Full PDF Version of Bylaws

Article I - Name

The name of the organization shall be "Hoof 'n' Horn Student Musical Theater Company" hereinafter referred to as "H'n'H."

Article II - Purpose

Section 1 - Public Service

H'n'H shall provide the highest possible standard of amateur theater to the Duke University and Triangle Area communities.

Section 2 - Education

H'n'H shall serve as an educational vehicle to provide practical experience in all aspects of Musical Theater.

Section 3 - Production

H'n'H shall be responsible for all necessary assets for the production of shows which it sponsors.

Article III - Membership


Membership shall require participation in a Hoof 'n' Horn Production or the Hoof 'n' Horn Executive Council and attendance at a General Body meeting. Membership shall be for life and shall only be removed per SECTION 5. Membership shall be open to all students, regardless of sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, physical handicap, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation.


Members shall fall into two categories: Active members and Alumni members. A member shall be classified as active if s/he has participated in a H'n'H sponsored production within the past year or has held an elected or appointed position in H'n'H within the past year. Other members shall be classified as Alumni members.


Voting membership in Hoof 'n' Horn shall require participation in a Hoof'n'Horn Production or the Hoof'n'Horn Executive Council and attendance at a General Body meeting.


A member of H'n'H shall retain these entitlements:

a. To hold a H'n'H elected or appointed office.

b. To vote on matters open to consideration before the General Membership.

c. To qualify for H'n'H awards as per SECTION 6.


a. A member may resign by submitting a letter of resignation to the Secretary. The H'n'H Executive Council, with sufficient cause and two-thirds majority vote, may revoke a person's membership. The Executive Council must notify the person immediately of the decision.

b. Hoof'n'Horn does not tolerate hazing of or by members of our organization in any capacity. Members of Hoof'n'Horn when representing the organization shall conduct themselves according to the Duke community standard. Any Hoof'n'Horn member found guilty of hazing by the Undergraduate Conduct Board will have their membership in the organization revoked for the duration of the assigned probation.


A former member who resigned may be reinstated at a regular meeting of the General Membership, unless those members present vote by simple majority to deny reinstatement. A former member whose membership the H'n'H Executive Council revoked may be reinstated by a two-thirds majority vote at a special meeting of the General Membership.


Members may suggest awards and criteria for winning them for approval by the Executive Council and subsequent approval by the General Membership at any regular or special meeting. These awards may come in the form of simple recognition, conferral of honorary membership, or have a scholarship attached. No scholarship award may be made to non-members.

Article IV - General Membership Meetings


egular meetings shall be held at least once a semester at a date, time, and location determined by the Executive Council.


Special meetings of the General Membership may be called by the H'n'H President at any time; the President shall also call special meetings at the request of three members, with approval by a simple majority Executive Council vote.


Quorum for regular and special meetings shall be at least 20% of the Active members as well as Quorum for the Executive Council as per ARTICLE V, SECTION 4. Any fraction resulting from these computations shall be counted as a whole number.


Regular and special meetings shall be presided over by the President as per ARTICLE V, SECTION 6a. The Executive Council shall delineate a policy, as per ARTICLE V, SECTION 3, governing General Membership meetings.

Article V - The Executive Council


The Executive Council shall consist of the members holding the Offices of the Organization and the members of the Committees of the Organization per SECTION 5 and advisors per SECTION 7. Voting privileges in Executive Council meetings are extended only to the members that hold Offices.


The Executive Council shall be responsible for managing the affairs and determining the policies of H'n'H between meetings of the General Membership. To discharge this responsibility, the Executive Council shall be granted the ability to write and authorize policies per SECTION 3.


Policies shall be considered extensions and clarifications of these Bylaws established by the Executive Council, and shall be attached to the Bylaws as appendices. Policies require only a simple majority vote of the Executive Council to be adopted, abolished, or amended. Policy changes shall be presented to the General Membership with all haste. Policies may in no way contradict, circumvent, or in any manner misconstrue the nature or text of these Bylaws. These Bylaws indicate that certain policies shall be maintained by the Executive Council; these and other policies enacted may remain standing until the Executive Council deems to change or dismiss them.


The Executive Council shall meet at least once a month at its discretion while the University is in regular session. The Council shall also meet at the call of the President or at the request of two Executive Council members. Meetings shall be open to any member of H'n'H, with the exception of matters regarding H'n'H finances. Quorum for the Executive Council shall consist of two-thirds of the voting members of the Council; any fraction resulting from the computation shall be counted as a whole number. The President shall preside at Executive Council meetings, as per SECTION 6a, and s/he shall publish a policy governing these meetings.


The H'n'H offices shall be the President, Business Manager, Vice-Presidents of Production, Secretary, Playreading Committee Chair, Publicity Committee Chair, Membership Committee Chair, Fundraising Committee Chair, Music Supervisor, Orchestral Supervisor, and Technical Supervisor. These positions may be shared by two co-officers, with the exceptions of President, Business Manager, and Playreading Chair. These positions shall be filled per ARTICLE VI.


The President shall serve as the chief representative of H'n'H. S/he shall act as or designate the liaison between H'n'H and any other party. S/he shall preside at all General Membership and Executive Council meetings. S/he shall ensure that all Executive Council members are informed of meetings and that these officers function effectively in their respective positions. S/he shall be responsible to approve any financial transaction for the H'n'H, subject to these Bylaws. S/he shall not have vote in General Membership or Executive Council meetings except in the case of a tie.

The Business Manager shall be of H'n'H's accounts, financial books, and developing the H'n'H general budget with the President. S/he shall report to the Executive Council on the financial status of the H'n'H monthly. S/he shall work closely with each Vice-President of Production to develop a budget and to ensure adherence to the approved budget. S/he is further expected to finalize with the appropriate University Office the financial status of each show. In the absence of the President, the Business Manager shall preside over General Membership and Executive Council meetings.

Each Vice-President shall be elected for one show during which s/he shall act as the Producer. S/he shall be (1) the liaison between the Production Council and the Executive Council, (2) subject to the Executive Council's Policy on Production, and (3) ultimately responsible for the show. The VP of Production shall coordinate with each of the other members of the Executive Council and their respective departments in producing his/her show, and is prohibited from participating in the artistic aspects of the show unless specifically requested to do so by the Production Council. When s/he is not acting as Producer, s/he shall assist the current Producer and perform any other duties assigned by the President. The complete details of this position shall be covered by an Executive Council policy.

The Secretary shall keep minutes of all meetings of H'n'H and shall be the custodian of H'n'H's records and archives, with the exception of finances. S/he shall make this documentation available to General Membership, and shall be responsible for expanding it whenever possible. S/he shall be responsible for official correspondence of H'n'H, including the established newsletter.

The Publicity Chair shall represent the Publicity Committee in Executive Council meetings, and shall preside at meetings of the Publicity Committee. The Publicity Committee shall be responsible for all publicity concerning H'n'H and its productions, including but not limited to providing information to the University calendars, freshman orientation packets, and the general Duke and Triangle Area communities. It is the Publicity Committee's responsibility to publicize all general H'n'H events, including but not limited to auditions, Production Council interviews, and General Meetings, to the general public. The specific operation of the Publicity Committee shall be governed by an Executive Council Policy.

The Playreading Chair shall represent the Playreading Committee in Executive Council meetings, and shall preside at meetings of the Playreading Committee. The Playreading Committee shall be responsible for generating the ballot of shows from which the membership may choose a production for H'n'H to sponsor, and must do so in accordance with the desire of the membership and per the purposes of ARTICLE II. Subject to the Executive Council's Playreading Policy, the Playreading Committee shall solicit and receive proposals for shows, select the ballots for the mainstage productions, order perusal materials, and organize the General Membership meetings at which the ballot is presented to and voted on by the General Membership.

The Membership Committee Chair shall represent the Membership Committee in Executive Council meetings, and shall preside at Membership Committee Meetings. The Membership Committee shall be responsible for maintaining information on the current active and alumni membership. The Membership Committee shall be directly responsible for advertising and organizing all non-production specific activities for the membership where responsibility is not otherwise indicated in these Bylaws, and share responsibility with the Publicity Committee for advertising and organizing all activities pertaining to recruiting new members. The Membership Committee shall be responsible for informing the Executive Council on the state of the membership once a semester during the normal academic year. The Executive Council shall maintain a policy regarding details of the organization of the Membership Committee.

The Fundraising Committee Chair shall represent the Fundraising Committee in Executive Council meetings, and shall preside at Fundraising Committee Meetings. The Fundraising Committee shall be directly responsible for solicitation of all monies not obtained from ticket sales. The Committee will coordinate with the Vice-Presidents of Production on each show for collecting advertisements and donations for that show. The Fundraising Committee shall create a donation insert to be sent with the yearly newsletter.

The Music Supervisor shall serve the Executive Council as the expert on all matters pertaining to music, and the President's liaison to any group on musical concerns. The Music Supervisor shall have a complete understanding of all musical assets available to the organization, and shall be responsible for expanding those assets through recruiting with the Membership and Publicity Committees' assistance. If any Production Council is unable to recruit a Music Director, the Music Supervisor will serve as Music Director for that production. Additionally, in the case where the Executive Council does not have a capable Orchestral Supervisor, the Music Supervisor will also fill those duties.

The Orchestral Supervisor shall serve the Executive Council as the expert on orchestral matters and the President's liaison to any group on orchestral concerns. The Orchestral Supervisor shall have a complete understanding of all orchestra assets available to the organization, and shall be responsible for expanding those assets through recruiting with the Membership and Publicity Committees' assistance. If any Production Council is unable to recruit an Orchestral Director, the Orchestral Supervisor will serve as Orchestral Director for that production. Additionally, in the case where the Executive Council does not have a capable Music Supervisor, the Orchestral Supervisor will also fill those duties.

The Technical Supervisor shall serve the Executive Council as the expert on technical matters and the President's liaison to any group on technical theater concerns. The Technical Supervisor shall have a complete understanding of all technical theater assets available to the organization, and shall be responsible for expanding those assets through recruiting with Membership and Publicity Committee assistance, and by recommending purchases in the General Budget to the Business Manager. If any Production Council is unable to recruit a Technical Director, the Technical Supervisor will serve as Technical Director for that production.


The Executive Council may create a Policy concerning additional duty positions, such as Webmaster or Phred Theater Manager. These positions shall be held by members of the Executive Council.


H'n'H shall have one Faculty Advisor per University regulation. The Executive Council shall be empowered to select by two thirds majority vote one Executive Advisor whose purpose shall be to provide objective input and experience for the Executive Council. Both of these advisors shall be members of the Duke Faculty or staff.


The position of Vice-President of Production shall be filled at least two months before the auditions of a production. For the Fall show, this position shall be filled before the end of the previous Spring semester. If no Vice-President can be recruited, the Executive Council is responsible for carrying out the duties of the office.



Nominations for officers must be made to the presiding President prior to the scheduled voting for the particular office. Nominations shall not be accepted unless the nominee indicates to the President his/her willingness to accept the position.


Elections shall be held at a General Membership meeting in the spring, after the selection of the upcoming Fall and Winter mainstage productions. The president shall inform the general body of elections at least two weeks in advance. Elections shall be decided, in accordance with the Executive Council Elections Policy, by a plurality vote of those members present and voting. Nominees shall not be present for the discussion of or vote on the office for which they are nominated. Members shall not hold more than one elected or appointed H'n'H office, with the exception of Vice President of Production. The detailed regulations regarding this special case are to be dictated by Executive Policy. If no nominee is deemed suitable for a given office by the General Membership, then the Executive Council shall appoint the position.


The elected officers shall be installed at the end of the election meeting. From the time of this installment to the end of the academic year both the elected and preceding Councils' voting members shall have a vote on the Executive Council. The new President shall preside at both Executive Council and General Membership meetings. These measures shall ensure a smooth transition of responsibility and business between the two Councils.


The term of office for elected officers shall be one year plus the time spent on the combined Executive Councils. At the end of graduation, the term of the outgoing Council shall expire. Since the election of the Vice-President of Spring Production occurs in the fall instead of spring, this office maybe held until the next fall, however doing so is not required.


The President of the outgoing Executive Council may declare a "special situation" during the Combined Executive Councils which requires the outgoing Council to act as the sole Executive Council. Such a declaration requires specification to both Councils as to why this action is necessary and may only be taken with regard to affairs pertinent to the current academic year's business.


In the event an officer does not return to Duke, is removed from office, or leaves Duke for any reason, this member shall no longer be a member of the Executive Council for that term. The President may nominate a person to fill this position, and two-thirds approval of the Executive Council will install him/her. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, the Business Manager shall assume the office until a special election can be held. The procedures for this special election shall be determined by the existing Executive Council, but it will rely on a General Membership vote to decide the new President.


An Officer failing to discharge the duties outlined in these Bylaws and the associated Policy addenda may be subject to impeachment. Any general body or executive council member may petition to bring articles of impeachment against any officer. Ten signatures are required to bring forth articles of impeachment. An impeachment must involve an open, publicized trial that occurs before the general body. Before the trial, the secretary (or in the case of the impeachment of the secretary, the president) shall inform the chair of the Student Organization Finance Committee. Impeachment requires a secret ballot simple majority vote of the general body, excluding the member under impeachment. In the event of the impeachment of the President, the trial shall be chaired by the Business Manager. Once removed from office, a member may not hold office again unless the removal is rescinded by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council.

Article VII - Finances

Section 1 - Budgets

A budget in accordance with Executive Council policy for each show shall be proposed at least one month before a given show and shall be approved by two thirds majority at an Executive Council meeting. The general budget for the organization shall be proposed and approved by a two thirds majority within the first month of the academic year.

Section 2 - Allocation of Funds

The President and the Business Manager shall be the only members authorized to allocate funds outside of the normal Production Budgets and organization budget. Such allocations require a simple majority approval of the Executive Council. During a given show, the Vice-President of Production is responsible for all expenditures made within the budget. S/he is also authorized to re-allocate funds within the budget as necessary but shall not exceed the overall budget without two thirds Executive Council approval. The President and the Business Manager shall not authorize any over-budget expenditure for a show except where extraordinary circumstances warrant such authorization.

Section 3 - Payment of Services

H'n'H shall not pay for any person's service or talent except by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Council, and in situations where payment of individual(s) is required for or implied in use of facilities.

Section 4 - Financial Obligations

No H'n'H member may financially obligate H'n'H except for materials or expenses which have been approved per SECTION 1 or SECTION 2. No member shall financially obligate H'n'H unless there are sufficient funds currently available in H'n'H accounts which have been specifically designated for such an obligation.

Article VIII - Amendment of bylaws

Proposed amendments to these Bylaws must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Council. The proposed amendments shall then be presented to General Membership either at a regular meeting or at a meeting called for that purpose. Adoption of the proposed amendments is subject to ratification by a two-thirds majority vote of members present and voting at said meeting. Proxy votes must be personally communicated to the President prior to the vote and shall only count half value.


General Membership meetings shall be governed by the President according to the following guidelines:

  • Maintaining order is the number one priority. Have those who wish to speak raise their hands, and call on them one at a time. If at any time more than two people are engaging in discussion, interrupt and ask that they please wait their turn to speak. This rule also applies at the President's discretion if and when anyone starts to get out of hand. Rude remarks should be reprimanded, and a pleasant, calm atmosphere encouraged.
  • Keep discussions succinct. Elections and show selections tend to trigger circular conversations. Once the membership has shed equal light upon all of the viewpoints, ask if anyone is undecided or if there are any further questions, and call for a vote. This discourages arguments and wasting time.
  • During a vote, all members should close their eyes and raise their hand for the option they are selecting. If the vote is particularly controversial, the President may call for a written ballot vote. Ideally the election format should be decided upon prior to the meeting. There should always be at least two people counting the votes--ideally the President and the Advisor. In the event that the Advisor cannot attend the General Membership meeting, the Business Manager should fulfill this role. In this case, the Business Manager continues to receive a vote.
  • The President should not, under any circumstances and in any way, reveal the tallies of votes after or during the meeting. This includes votes in which a majority has been clearly reached prior to finishing out the options.
Structure of the meeting itself is to be determined on a case by case basis.

Approved on September 7, 2008 by the 2008-2009 Executive Council.


Executive Council meetings shall be held weekly on Sunday at 1:00 pm unless otherwise noted due to conflicts or productions. Each member is expected to present an update on matters under his or her jurisdiction at this weekly meeting. The secretary shall keep a strict record of attendance.

The President will send an email outlining a broad agenda of important areas to cover each week, and council members are encouraged to email suggestions of topics they find important to the weekly business of the organization.

The President should give the Executive Council at least three days notice for any special meeting and any regular meeting that is expected to take over an hour.

Structure of the meeting itself is to be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Approved on September 7, 2008 by the 2008-2009 Executive Council.


The Vice Presidents of Production are the most important positions on the Executive Council. Each VP serves as the link between the Production Council of his or her show and the Executive Council, and holds ultimate responsibility for the production.

Anyone with a good work ethic and willingness to learn is eligible for this position, including members already on the Executive Council. However, in this case the election must be approved by two thirds of the remaining Exec members.

It is the President's responsibility to ensure the VP of Production has a handle on his or her workload. This does not mean doing all the work, but being a valuable resource for questions or concerns. The President should deliver to the producer a notebook of responsibilities and deadlines to follow throughout the course of the production.

The President and Business Manager are responsible for setting a deadline for the Executive Council to receive a budget.

Approved on September 7, 2008 by the 2008-2009 Executive Council.


The Publicity Chair is primarily responsible for transition publicity--promoting Hoof 'n' Horn itself rather than the shows it produces. This includes any stand-alone cabarets, interviews for Production Councils, and any other event that Hoof 'n' Horn is hosting. The Publicity Chair should be available for support and advice to each Vice President of Production for promoting each of the three yearly shows. As with every Chair on the Council, the Publicity Chair may also be expected to help with other tasks at the discretion of the President.

Approved on September 7, 2008 by the 2008-2009 Executive Council.


The Playreading Chair should interview interested parties in order to compile a committee of four members, one from each class. This committee will fulfill the duties outlined in the Hoof'n'Horn Bylaws. It should be noted the Playreading Committee is an extension of the Executive Council, with the purpose of collecting information and making a final ballot recommendation to the Executive Council. It is the job of Exec to approve this ballot or make necessary changes based on a majority vote.

A major goal of any Hoof 'n' Horn show is to produce a profit. That being said, the following are objectives to be met by each production slot:

  • The Fall Production should be a recognizable and marketable show which will generate interest for new cast and audience members. In the interest of recruiting many new members, the show should have an elastic cast that will allow the casting of a large chorus or a smaller one depending on the audition pool.
  • The Winter Production should have a smaller cast, and, to a degree, be more of an experimental show. It should not require a large budget, but should instead focus more on opportunities for specific or different styles of acting and directing.
  • The Spring Production should be a family-friendly show with capability of name recognition. This production is Hoof 'n' Horn's primary seller and needs to make up for any losses acquired from the Fall and Winter Productions in the smaller Sheafer Theater. The cast should be large, and the budget may be larger than that of the Fall and Winter. The goal of this "big name" show is that the name of the show is in and of itself advertisement, which aids us in selling tickets for graduation weekend.
The Playreading Chair must present three shows for the ballot and an alternate show to the Executive Council two weeks before the General Body meeting. Then, the rights contracts to all of the shows and the alternate must be applied for so the rights will be received by the Retreat. This will ensure that we have the rights to any show decided upon at the meeting.

Approved on September 5, 2010 by the 2010-2011 Executive Council.


Membership Chair(s) are responsible for all Hoof 'n' Horn sponsored social events, as well as putting together any cabaret performances that Hoof 'n' Horn puts up during the year. This pertains specifically to cast parties, beach week, and the Freshman Orientation Cabaret, though there will almost always be other events. The Membership Chair(s) are ultimately responsible for making sure the cabaret goes up in performance-worthy condition, which requires organizing performers and arranging for a performance space. The Membership Chair(s) should coordinate with the Publicity Chair and Committee to publicize the event and the Fundraising Chair and Committee if the event is not a benefit. The Membership Chair(s) are also expected to book a house on the beach for the week between finals and graduation weekend, traditionally at Emerald Isle, and is responsible for collecting money from all H'n'H members who plan to attend beforehand. The Membership Chair(s) are responsible for the coordination of everything having to do with this week, including grocery shopping, crowd control, and safety matters.

Approved on September 5, 2010 by the 2010-2011 Executive Council.


The Webmaster will maintain the website with the latest most pertinent information for each show, and any other necessary updates to content.

The Secretary will fulfill the duties of PhredE Manager for H'n'H. This entails archival work for each production of the season, as well as organizing periodic clean-ups to ensure the space remains a suitable place to work.

Approved on September 7, 2008 by the 2008-2009 Executive Council.


AThese Executive Council Policies should be ratified and approved by the new Executive Council at the beginning of each academic school year. There is no limit to the number of policies an Exec can write-the more information that is written down, the more future generations of Hoof 'n' Horn will have to aid their quest to make the organization run smoothly.

Approved on September 7, 2008 by the 2008-2009 Executive Council.


Hoof 'n' Horn may lend its assets to other people or organizations provided the items lent out are well documented and their return scheduled for a specific date. Use caution when entrusting others with the property of H'n'H; payment and/or a deposit may be appropriate.

Approved on September 5, 2010 by the 2010-2011 Executive Council.


In an effort to simplify the oversight of H'n'H's accounts and to ease the balancing of each show's budget, the business manager shall oversee the show accounts in the following manner:

  • Each of the fall, winter, spring, and children's theater accounts is to maintain a balance of $500 while the account is not being used for a show. This means that any value in excess of $500 be transferred out of the account and to the general account at the completion of each show and the balancing of its budget.
  • To garner the proper funds for his/her show, the producer(s) is (are) responsible for proposing a budget to the business manager and executive council for approval, as per the bylaws. Upon approval, the business manager shall transfer funds in the sum of the producer's projected expenses minus the theater operations projected costs into the show's respective account.
  • Only the business manager and president will have access to accounts with each producer also having access to their respective show account.
In the case that a producer needs more money in the course of a show, he/she must propose an addendum to his/her budget and present it to the business manager and executive council to be scrutinized and possibly approved.

With this method of fund management, organization and accountability become augmented. This method of managing the accounts emphasizes the importance of a responsible budget and careful spending. In addition, it facilitates expense and revenue oversight for each account and eases the difficult task of balancing the budget at the end of each show.

Approved on September 28, 2008 by the 2008-2009 Executive Council.


The Orchestral Supervisor's duties shall include acquiring and compiling all of the contact information for each member of the orchestra of each production that takes place in the course of his/her tenure. This information shall include but is not limited to the orchestra member's name, email address, phone number, and the instrument(s) that the member plays. When the Orchestral Supervisor leaves his/her post, s/he shall hand down this information to his/her successor.

Approved on March 22, 2009 by the 2008-2009 Executive Council.


The president shall oversee and insure the proper use of all H'n'H listservs, and shall serve as the sole liaison between the Sympa listserv system and H'n'H. However, Vice Presidents of Production are responsible for the creation and maintenance of the listserv(s) for their shows. is to be used for publicity purposes, meeting agendas and announcements, and social announcements. is to be used for exec-specific discussions and announcements. is to be used 7 times a year, to announce auditions and performances. is to be used 3 times a year for performance announcements only and is to be updated regularly by producers with the assistance of the box office staff.

Approved on September 5, 2010 by the 2010-2011 Executive Council.


Any member of the executive council with three unexcused absences in a semester automatically tenders his/her resignation from the executive council. The rest of exec will then meet to discuss the absent member's future on exec and make a final decision about accepting or declining the resignation. Excluding emergencies, the President must be informed of absences at least twelve hours before the scheduled meeting.

Approved on April 9th, 2012 by the 2011-2012 Executive Council, and General Body.