Student Government

Constitution of the Student Body of Calvin Theological Seminary

Article 1 Name

The name of this organization shall be the Student Body of Calvin Theological Seminary.

Article 2 Membership

All students registered at Calvin Theological Seminary shall be members of the Student Body.

Article 3 Governing Body

The governing body of the Student Body shall be the Student Senate.

Article 4 Purpose

The purpose of the Student Senate is to give representative voice of student opinion and ideas in all areas of seminary life, to promote Christian fellowship within the Seminary community, and to initiate programs of action consistent with such goals and the purpose of the Seminary.

Article 5 Powers

The Student Senate shall have the power to act as the official representative of the Student Body to the Staff, Administration, and Faculty; to make decisions on behalf of the Student Body in matters pertaining to seminary life; to raise funds and allocate the earnings; to allocate funds given to it by the Seminary; to approve and, at its discretion, fund student clubs and organizations; to oversee student publications; to call Student Body meetings; to form and dissolve student committees; and to make appointments in order to fulfill its obligations.

Article 6 Officers

  1. The officers of the Student Body shall be designated by the term “Executive Committee.” The Executive Committee shall consist of four elected officers: President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.
  2. The Executive Committee shall act in any emergency when the Senate cannot meet, with such action subject to review by the Senate at its next meeting.

Article 7 Student Senate Membership

  1. The Student Senate shall consist of the Executive Committee and twelve elected Senators, normally two from each M.Div. class, one from the M.T.S. program, one from the combined M.A. programs, two from the Th.M. program and two from the Ph.D. program.
  2. The Faculty representative to the Student Body, the Dean of Students/International Student Advisor, is a non-voting, ex officio member of the Student Senate.

 Article 8 Student Senate Meetings

  1. The Student Senate shall meet a minimum of once per month during the Spring and Fall terms at the call of its President, or whenever a majority of the members of the Student Senate shall request the President to call a meeting.
  2. The Executive Committee shall draw up the agenda for all meetings.

Article 9 Referendum

A referendum shall be called by the President or by a signed petition of at least twenty percent of the members of the Student Body.

  1. Resolutions binding on the Student Senate must be specified in the text of the Referendum itself.
  2. The Vice President shall oversee the referendum procedures.
  3. Adequate time shall be provided to the Student Body for consideration of the issue.
  4. If appropriate, the Student Body shall be provided with the opportunity to discuss the proposal in informational meetings or some other public forum where feedback is possible before a vote.

Article 10 Bylaws

In all matters not specified in this Constitution, the Senate shall be governed according to Bylaws duly approved and ratified.

Article 11 Amendments

This constitution shall be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of at least a quorum of the Student Body, where a quorum is defined as 51% of the Student Body.  The Senate shall propose amendments to this Constitution by a two-thirds vote in a regular meeting before being put before the Student Body.  After Senate approval, proposed amendments shall be published for at least one week and the Student Body shall be given adequate opportunity to give feedback online and participate in a public discussion before the Student Body’s vote.  The voting process shall have an online component to it for those who cannot attend in person.

Article 12 Ratification

This Constitution and all amendments to it shall be ratified immediately upon a respective, two-thirds majority vote of at least a quorum of the Student Body.

 

Bylaws Governing the Student Senate

 

Section 1 Qualifications and Duties of Officers

  1. President
    1. The President shall be a full-time student at least in his or her second year in residence at Calvin Theological Seminary.
    2. The President shall preside at all meetings as a non-voting member. However, the President shall be given a vote in the case of a tie.
    3. The President shall also serve as liaison with the Seminary Administration, Faculty and with the Dean of Students/International Student Advisor.
  2. Vice President
    1. The Vice President shall be a full-time student at least in her or his second year in residence at Calvin Theological Seminary.
    2. The Vice President shall preside at all meetings in the absence of the President, and perform the duties of the Secretary in his or her absence.
    3. The Vice President shall preside over the election of Senators.
    4. The Vice President shall preside over the Student Body voting for amendments to the Constitution.
    5. The Vice President shall also serve as liaison with the Seminary Administration and Faculty.
    6. The Vice President shall facilitate Student Senate representation at Faculty and Administration meetings.
  3. Secretary
    1. The Secretary shall be a full-time student at least in his or her second year in residence at Calvin Theological Seminary.
    2. The Secretary is in charge of records, keeps records of all meetings, publishes minutes, and attends to necessary correspondence.
  4. Treasurer
    1. The Treasurer shall be a full-time student at least in her or his second year in residence at Calvin Theological Seminary.
    2. The Treasurer shall formulate a budget in consultation with the Student Senate, and approve and pay all bills, which are in accordance with the budget.
    3. Records of all financial transactions will be kept and audited, and a statement will be made public to the Student Body at the end of the academic year.

Section 2 Qualifications and Duties of Senators

  1. The Senators shall represent their class or program on the Student Senate.
  2. They shall have the power to call their respective class or program meetings when deemed necessary.  In such cases, the representatives for the class or program will choose among themselves which of them will preside over said meetings.
  3. They shall provide and/or coordinate leadership in responding to joys or sorrows in the lives of class members.
  4. They shall be liaisons for all communication between Faculty and their respective class or program.
  5. They shall serve on at least one Standing Committee of the Senate and ad hoc committees as appointed by the Student Senate.
  6. They are expected to attend all meetings of the Student Senate.

Section 3 Senate Meetings

  1. These meetings shall be open to all members of the Student Body, unless the Student Senate votes unanimously for a closed meeting.
  2. The Senate shall keep a non-voting seat open to any member of the Staff, Faculty, or Student Body from which the Senate desires to hear.  Invitations are extended by the Executive Committee.  Special consideration will be given to E.P.M.C. or online students.
  3. A simple majority of the members of the Student Senate, including at least one member of the Executive Committee, shall constitute a quorum.
  4. The Executive Committee shall draw up the agenda for all meetings.
  5. Senate meetings shall loosely hold to Robert’s Rules of Order.
  6. The Secretary of the Student Senate shall publish the minutes of every meeting of the Student Body or Senate, accessible by all students in residence, within seven days of said meeting.
  7. If necessary, the President shall call an online vote of the Senate.
    1. Online voting may occur in order to decide issues requiring minimal interaction among members when decisions must be made between regular meetings.
    2. The President shall establish and uphold a time limit for online voting.

Section 4 Senate Elections

  1. Student Body Officers
    1. The Executive Committee shall request nominations for the offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer from the members of the Student Body by April 1 of the year before the academic year of service.
    2. The Executive Committee shall determine the willingness of those nominated to run for office and acquaint them with the responsibilities of office.
    3. The names of those accepting nomination shall be posted one week prior to elections held in May prior to the final Student Senate meeting.
    4. All Student Body officers shall be elected by receiving the most votes.
  2. Class Senators
    1. The Senators entering the second and third year class of the M.Div. program will be elected in the spring of the year before the academic year of service.
    2. The election of the Class Senators representing the second or third year M.Div. classes will be held after the elections for the Student Body Officers (Executive Team).
    3. The Senators from each other class or program will be elected during the first two weeks of classes.
    4. The Vice President will request nominations from the members of the Student Body for the Senators from their respective classes or programs.
    5. All class Senators shall be elected by receiving the most votes.
  3. Removal of a Member of Student Senate from Office
    1. A two-thirds vote of Student Senate can remove an Officer or Senator from office if he/she is not fulfilling the responsibilities of the position.
    2. Within 15 days the Executive Committee shall request nominations for the vacated position from the members of the respective class or program.
    3. The Executive Committee shall determine the willingness of those nominated to run for office and acquaint them with the responsibilities of office.
    4. The names of those accepting nomination shall be posted one week prior to elections held in within 30 days of the Officer’s or Senator’s removal from office.
    5. All Student Body Officers or Senators shall be elected by receiving the most votes.

Section 5 Senate Committees

  1. Faculty Standing Committees – By the end of the semester before the academic year they serve, the Student Senate shall appoint student representatives to the following Faculty Standing Committees who shall give occasional reports to the Senate concerning the business of these committees.
    1. Committee on Church Relations (CCR) – one student
    2. Committee on Curriculum and Pedagogy (CCP) – one student
    3. Committee on Community Culture (CCC) – one student
    4. Spiritual Life Committee – Three students (One M.Div., One M.A., and one international student)
    5. The Student Appeals Committee – Two senators will become involved with this seminary committee in the event a student appeal or disciplinary issue arises, usually the President and Vice President.
    6. Assessment Committee – Two senators responsible for planning and implementing evaluations of courses and participating in evaluations of Faculty who are up for reappointment or tenure.
    7. The Library Committee – One senator who is a Ph.D. student will sit on the College/Seminary Library Committee to discuss library issues.

Senate Standing Committees – The Student Senate shall maintain standing committees in order to fulfill its responsibilities.  These committees and their respective tasks are:

  1. The Communications Committee – Responsible for maintaining effective communication within Student Senate and with the CTS community.
  2. The Fellowship Committee – Responsible for planning and implementing events, both annual and ad hoc, that nurture the koinonia at CTS.
  3. The Town Hall Committee – Responsible in collaboration with the CTS Administration for planning and implementing monthly Town Hall meetings on relevant issues for the CTS community.

Student Senate Ad Hoc Committees – The Student Senate shall form and dissolve ad hoc committees as deemed necessary.

Section 6 Publications

  1. The Kerux is a newsletter published by the Student Body of journalistic articles including, but not limited to news, events, interviews, and opinions relevant to the seminary community, as well as other information students wish to share with each other.
    1. Application for editorship shall be pursued and evaluated by the Student Senate from students enrolled in studies at Calvin Theological Seminary, the appointment being made by the end of the semester before the academic year of service as editor.
    2. The editor(s) shall receive an honorarium.  Production expenses shall be budgeted separately.
  2. The Stromata is an academic journal published by the Student Body, usually once per semester, containing students’ academic work.
    1. Application for editorship shall be pursued and evaluated by the Student Senate from students enrolled in studies at Calvin Theological Seminary, the appointment being made by the end of the semester before the academic year of service as editor.
    2. The editor(s) shall receive an honorarium. Production expenses shall be budgeted separately.

Section 7 Amendments

These by-laws shall be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of at least a quorum of the Senate in a regular meeting.

Section 8 Ratification

These Bylaws and all amendments to them shall be ratified immediately upon a respective, two-thirds majority vote of at least a quorum of the Senate.

(Revised Constitution, adopted, and ratified April 27, 2012)