Alpha Psi Omega

The National Honorary Fraternity in Dramatics

The organization, development, and growth of Alpha Psi Omega is a result of the wide-spread interest of colleges and universities of America in the dramatic arts in the early twentieth century. By 1920 most colleges had some kind of dramatic club that was staging annual play productions for students and the local community.

The little theatre movement and dramatic workshop idea made its appearance about that time and greatly stimulated the importance of the college drama and the worthwhile nature of the programs presented. This was especially true in western colleges, and by 1920 several national honor fraternities to recognize and reward student participation in play production had been organized.

Alpha Psi Omega, the first of these societies to be founded in the East, was organized at Fairmont State College in Fairmont, West Virginia on August 12, 1925. The college theatre idea had begun to manifest itself in Fairmont about 1921, and, in 1923, a faculty director was employed, and an organization, called the Masquers, was instituted to present an annual program of four or five major productions for students and the public. In 1924, the Masquers began to consider membership in some national honor society in dramatics as a means of rewarding its most faithful and loyal workers. Plans for forming such a national organization were seriously studied by a committee, composed of Elinor B. Watson, Robert Sloan, and Paul F. Opp, faculty director of dramatics at Fairmont. A proposed national constitution was drawn up, and, on August 12, 1925, those members of the Masquers who met the qualifications of the honor society approved the constitution and adopted the name, Alpha Psi Omega. It was decided that each chapter was to be called a “cast,” and Fairmont became Alpha Cast. The interest of Marshall College in Huntington, West Virginia assured the immediate national character of Alpha Psi Omega with the establishment of Beta Cast. A member of Beta Cast suggested the name Playbill, for the national magazine.

During the course of the next year, eighteen new chapters were admitted, and twenty chapters were on the roll at the time of the meeting of the first national convention, at the Palmer House in Chicago on December 27-28, 1926. National conventions, called Grand Rehearsals, are held every five years.

Alpha Psi Omega has enjoyed continuous national growth, and with over 550 chapters is the largest national honor society in America. Membership in Alpha Psi Omega is granted only to fully accredited institutions with a four-year curriculum in theatre and drama leading to a degree.

Over 125 members have been inducted into the Psi Sigma Cast of Alpha Psi Omega since it was established at Francis Marion College in August of 1976. For information regarding academic qualifications for membership, contact Mr. Glen Gourley, Director of Theatre.


Alpha Psi Omega Psi Sigma Constitution

ARTICLE I: Name and Function

Section 1 – Name: The organization shall be known as the Psi Sigma Cast of the Alpha Psi Omega Fraternity.

Section 2 – Function: The Psi Sigma cast is a charter member of The Alpha Psi Omega Fraternity, based on the campus of Francis Marion University, Florence, South Carolina.

ARTICLE II: Mission and Goals

Section 1 – Mission: We, the members of the Psi Sigma Cast of Alpha Psi Omega, work together to strengthen and promote the theatre arts program at Francis Marion University along with developing the skills necessary to achieve unified productions. Theatre is a collaborative art form; therefore, it is essential that all persons work cooperatively to fully realize the potential of a production. The Psi Sigma Cast’s major areas of effort – advocacy and membership development – accomplish this mission by helping to improve the learning environment and by fostering an appreciation for theatrical achievement.

Alpha Psi Omega’s advocacy programs are intended to increase support for the theatrical endeavors of Francis Marion University by supplementing the public’s awareness of the art form.

In the area of membership development, Alpha Psi Omega seeks to enhance the member’s personal skills by recognizing achievement in the theatre arts and by offering vehicles for increased theatrical involvement.

Section 2 – Goals:

  1. To provide support for the theatre arts at Francis Marion University.
  2. To work cooperatively towards unified productions
  3. To offer opportunities for increased interaction among students possessing theatrical interests
  4. To increase public appreciation for the value of theatre

ARTICLE III: Membership

Section 1 – Any member of the Francis Marion University community, as determined by the Psi Sigma Cast, is eligible for membership, granted that they have fulfilled the requirements as listed below. Members will be chosen strictly by the following criteria without regard to sex, race, handicap, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, or any other form of discrimination.

  1. The student must be regularly enrolled, taking at least twelve semester hours, at Francis Marion University.
  2. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 (on a non-weighted, 4.0 scale).
  3. The student has completed two major roles in university productions, which includes stage management and assistant directing, or the equivalent there of.
    1. Two minor roles shall be equivalent to one major role.
    2. Backstage work (lighting, set construction, costume, make-up) shall be considered a minor role unless otherwise determined by the faculty director.
  4. The student must give outstanding or noteworthy participation and dedication to the Theatre Arts Department.
  5. The student must respect the theatre space, the art of theatre and collaborate to the best of their abilities to bring about a unified production.
  6. The student must express a desire to excel in the art of theatre.

Section 2 – An Alpha Psi Omega member transferring to Francis Marion University from another school shall be eligible for membership upon investigation by the officers and faculty advisor and after serving a trial period.

Section 3 – Member in Good Standing: Any member who fails to meet the requirements, as listed, shall be removed from the membership roster with consequent loss of all privileges.

  1. The member must maintain enrollment as a student at Francis Marion University.
  2. The member must maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 or above. Should the member’s GPA fall below said designation, the member shall serve a probation period, lasting no more than one semester, during which the member must comply with this requirement.
  3. The member must pay any fees as outlined in Article III, Section 3.
  4. As determined by the chapter membership, the member must consistently demonstrate a commitment to the mission and goals of the chapter.
  5. The member shall attend meetings and be excused for no more than two absences.

ARTICLE IV: Officers and Duties

Section 1 – The duties of the President shall be:

  1. To call meetings and preside over them
  2. To appoint special committees
  3. To see that all laws are enforced and that all duties are undertaken responsibly
  4. To call for votes and see that all necessary business in completed
  5. To sit on the executive committee to decide on all routine business affairs of the cast not requiring a regular cast meeting.
  6. The President shall serve for no more than 2 full school years

Section 2 – The duties of the Vice-President shall be:

  1. To succeed the President in cases where the President is unable to fulfill their term of office
  2. To be aware of all affairs and policies of the cast
  3. To assist the President with any business involving the cast
  4. To sit on the executive committee
  5. To secure Alpha Psi Omega volunteers to assist during performance intermissions and fund-raising events

Section 3 – The duties of the Secretary-Treasurer shall be:

  1. To keep an accurate record of the business of each meeting and to be able to furnish historical data and a complete financial statement of each business meeting
  2. To keep accurate records of financial statements and update these at the end of every semester
  3. To conduct the business of the cast
  4. To keep an account of all receipts and expenditures of the cast
  5. To sit on the executive committee

ARTICLE V: Voting

Section 1 – Eligibility: Each member of Alpha Psi Omega shall be entitled to one vote in all decisions of the chapter and its committees. They must be in good standing and currently enrolled at Francis Marion University.

Section 2 – Business: All chapter members requiring the decisions of the chapter membership shall be based on the principle of majority rule unless otherwise stated.

Section 3 – Procedure: With the exception of executive board elections, which shall be decided by means of secret ballot, all issues requiring the decision of the chapter membership shall be decided by a raise of hands.

Section 4 – The president is only allowed to vote when the number of voting members is even, therefore allowing the president to break any tie.

ARTICLE VI: Amendments

Section 1 – All members shall have the right, duty, and authority to amend, repeal, or change the articles of incorporation of the Psi Sigma cast of Alpha Psi Omega.

Section 2 – Amendments shall be recommended to the actions of the cast by a two-thirds vote of the chapter. A two-thirds vote at the succeeding meeting shall then put the amendments into effect.


Alpha Psi Omega Psi Sigma By-Laws

ARTICLE I: Officers

Section 1 – The executive officers shall follow those duties as laid out in Article IV of the Constitution.

Section 2 – At the last regular meeting of each spring semester, the chapter shall elect a President, a Vice-President, and a Secretary-Treasurer.

ARTICLE II: Nomination and Induction

Section 1 – The induction process will be conducted once every year in the spring semester.

Section 2 – The active members of the Psi Sigma cast of Alpha Psi Omega will elect candidates to membership.

Section 3 – Alpha Psi Omega believes that the pledge period should offer an opportunity for active members and pledges to get to know one another. It should be a period of enjoyable education and collaboration in the theatre. The total experience should be meaningful as well as enjoyable.

Section 4 – The faculty advisor will present a list of candidates for initiation into the Psi Sigma cas of Alpha Psi Omega to the officers. This list will be formulated after the cast list for the last show of the spring semester has been posted.

Section 5 – Discussion of candidates will take place at a meeting of active members behind closed doors.

Section 6 – Sponsors will be appointed for each nominee having met the requirements and guidelines.

  1. The president may not sponsor a pledge so as to remain neutral so that any grievances may be addressed to them.
  2. If, for certain reasons, the cast allows the president to sponsor a pledge, then the vice-president must not sponsor a pledge and become the neutral party.

Section 7 – Nominees will receive a letter of invitation announcing the cast’s intent to pledge them into the Psi Sigma cast, which they may accept for deny. If they accept, they will become pledges of the Psi Sigma cast of Alpha Psi Omega.

Section 8 – Nominees will be informed of the pledging process and pledge requirements:

  1. Fulfill all requirements as set forth by the national office.
  2. Learn the names and symbols of the Greek alphabet.
  3. Learn the names and addresses of the national officers.
  4. Memorize twelve consecutive lines of Shakespeare.
  5. Become familiar with other Greek organizations on campus.
  6. Fulfill all requirements as set forth by the Psi Sigma cast.
  7. Learn the names of Francis Marion University faculty and staff who are alumni of Alpha Psi Omega.
  8. Collect an allotted number of signatures of current active members after answering questions posed to them.
  9. Wear ribbons of Alpha Psi Omega colors at all times while on campus. Pledges are exempt from wearing their ribbon while working in the scene shop.

ARTICLE III: Dues

Section 1 – During the semester of initiation, pledges must pay the national membership fee of twenty dollars ($20) to the Alpha Psi Omega Fraternity as well as a chapter membership of ten dollars ($10) to the Psi Sigma Cast.

Section 2 – All membership fees are due no later than one month after the beginning of the school year. Failure to pay membership fees will result in inactive membership.

ARTICLE IV: Committees

Section 1 – An executive committee consisting of the President, the Vice-President, and the Secretary-Treasurer, along with the faculty advisor, shall decide on all routine business affairs of the cast not requiring a regular cast meeting.

Section 2 – The executive board reserves the right to form any committee it sees fit to conduct the business of the cast.

ARTICLE V: Elections

Section 1 – Members who have not served as an active member of the Psi Sigma cast for at least one semester shall not be eligible to hold an executive position.

  1. An exception shall occur when there are not enough active members to fill the executive positions.
  2. Should such a case occur, the amendment shall be waived and all active members shall be eligible to be elected.

Section 2 – Elections for the executive positions shall occur in the following order.

  1. President
  2. Vice-President
  3. Secretary-Treasurer

Section 3 – The president is only allowed to vote when the number of voting members is even, therefore allowing the president to break any tie.

ARTICLE VI: Amendments

Section 1 – All members shall have the right, duty, and authority to amend, repeal, or change the articles of incorporation of the Psi Sigma cast of Alpha Psi Omega.

Section 2 – Amendments shall be recommended to the actions of the cast by a two-thirds vote of the chapter. A two-thirds vote at the succeeding meeting shall then put the amendments into effect.