The Bylaws and Constitution
SOCIEDAD HONORARIA HISPÁNICA
Article I Name and Classification
Section 1. The name of this organization is the Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica,
also known as the Spanish National Honor Society, or the Portuguese
National Honor Society, and shall be referred to in this document as
Section 2. The purpose of the Society is to recognize high achievement
in Spanish and Portuguese by students of secondary schools and to promote
continuity of interest in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian studies.
Section 3. The Society is classified as a national and international
academic honor society in the study of high school Spanish and Portuguese
and is sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish
and Portuguese, Inc. (AATSP)
Section 4. Each unit of the Society located in a secondary school is
designated as a Chapter. The name of the Chapter, preferably that of
an important Hispanic literary or historical figure, shall be chosen
by the Chapter Sponsor. Chapter names may not be duplicated within a
state and must be approved by the National Director. The person in charge
of the Chapter is the Chapter Sponsor. In special cases two or more
schools in one school district may form a Chapter. In such cases a teacher
from each school serves as Co-Sponsor.
Article II Qualification of Secondary
Schools and Chapter Sponsors
Section 1. All accredited public and non-public secondary schools are
eligible for membership in the Society. Application for membership from
a secondary school seeking a Chapter is made on an official form provided
by the National Director.
Section 2. The initial charter fee for school membership is established
by the National Council. No monthly or annual dues or assessments are
charged the schools affiliated with the Society.
Section 3. In order to remain an Active Chapter of the Society, the
Chapter Sponsor must remit student membership fees to the National Director
each school year, together with the names of the respective students
to be initiated.
Section 4. If a Chapter fails to initiate at least one member each school
year, the Chapter is placed on inactive status. In order to reinstate
the Chapter to active status a reactivation fee must be paid. If the
Chapter remains on inactive status for a period of five years or more,
withdrawal of the charter may result.
Section 5. A sponsor who does not have an Active Chapter may affiliate
with an active chapter in the area in order to promote Chapter activities.
Section 6. Sponsors and Co-Sponsors of Chapters must be members in good
standing of the AATSP.
Article III Qualifications for Chapter Membership
Section 1. A regularly enrolled student of a secondary school (grades
9-12) who has maintained an honor average in the study of Spanish or
Portuguese for at least three semesters is eligible for membership in
the Society. Sponsors should also include character, leadership, seriousness
of purpose, cooperation, honesty, service and commitment to others in
the criteria for selection into the Society. The student must be enrolled
in the study of the language at the time of initiation. If the school
is on Block Scheduling, the student must have a full year of Spanish
or Portuguese during the year of induction. No initiation is to take
place earlier than the tenth grade.
However, in exceptional cases, such as a ninth grade student who is
enrolled in the highest level course of Spanish or Portuguese offered
by the student's school, a ninth grader may be initiated during the
second semester of the ninth grade, at the sole discretion of the National
Director of the Society, if the student has maintained an honor average
in the study of Spanish or Portuguese from the time of enrollment until
the day of initiation. In such cases, the Chapter Sponsor shall submit
to the National Director an official transcript of the student's course,
showing the first semester grade, together with a letter of recommendation
by the student's teacher stating the reason for the requested ninth
Section 2. The Society does not conduct business with students or parents.
All local decisions concerning membership are to be handled by the Chapter
Sponsor in accordance with school policies, which include decisions
made by the Board of Education, the Principal or the Department Chair.
Section 3. The student membership fee payable before initiation is established
by the National Council. Each student member will receive a Certificate
Section 4. If a member does not continue the study of Spanish or Portuguese,
the student may remain in the Society as an Associate Member until graduation
at the discretion of the Chapter Sponsor.
Section 5. A member may be removed from the Chapter at the discretion
of the Chapter Sponsor for failure to maintain an honor average, misconduct
or insubordination or other serious infraction.
Section 6. Associate Members may enjoy limited privileges and benefits
in the Society. They may not vote, hold office, or be eligible to receive
scholarship or travel awards of the Society. Only members currently
enrolled in Spanish or Portuguese may participate in the awards program
of the Society. If the school is on Block Scheduling, the member applying
for an award must have the equivalent of a full year of Spanish or Portuguese
during the year of the application.
Section 7. Honorary Membership may be granted to a person in the school
or community who has demonstrated an interest in the promotion and advancement
of the purposes of the Society. The fee for honorary membership is established
by the National Council and shall be in an amount equal to the student
membership fee. Each Honorary Member shall receive a Certificate of
Article IV National Organization
Section 1. The Society consists of the National Council and the School
Section 2. The National Council consists of a President, a Vice President,
a National Director or Directors, four Regional Directors, the Editor
of ¡Albricias!, the National Director of SHA, a Web/Technology
Director, and the Executive Director of the AATSP.
Section 3. In order to be eligible to serve as an officer, a person
must have served for at least one year as a Chapter Sponsor and be the
Sponsor of an active chapter of the Society at the time of his or her
election. If at any time an officer no longer serves as Chapter Sponsor,
except for the National Director who is not required to be a Chapter
Sponsor, he or she may complete the respective term of office upon approval
of the National Council. Vacancies, except in the office of President
(See Article VII, Section 3), are filled by the National Council.
Section 4. All elected officers are chosen by majority vote.
Section 5. Members of the National Council shall not receive any compensation
for their services, but by resolution of the National Council they receive
a fixed sum for the expenses for attendance at the annual or special
meetings of the National Council. Compensation may be granted by resolution
of the National Council if a Council member serves the Society in an
official capacity. Compensation for the services of the National Director
and the Editor of ¡Albricias! shall be granted by such resolution.
Article V Legislative National Convention
Section 1. The legislative body of the Society is the National Council,
which meets each year to approve policies for the progress and welfare
of the Society. The meeting is held in conjunction with that of the
Section 2. The National Council has the power to call a special National
Section 3. Each member of the National Council has the right to speak
and vote at the National Convention. Each member of the National Council
shall be entitled to one (1) vote on each matter submitted to a vote
of the members of the Council. The rights of the ex officio members
of the Council shall be identical to those of the elected members. The
president may vote in all matters and business of the Council, and may
vote to create or break a tie. Voting rights of a Council Member cannot
be delegated nor exercised by proxy.
Section 4. Chapter Sponsors are invited to attend the meeting of the
National Council, but shall not be present in executive sessions and
may not speak unless placed on the Agenda by the National Director before
the meeting, and may not vote.
Article VI Powers and Duties
of the National Council
Section 1. The National Council is the governing body of the Society
and shall have supervision, control and direction of the property, activities,
business and affairs of the Society, its committees and publications;
it shall determine its policies and changes therein. The policies and
actions of the National Council shall be subject to the direction and
approval of the Meeting of Members. Matters of general policy shall
be approved by the Executive Council of the AATSP.
Article VII Powers and Duties of the Officers
Section 1. The President shall be the chief executive officer and the
official representative of the Society, shall preside at all meetings
of the National Council and at all business meetings of the Society,
and shall perform such duties as pertain to the office of President.
The President appoints the Chairperson and new members of the Nominating
committee, nominates and appoints active Chapter Sponsors for the position
of State Directors, solicits a yearly report from each State Director
to be filed between April 15 and May 1, and makes other necessary appointments
with the approval of the National Council. The President judges the
State Director of the Year entries. The President is elected for a term
of three years and will be retained as a member of the National Council
for an additional year to serve in the capacity of Consultant to the
incoming President. The term of office begins January l. The President
is not subject to reelection for a consecutive term of office.
Section 2. The Vice President performs the duties of the President if
the latter is unable to serve. The Vice President is to remain cognizant
of all business and policies of the Society and will serve as chairperson
of one of the awards offered by the Society, as designated by the President
and approved by the National Council. The Vice President is elected
for a term of three years and will be considered as one of the candidates
for the presidency on the completion of his or her term of office. The
term of office begins January l. The Vice President is not subject to
reelection for a consecutive term of office.
Section 3. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President during
his or her term of office, then the Vice President shall succeed to
the office of President for the unexpired term of his or her predecessor
in office, without any further action therefore and with all rights
and responsibilities of the office. The term of office shall be for
the remaining period of the former President’s term of office,
plus the period of time necessary to complete one full three (3) year
term as President and until his or her successor shall have been duly
elected and qualified, or until his or her earlier displacement from
office by resignation, removal, or otherwise.
Section 4. The National Director, who also acts as the Secretary of
the National Council, has charge of the business management and correspondence
of the Society, is custodian of all funds, collects charter and membership
fees and other moneys due the Society, pays all moneys owed by the Society,
and keeps an account of all receipts and disbursements for presentation
to the National Council and the Executive Council of the AATSP on June
30 and at the end of each fiscal year (December 31). No major expenditures
are made without the previous consent of the National Council. At the
National Convention the National Director shall report on the financial
condition and state of affairs of the Society to the Meeting of Members
and at other times when called upon by the President. The National Director,
elected by the National Council for a term of three years, is subject
to reelection by the National Council for two additional three-year
consecutive terms. The term of office begins January l.
Section 5. The Editor of ¡Albricias! is responsible for editing
and publishing all materials that appear in the publication, and is
responsible for preparing the Application Packet for awards and contests
which is sent to all Sponsors of Active Chapters. The Editor of ¡Albricias!,
elected by the National Council for a term of three years, is subject
to reelection by the National Council for two additional three-year
consecutive terms. The term of office begins January 1.
Section 6. The Regional Directors with the Vice President will serve
as Chairpersons and administer the special awards and contests of the
Society. They will contact the State Directors of their area and sponsors
of new chapters in their region to introduce themselves and open lines
of communication. The Regional Directors are elected for a term of three
years. The term of office begins January l. The Regional Directors are
not subject to reelection for a consecutive term of office.
Article VIII State Directors
Section 1. The President appoints a State Director in each state or
territory of the United States and in each country in which Chapters
of the Society are located.
Section 2. The State Director is to represent the National Council in
his or her territory and will cooperate with the National Council in
carrying out the purposes of the Society.
Section 3. The State Director will maintain communication with existing
Chapters in the state or territory and promote new chapter growth and
reactivation of old chapters.
Section 4. Term of office shall be for three years and is subject to
reappointment for two additional three-year consecutive terms.
Article IX Nominating Committee
Section 1. The President, in consultation with the National Director,
appoints a Nominating Committee consisting of three persons: one or
two outgoing members of the National Council, one Chapter Sponsor or
State Director of the Year, to serve for one year, none of whom shall
be the incumbent of any position to be filled. One of these persons
is designated by the President as Chairperson.
Section 2. The Committee nominates candidates for President, Vice President
and Regional Directors. The slate of nominees shall be delivered to
the National Director and the President by April l. Upon approval of
the slate of nominees by the National Council, the National Director
shall prepare and distribute a ballot with blank spaces for writing
in the names of other candidates. The ballot may be printed in ¡Albricias!
and, to be counted, must be signed and returned to reach the National
Director by December l.
Article X Insignia
Section 1. The insignia of the Society is the official one of the AATSP,
as represented on the medals which may be awarded for excellence in
Spanish and Portuguese. If pins are desired, they are to be ordered
by the Chapter Sponsor directly from the official AATSP jeweler as listed
Section 2. The seal of the AATSP is the official seal of the Society,
and it may be used in conjunction with any other seal upon approval
of the National Council.
Section 3. The motto of the Society is: Todos a una.
Section 4. The colors of the Society are red and gold.
Section 5. The flower of the Society is the carnation.
Section 6. Society emblem patches may be obtained from the National
Director for an amount approved by the National Council.
Article XI Publications
Section 1. The official publication of the Society is ¡Albricias!
It shall be sent to all sponsors of Active Chapters and to any former
President upon request addressed to the National Director.
Article XII Amendments
Section 1. Any proposed amendment to this Constitution must be signed
by three officers or Chapter Sponsors of the Society and sent to the
National Director by January 15. The National Director arranges for
publication in ¡Albricias! of such proposed amendment.
Section 2. Any amendment so published may be adopted by two-thirds (2/3)
of the officers and Chapter Sponsors present and voting at the Meeting
of Members at the General Session of the Society at any National Convention.
Article XIII Chapter Constitution
Section 1. Each Chapter of the Societymust adopt a constitution for
its individual government, but no part of it shall be in opposition
to the stated aims and requirements as expressed in this Constitution.
Section 2. Each Chapter of the Society must keep a copy of its Constitution
and Bylaws regarding name of the Chapter, qualifications for membership,
and reasons for removal from the Chapter. The document should include
nomination process and duties of officers, committee and chapter activities.
Bylaws should include information necessary for running the Chapter
within the parameters of the school setting.
Article XIV Chapter Regulations
Section 1. Collection of dues for local purposes must have the approval
of the Chapter Sponsor and local school authorities.
Section 2. No Chapter may impose any obligations of secrecy upon its
Section 3. With the approval of the Chapter Sponsor and of school authorities,
a Chapter may adopt projects for raising funds or for advancing the
cause of the study of Spanish and Portuguese, but always in accordance
with the purposes of the Society.
Section 4. No student shall be initiated before the student's name and
initiation fee are submitted to the National Director.
Section 5. Initiation ceremonies shall follow the official ritual unless
permission is given by the National Director for a substitute form.
Section 6. The National Director is empowered to revoke the charter
of any Chapter that has been inactive for five years or more. The names
of those Chapters may then be used by any new Chapters in the same state.
Section 7. The Secretary of the Chapter and the Chapter Sponsor shall
keep complete records of all meetings, projects and services rendered
by the Chapter.
Section 8. Each Chapter shall promote the purposes of the Society not
only in Spanish and Portuguese classes in the school, but also in the
community whenever possible.
Section 9. The Chapter Sponsor is to sign the list of names of new members
(typed or printed) which is sent to the National Director with the student
Section 10. A Chapter member may be removed from the Chapter at the
discretion of the Chapter Sponsor for failure to maintain an honor average,
misconduct or insubordination or other serious infraction of school
rules. Section 11. When a Chapter Sponsor changes schools, it is his
or her responsibility to leave with another teacher or school official
all records of the Chapter and to arrange for its continuance the following
year. Any change of Chapter Sponsor within a school is to be reported
to the National Director.
Section 12. Sponsors of Active Chapters may award the Certificado de
Excelencia to initiated members, winners in the National Spanish Examinations,
or to the initiated member who has achieved the highest grade point
average in Spanish or Portuguese for that school year. Duplicate certificates
are awarded in case of ties. The number awarded is limited to ten per
cent of current initiates. The certificates may be obtained from the
National Director of the Society at no cost.
Section 13. Sponsors of Active Chapters may award the Certificado por
Servicios to recognize initiated members who have rendered meritorious
service to their Chapter. The number awarded is limited to ten per cent
of current initiates. The certificates may be obtained from the National
Director of the Society at no cost.
Section 14. Sponsors of Active Chapters may award the Premio de Honor
to the best graduating senior member of the Chapter. The certificate
may be obtained from the National Director of the Society at no cost,
and will be sent upon receipt of the student’s name. Each Chapter
may receive only one certificate each year.
Article XV Emergency Bylaws
Section 1. Additional regulations for facilitating the government of
the Society and the activities of the Chapters may be prepared by the
National Council whenever the exigencies for such regulations may arise.