree
Rituals and the Biannual Camping trip.
- Failure to abide by Article VIII, Section 10, Part A, is grounds for
Impeachment or Inactivity unless an excuse is given before the event that is approved in a formal vote by seventy-five (75) percent of the total Active Brotherhood.
Article IX - The Election and Impeachment of Officers
Section 1 - Election Meeting
The election of chapter officers shall be held at the second (2nd) to last
meeting of the winter semester.
Section 2 - Procedure for Elections
The procedure for Elections shall follow the below stated parts.
- Any Active Brother or Pledge is eligible for nomination and election to
a chapter office.
- Nominations are to be open at the meeting prior to the one at which
the election is to be held, and again at the meeting scheduled for
- There are to be no restrictions to the total number of nominations for
each office or the number of different offices to which an eligible
member may be nominated.
The order of voting for office shall be:
- followed by any other additional offices.
- A brother elected to an office shall have his name stricken from the list of all nominees for all subsequent offices.
- The President shall facilitate the election process, and shall decide
how the elections are to be run and how much time each candidate or
discussion shall receive.
- The final list of nominees for an office shall be established and read in
alphabetical order just prior to voting for that office. The nominees, in
turn, shall be permitted to say a few words on their behalf if they
wish. Then all the nominees for an office must leave the room while
voting takes place.
- Each Brother in attendance shall have the right to vote for one
nominee on each ballot. Nominees will not vote, but will be counted as
abstentions. A nominee will be said to be elected if he garners a
simple majority of the total votes cast.
- If when there are two or more nominees, and no nominee receives
more than fifty (50) percent of the vote, the name of the nominee
receiving the fewest number of votes will be dropped, and a new vote
shall be taken. In the event of a tie between nominees for the fewest
votes on a ballot, the decision of which nominee to strike the ballot will be made by a vote of the members of the Executive Board in
- If two or more nominees are tied for the most votes, and only these
nominees remain on the ballot, another vote shall be taken
immediately. If the nominees are still tied, then the members of the
Executive Board present shall vote to break the tie. If there are only
two nominees, the vote of the Executive Board shall determine the
winner. If more than two nominees are on the ballot, the Executive
Board's vote will determine which nominee to strike from the ballot.
Another vote shall then be taken by the entire Brotherhood.
All officers are to be elected for a period of one year. A member may be
elected to the same office more than once.
Section 4 - Trasition Period
A transition period shall begin after the formal election and continue until
the new officers are installed.
Section 5 - Installation of New Officers
New Officers shall be installed at the last meeting of the winter semester. The
installation shall be administered by the retiring President.
An Officer may be impeached from office if he receives a seventy-five (75)
percent negative vote from the total number of Active Brothers.
Section 7 - Special Elections
The replacement of an officer shall require a special election which shall
follow the procedure as stated in Article IX, Section 2.
All committees shall meet and organize as soon as possible after being
Section 2 - Standing Committees
- Executive Board - consisting of the President, Vice-President,
Treasurer, Secretary, Historian, and Statistician, this shall meet once a
- Liaison Committee - consisting of three members which shall meet
with the Band Director, Sorority, and Fraternity representatives.
- Joint Committee - consisting of 1-3 members who shall be responsible
for planning social events with the other Sorority and Fraternities of
the University of Pittsburgh.
Section 3 - Special Committees
All Special Committees shall be appointed by the President on an as needed
basis and shall last the duration of one term.
Section 4 - Committee Member Responsibilities
Committee chairmen shall make reports of committee activities at regular
Article XI - DUES, DEBT, FUNDS
As of 2014 Dues for Active Brothers were forty (40) dollars, and Pledges
were forty-five (45) dollars.
- A full Brother shall be assessed at __________ dollars
- A Pledge Brother shall pay ___________ dollars for
Pledge dues and Initiation Fee.
- Active Brothers shall pay the full amount of dues before
- Every year Dues will be determined by the Executive Board
during the first meeting of the Fall term and must be approved
by a seventy-five (75) percent affirmative vote of the
- Alumni Brothers shall not be assessed dues for their
- The definition of Debt:
- Any special assessment as mentioned in Article XI, Section 6,
Part A, will be considered debt.
- Any item or items that have been either given to a Brother as a
project to be completed or have been loaned to the Brother for
private use or for use in Fraternity activities, and has been
marked by the Executive Board to be returned to the
organization will be considered Debt.
- Any receipt for goods or services purchased for Mu Kappa
Upsilon in the name of Mu Kappa Upsilon for which monies
have already been paid out shall be considered Debt for the
Brother that holds the receipt. <.li>
- Failure to pay dues by the assigned date will be considered
- The definition of Outstanding Debt.
At the moment the Debt becomes outstanding as defined in Article X,
Section 2, Part C, the Brother that has incurred the debt becomes an
Inactive Brother as defined in Article IV, Section 6, Part C.
Payment of Debt shall be made in the order in which they were
incurred, and shall be paid to the Treasurer in the form of check,
money order, or cash.
- Debts shall become outstanding if incurred after camping trip
and are not paid in full by the Bid meeting of the following term.
- Debts incurred after bid meeting become outstanding debt for a brother if not paid in full by the Camping trip.
Section 3 - Date for Dues
- An Active Brother shall pay the entire amount within one month of
the beginning of each term.
- Pledge Brothers shall pay in full no later than one week prior to their
- If an Active or Pledge Brother is unable to fulfill his financial
obligations on time, he shall notify the Executive Board, in writing, in
advance of the due date.
- If written notification is not given or if the reason is judged not
acceptable by a majority of the Brotherhood, the debt shall be
outstanding and the Brother shall be Inactive as stated in Article IV,
Section 5 - Acceptable Methods for Payment
All dues shall be paid to the Treasurer in the form of a check, money order, or cash.
Section 6 - Special Assessments
- Special assessments may be proposed by any Active Brother, and if
approved by a seventy-five percent affirmative vote of the Active
Brothers present at the meeting, such assessments will be considered
binding upon all Active Brothers or Pledge Brothers.
- Failures to pay such assessments by the prescribed due date will
result in penalties as stated in Article XI, Section 3.
Section 7 - Distribution of Funds
- Brotherhood expenditures of over one hundred (100) dollars not
under the discretion of the Treasures as stated in Article VIII, Section
4, Part G, will require a financial plan and the approval by the
Treasurer on the basis of feasibility of such expense, in order to be
presented to the Brotherhood in a formal vote. To pass the expense
the financial plan must gain a seventy-five (75) percent affirmative
vote by the Active Brotherhood.
- Expenditures for regalia or any similar purchase to be reimbursed by
the Brotherhood do not require approval by the Active Brotherhood,
but approval by the Treasurer.
- If the purchase has not been made in seven (7) days, the proposed
financial plan must be re-approved by the Treasurer and voted on
again at the next meeting.
Only the apparel and regalia which has been approved by a majority vote of the Brotherhood shall be considered as valid articles representing Mu Kappa Upsilon.
Suggestions for jewelry, clothing and regalia may be offered at any time by any member of Mu Kappa Upsilon.
Article XIII - Picking of Little Brothers
Section 1 - Picking of Little Brothers
Picking Little Brothers shall occur before the first degree every term before
the Prospective Pledges Brothers are inducted into the Pledge Program.
Section 2 - Order of Picking
Order of Picking.
A Big Brother can take a Little Brother once per Academic School Year (Fall or Winter Term). He cannot take a Little Brother in back to back terms (i.e. take a little in the Fall and then again in the Winter). However, if Little-picking cycles through the entire Brotherhood, a Brother who has not chosen a Little Brother for the current term can take a second Little Brother.
A proposed amendment to the constitution of Mu Kappa Upsilon may be submitted by any member in good standing at any time. To be considered for a vote, said amendment must be typed in the exact form in which the submitting member would prefer to see it in the constitution.
Discussion on said proposed amendment shall take place at the meeting at which it was submitted as well as the following meeting.
At the meeting after the submission of the proposed amendment, a vote will be taken on the subject.
A three-fourths (3/4) majority vote of the total active Brotherhood including Pledges in favor of the proposed amendment shall be necessary to approve said amendment.
If the proposed amendment is defeated, its submitter shall have the right to call for further debate and another vote. If, after the second vote is taken, the required majority is not attained, discussion and consideration of the proposed amendment shall be dropped.
Section 6 - Incorporation
If the proposed amendment is approved, it shall be added to the written constitution.