BYLAWS OF THE HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE PERFORMING AND VISUAL ARTS NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY
The Members of the National Honor Society of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, intending to promote scholarship, leadership, and service in a way that is efficient and productive, in a goal to further the moral and intellectual character of the student body, and thus bettering the school, community, nation, and world, set forward some rules and laws to govern themselves and future NHS members.
Article I: Concerning the Powers of the NHS Officers
I. These are the positions considered to be the core of the NHS Officers:
- Vice President
These are to be elected by a majority vote by the members of the NHS.
II. These are other positions within the NHS, whose title is also Officer:
- Leader of Tutoring
- Art Area Diplomat
- Outside Activities Chair
These, too, shall be elected by a majority vote by the members of the NHS.
III. The duties of the positions listed in I.I. are here listed:
- Liaison to administration, teachers, and contacts involving outside activities
- Leader of meetings; comes up with finalized agendas for meetings from other elected officials
- Represents the NHS as a figurehead at assorted functions
b. Vice President:
- If death, illness, or disciplinary removal leaves the office of the presidency vacant, then the Vice President shall take over. If such circumstances befall the Vice President, the Secretary shall take over the role of Vice President.
- Liaison to the Young Audiences
- Represents NHS as a fellow figurehead at outside functions
- Informs NHS members of all updates via at least one email per month which shall be sent to all NHS members, describing:
- The progress since the previous meeting or update
- Upcoming events between the date of the email and the next NHS meeting
- All news relevant to the NHS
- Keeps track of points for all members and updates them upon request once every month throughout the year.
- Collects NHS dues from all members, which are given immediately to the Faculty Sponsor for deposit
- Keeps track of NHS income and expenses; prevents debt through careful budgeting
- Keeps track of attendance at regular NHS meetings
e. Other duties:
- There shall be certain powers implied to be held by all of the NHS Officers. These include the basic duty of the NHS Officer: It is the duty of each NHS Officer to communicate all pertinent information to all NHS members whenever necessary and possible. The members are responsible for clarifying any information about which they are unclear. NHS officers cannot be considered responsible for any information that has been thoroughly communicated to all members.
IV. The duties of the positions listed in I.II. are here listed:
a. Leader of Tutoring
- Coordinates and monitors tutoring by NHS members for any HSPVA students
- Advertises through posters and announcements and updates the school counselors about tutoring
- Assign tutors for tri-weekly sessions and updates calendar
- Keeps track of tutoring hours by NHS members
b. Art Area Diplomat
- Coordinates NHS service activities for current members with art departments
- Communicates with art department chairs about potential NHS service
- Obtains teacher approval of service activities
c. Outside Activities Chair
- Coordinates NHS service activities for current members with community
- Obtains approval from the Faculty Council for service projects
- Acts as a liaison to outside organizations
- Maintains and updates a website for NHS
- Assists Historian, as needed
- Posts sign up sheets for outside activities and updates calendar regularly
- Documents NHS meetings through minutes
- Documents NHS activities in general, including activities both on school campus and off, through labeled photographs.
- Works with the Secretary to distribute the minutes to members
- Communicate with the Yearbook staff to facilitate ample representation of the NHS
- Maintains a bulletin board at HSPVA
V. All NHS Officers, the title being defined as positions within the NHS, which were achieved by direct election by peers with membership in the NHS, shall attend meetings of the Officers to be held monthly; these shall be held one week prior to the meeting involving all members. The purpose of these meetings will be to discuss the upcoming events and the meeting agenda; meetings of the Officers shall also be held whenever deemed necessary by a majority of the Officers or by the NHS Sponsor, due to unforeseen circumstances.
VI. No Officer may miss three NHS meetings of any sort without prior warning. Due to the nature of art and academics at HSPVA, an early warning may not always be possible; however, the officer must present a legitimate excuse prior to the beginning of the meeting, along with a note from the academic or art teacher whom the Officer met with instead. This warning issued with the penalty of replacement by appointment to their position and the loss of their title; the former-Officer will still retain NHS membership.
VII. It is the duty of the newly elected NHS Officers to plan and execute a well-organized induction ceremony to honor newly inducted NHS members, to take place at the start of each new school year. There shall also be a festive and jovial reception following the induction ceremony. It is possible for the Officers to delegate applicable persons to this end. There must still be a degree of Officer participation in the ceremony itself concerning the process and method of formal induction.
VIII. If a natural disaster, national disturbance, or other hardship affecting the country in a concentrated group comes to the attention of the NHS, it is the duty of the President to call a meeting to order to address the issue and within a week, the NHS must communicate to the school its intentions addressing said issue and carry out some service that aids the victims of that tragedy. There will be a vote deciding whether this issue necessitates relevant action from the NHS.
Article II: Concerning the Election of Officers
I. The process by which NHS members elect the Officers of the NHS shall follow in the fashion here specified:
a. Students eligible to run for Officer positions must communicate this intention to the officer board in advance and be approved based of good standing in the NHS prior to the date of election.
b. Students eligible to vote will include those in good standing with NHS; they shall have engaged in NHS service projects and shall have attended the NHS meetings regularly. Students will only be notified of their state in regards to the vote in cases of voting inadequacy; otherwise, all members can assume that they have the inherent right to vote, having been previously informed of the proceedings, guidelines, and voting/running requirements regularly (throughout the year) by the NHS officers.
c. The voting process will take place over two separate and distinct meetings: one involving the election of Officers of major positions (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer), one the officer of minor positions (all others). These dates will be clearly communicated, and agreed upon, by all members. Prior to the vote, all candidates will be present and will make a brief speech to the assembly entire. The vote will be carried out via secret ballot to protect the rights of voters and so as to not corrupt the voting process.
d. The votes will be counted and tallied by the Treasurer and announced at the end of the meeting by the Vice President, excepting the results regarding election to the office of the President, which shall be announced by the President. Following these results, there shall be a swearing in process and an oath-taking ceremony of relatively formal style.
e. This process shall be consistent for both days of election, excepting the formal swearing and oath taking, which are of little consequence in regards to the non-core positions.
II. When a clear majority is not reached during elections, there shall be a runoff election between the top two candidates; this process shall repeat if again there is no clear winner until a victor is declared according to the process above.
III. The description of each elected position shall be described clearly to the entirety of the NHS membership prior to the declaration of the candidacy for any office.
IV. Nobody can be elected to any position of leadership without a majority vote of the eligible voters.
Article III: Obtaining Membership in NHS
I. The NHS Faculty Sponsor, as appointed by the HSPVA Principal, will organize the distribution of Invitee letters, distribution of applications, collection of applications by Art Area Chairs, and present findings to the Faculty Honor Council to determine membership based on scholarship, service, leadership and character.
II. Students in their junior or senior year will be invited to apply to NHS based on a minimum GPA of 3.5 not including art area courses or Honors/PreAP/AP enhanced GPA credit.
III. Invitees will receive a letter from the Faculty Sponsor at the end of sophomore year to inform them that they may apply and encourage them to attend an informational meeting about the application process.
IV. Invitees will receive access to an application to show their service and leadership at HSPVA. Service and leadership must be demonstrated on the HSPVA campus. Transfer students may show service and leadership from their previous campuses as outlined by the Faculty Sponsor.
V. Invitees must turn in completed applications, with applicable signatures, by the end of the first week of school, junior or senior year. When applications are turned in, Invitees become Applicants.
VI. Applicants will be reviewed by the HSPVA faculty through a confidential character survey.
VII. Findings from applications and character survey will be presented by the Faculty Sponsor to the Faculty Honor Council to determine which Applicants are Candidates for membership.
VIII. Candidates for membership and Applicants who did not become Candidates will receive letters from the Faculty Sponsor.
IX. Candidates for membership will become NHS Members upon the Induction Ceremony.
X. The Faculty Honor Council shall be comprised of five HSPVA faculty, including art and academic, on a rotating basis as decided by the faculty as a whole.
Article IV. Maintaining NHS Membership
I. No points shall be awarded for attending meetings.
II. NHS members must attend all of the 9 scheduled meetings, allowing for 2 excused absences throughout the year.
- A valid excuse from a meeting requires an academic teacher signature, an art area teacher signature, or an excused absence for school. Any member who is incapable of attending a meeting has the responsibility of approaching an officer to receive any information they may have missed.
III. NHS members must attend all emergency meetings, excepting the procurement of an aforementioned signature or excuse.
IV. NHS members shall participate in a minimum of two scheduled community volunteer activities each semester.
V. 30 points total must be earned if inducted into NHS as a junior. 20 hours must be earned from HSPVA projects and 10 hours must be earned from outside activities.
VI. 12 points total must be earned if inducted into NHS as a senior. 7 hours must be earned from HSPVA projects and 5 hours must be earned from outside activities.
VII. All members must stay involved throughout the school year, earning at least 5 service hour points per semester, for a total 20 points, with an additional 10 required by graduation.
VIII. NHS members must be available for one of the tutoring sessions held three times a week and be ready to tutor in at least two subjects of the member’s choosing. NHS members should earn a minimum of 15 hours from tutoring, which does not count toward the final 30 hour requirement. Tutoring hours earned past the 15 hour minimum can be counted towards the final 30 hour requirement.
IX. In order for a member to receive his chord, the minimum service hour requirements, 30 service hours and 15 tutoring hours, must be earned.
X. No points shall be awarded for service for which an NHS member receives money, an award, an academic grade, or other recognition beyond that of the NHS. Service related volunteer activities can only be said to be recognized by the NHS, bearing the NHS seal and thus warranting the award of NHS points based on participation, if the activity is either specifically organized by the NHS or is given prior notification to the NHS entire and granted approval by the NHS Sponsor and NHS Officers.
Article V. Other Laws of the NHS
I. Points shall be awarded on a per-hour of service based on time spent serving others at events organized by the HSPVA NHS exclusively, or with permission granted by the NHS prior to the service being undertaken.
- There shall be points awarded only to those who have been recognized as attending such events by record of their name on an official sign-in sheets held by the NHS.
II. Nobody shall be awarded a chord nor shall they be recognized as NHS members without having paid their dues to the NHS, with exception being granted only in cases where paying such dues has been excused due to financial reasons.
III. A sign-in sheet shall be kept at each meeting to document the attendance of NHS members. This data shall be used in determining the standing of NHS members in accordance with the right to vote and the award of the chord.
IV. Students for whom the following becomes applicable, as with students found to be involved in activities demonstrating a lack of honor, shall be found to be in poor standing with the NHS and thusly will be relieved of their membership:
- Cheating, plagiarism, or copying the work of other students
- Any Level III or higher student misconduct as defined by the Houston ISD Student Code of Conduct
- A conduct grade of Poor in any class
- If any member of the school faculty, students (the peers of the NHS members) or law enforcement officials approach the NHS stating that a member has committed actions that display a lack of honor, the case presented shall be reviewed by the Faculty Honor Council who will determine whether the student in question shall be dismissed or not. If so, the student is officially no longer a member of the NHS and the principal is informed immediately of the situation and the Faculty Honor Council’s decision.
- If a student, upon being found to be in poor-standing and released from the NHS, finds this judgment to be unfair, he can appeal to the principal for re-admission or reconsideration. Otherwise all dismissals are final.
Article VI: The Legitimacy of This Document
These laws are those that shall, from the date that this document be approved and put into action, distributed to students and faculty, and signed by the current NHS Officers, Sponsor, and any other applicable signers, govern the National Honor Society for the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
This document formulated by Adam Elkhadem, Amy Oden, Zoie Brown, and Rebecca Maset, on the day of September the 13th, 2013, and formatted and embellished by Adam Elkhadem on September the 17th of that same year.
Tradition carried on the day of September the 18th, 2014 by Nadia Halim, Alicja Zapalska, Emily Robison, Simone Trevas, Margaret Fisher, Shilpa Sadagopan, Rachel Cominsky & Matthew Toffoletto, and re-formatted and further embellished by Nadia Halim and Alicja Zapalska on the day of September 27th, 2014 of that same year.
With the knowledge that this document shall forever guide the governing of this school’s students of high honor, leadership, and academic excellence, we proudly affix our names to this document: