The mission of DSC shall be: to help build and sustain the Christian community among the Student Body by serving as a means of communication for events and activities put on by various Student Organizations; listening and responding to the needs of the community, faithfully discerning how those needs may best be met; to represent the needs and concerns of the Student Body to the administration of Duke Divinity School; and to collect and raise money through dues and other channels to accomplish these purposes.
Article One: Membership and Leadership of DSC
- Membership of DSC
- Qualifications for DSC Leadership
- DSC Leadership Positions
- To determine the agendas for the General Meetings.
- To discuss the current state of DSC, its Student Organizations, and the entire Student Body.
- To seek new opportunities to improve the Divinity School community.
- To improve communication between the above-mentioned entities.
- One representative from each Student Organization.
- The Chair (or Co-Chairs) of the Committees listed below.
The DSC is comprised of every student who pays student government fees. Membership in DSC grants every student the right to vote in the general election or referendum of DSC Leadership, the right to vote to amend this Constitution, and the right to attend any open DSC meeting (though they are not granted voting privileges).
S/he must be a candidate in good academic standing within the Student Body at Duke Divinity School, and s/he must be enrolled as a degree-seeking student or Student Pastor. S/he may not hold more than one DSC elected office at a time, and s/he must have read this Constitution and abide by its terms.
There are twenty-one generally elected positions that comprise DSC. There shall be two Co-Presidents, one Secretary, one Treasurer, and four Class Representatives from the Junior, Middler, and Senior classes. In addition, a number of Representatives will be elected to represent the Divinity School to the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) equal to the number allotted by GPSC (1 for every 100 students at the Divinity School.). The Co-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and one Class Representative from each respective class, make up DSC’s Executive Committee. Detailed descriptions of each office and the Executive Committee are as follows:
The Co-Presidents are elected each February and serve for the following academic year. The Co-Presidents preside over all DSC meetings (General and Executive), as well as act as representatives of the Student Body to the faculty, staff, and to the administration of the University. This representation is manifest in the mandatory attendance at Divinity School Executive Committee meetings, which are scheduled by the administration.
DSC General Meetings (comprised of representatives of all Student Organizations, all Class Representatives, the Executive Committee, and open to the Student Body as a whole) occur every other Wednesday from 12:20-1:20pm. DSC Exec meetings occur on the Monday before each General Meeting from 12:20-1:20. The Co-Presidents shall preside over all of these meetings.
The Secretary is elected each February to serve the following academic year. The responsibilities of the Secretary include: weekly maintenance of the Divinity School calendar; weekly email reminders to DSC members about upcoming meetings; keeping records of all General and Executive Committee meetings; posting Nomination forms during February elections; and keeping attendance records of each meeting. The Secretary serves as an ex-officio member of DSC and the DSC Executive Committee.
The Treasurer is elected each February to serve the following academic year. The responsibilities of the treasurer include: annually creating a budget with the finance committee based on the current allocation of student fees; managing the DSC financial account; processing expenditures; and providing bi-weekly updates at DSC general meetings. The Treasurer serves as an ex-officio member of DSC and the DSC Executive Committee.
The DSC budget is comprised of student fees billed each Fall and Spring semester. These fees can be changed and set by a majority vote of the Divinity Student Council. DSC has committed to funding a group of Annual Funding Initiatives every year [see Standing Rules at the end of this document]. The remaining funds support the consortium of DSC sanctioned Organizations. Funds reserved for the Annual Funding Initiatives cannot exceed 65% of the overall budget. The remaining funds must remain unrestricted in order to financially support the Student Organizations and their events.
Four Class Representatives from each class are elected each February to serve for the following academic year, with the exception of the Junior class who elects their representatives in September. The class representatives will be elected by the student body and will serve on one of four committees (listed below). The Class Representatives represent their respective class within DSC at the bi-weekly General Meetings, inform their class of DSC activities, and keep DSC aware of the prevailing student needs and opinions. In addition to these responsibilities, the Representative for each class shall serve on one of the following four committees: one shall serve on the Executive Committee; one shall serve as a member of the Fellowship Committee; one shall serve on the Imago Dei; one shall serve on the Finance & Nominations/Elections Committee (see descriptions of these Committees below). Each Representative is required to serve in one of the four roles listed above.
The Executive Committee (Co-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and one Class Representative from each respective class) is convened by the Co-Presidents on a bi-weekly basis. The principal functions of the Executive Committee are as follows:
Other Leaders with Voting Privileges in the DSC shall include:
Article Two: DSC Committees and Student Organizations
Section One: DSC Committees
DSC Committees assist DSC and the Executive Committee in carrying out its mission more fully. Committees are comprised of members of the Student Body who have demonstrated interest in that specific group. Depending upon the membership requirements of the committee, the Nominations Committee will recommend people to add to each committee. Chairs for each committee are nominated by the Nominations Committee, and will be approved by the Executive Committee. They serve a one-year term.
- Standing Committees and Their Roles
- Finance & Nominations/Elections Committee – (1 Co-President, Treasurer, and 1 Class Representative from each class). This committee is responsible for bringing a recommended budget to the DSC Exec committee for approval (The Exec committee then will bring the budget to the DSC General Meeting for final approval). They also receive requests for and make decisions about the annual funding initiatives. As well, this committee is responsible for nominating all DSC Standing Committees and student awards. They are to recommend the names of candidates to serve as chairs as needed to the larger DSC body during the bi-weekly General Meeting. This committee is also responsible for orchestrating DSC elections.
- Fellowship & Service Committee - This student committee is open to the entire Student Body, but shall include one Class Representative from each class. The co-chairs shall be nominated by the Nominations Committee and are to be approved by the DSC Co-Presidents. This committee is responsible for enhancing fellowship & service opportunities within the entire Divinity School community. This includes working with the various service groups, hosting community wide special events, coordinating intramurals within the Divinity School, and offering opportunities for increased student involvement.
- Imago Dei - This student committee is open to the entire Student Body, but shall include one Class Representative from each class. The co-chairs shall be nominated by the Nominations Committee and are to be approved by the DSC Co-Presidents. The purpose of this committee is to support the overall goals of DSC through nurturing and sustaining the full spectrum of the DDS community by emphasizing our Christian calling to view all peoples in community at large as the imago dei. This may include any of the following activities: Communication by raising awareness vs. complacency; cooperation and coordination with current student groups to foster open and honest conversations and authentic relationships among the broad spectrum of peoples in the Divinity school community; co-sponsor or host events to help the divinity community to think theologically about the divisions/differences among us in hopes of nurturing more of the whole community; developing and practicing these kind of skills for ministry.
[*Please see Article Four, Nominations and Elections. ]
- New Committees - At any time, if it is necessary for a new committee to be formed for a specific issue, the Executive Committee shall work with the Nominations Committee to establish this committee and appoint people to this service.
Section Two: Student Organizations
Student Organizations are composed of Divinity students that meet together for fellowship or for communal support, holding regular meetings and programs for their own constituency and the Student Body as a whole.
- Forming Student Organizations
- Organizational Membership in DSC
- i.Each Student Organization recognized by DSC shall send one representative to DSC that will have full membership privileges. These representatives must be chosen by the Organization they represent. The names of the representative shall be submitted by the beginning of reading week at the end of the semester. This representative is responsible for attending bi-weekly general meetings per the attendance policy, and if unable to do so s/he must ensure a proxy representative. An Organization may choose to replace a representative for negligence and may also fill representative vacancies, as they deem appropriate. The Secretary of DSC shall be notified of any representative replacement as they occur.
- Along with submitting a representative, Student Organizations must submit an information sheet, including contact information for the officers, at the end of the spring semester. If officer changes should occur during a semester, they must also submit these changes to the Secretary of DSC. The Secretary of DSC will maintain an accurate list of all Organizations, publishing it by the second DSC General Meeting of the Fall semester.
Any new Student Organization that shows sufficient support from the community must meet the Administrative Guidelines for Student Organizations (Attached as an appendix to this constitution but not part of the constitution). Upon completion of these requirements, a representative may petition the Executive Committee of DSC for membership. The Executive Committee will bring the matter up at the next DSC General Meeting, where the group representative will be present to explain the purpose for their group. After discussion, the DSC body will vote upon membership, with a simple majority constituting the need for the organization to be chartered with DSC. Once an organization is chartered with DSC, they receive full rights of membership into DSC, including a voting representative and access to funding.
Article Three: Meetings and Attendance Policy
Section One: Meetings 1. A simple majority of the DSC elected leadership shall constitute a quorum. Every member of the Student Body has the right to attend any DSC General Meeting but may not vote. The DSC, however, has the power to call a closed meeting, or part thereof, when deemed necessary. 2. There shall be no absentee voting in any form by any member of the DSC upon any matter under consideration. The appropriate majority of those present shall decide all matters that shall require a vote by the DSC. 3. The DSC Co-Presidents will determine annually how to most appropriately run its regular meetings. Section Two: Attendance Policy 1. Student Organizations - Each Student Organization recognized by DSC and each committee that is a permanent fixture of DSC (as outlined by the constitution) is given access to a budget funded by student fees. Given the serious responsibility of administering monies given in good faith by students at Duke Divinity School, we ask that each group have at least ONE representative present at each full DSC meeting. This representative should be someone in leadership for that organization and familiar with the plans and activities of that particular group, but it need not be the same person at each meeting. The Secretary will record the name of the person as he/she checks attendance at the beginning of meetings.** Each week’s attendance will be verified by another officer (either Co-President or the Treasurer) to insure accuracy. Each group will be allowed one missed meeting per semester; that is, one meeting in which that group is not represented. Upon the second absence, that organization or ministry team will be placed on probation for the following semester. During that probationary period, someone from that group shall be present at every DSC General Meeting (perfect attendance). If the Student Organization fails to meet this requirement, that group will lose standing as a Student Organization recognized by DSC, and hence, access to funds from the DSC budget. Advance notice of absences or other reasons provided for missing a meeting will not excuse that group’s absence. Should an Organization lose standing with DSC and access to funds, it may not re-apply for recognition as a group for a period of one academic year (two semesters). It may still function as a group and is encouraged to do so (meetings will simply not be funded by DSC), and after one year the leaders may apply for recognition by DSC according to the process currently outlined in the Constitution. If a student group that is a member of DSC and that is supported by an annual funding initiative misses more than one meeting each semester, DSC holds the prerogative to find another group to support with those funds. 2. Class Representatives, GPSC Reps, and Committee Chairs - Each class elects four Representatives to act in their interest at DSC meetings and to plan events to cultivate community within the Student Body. The Representatives also have access to student fees. GPSC reps have the same responsibilities at the university level with the added responsibility of keeping the Div School informed about university-wide issues. As elected Class Representatives, attending DSC meetings is their primary responsibility and should be treated as such. Committee Chairs are appointed by the Executive Committee of the DSC for purposes of planning and administration in vital areas and are also granted access to student fees. If a Class Representative, GPSC Rep or Committee Chair should miss more than one meeting in any given semester, he/she will lose standing as a Representative for that class or as Chair of his/her respective committee, and a replacement will be nominated by the Executive Committee and approved by a simple majority of the DSC. 3. Co-Presidents, Treasurer, and Secretary – Guidance of DSC is the primary role of these elected DSC leaders. Being absent severely hinders their ability to guide and lead DSC. If one of the co-presidents, the treasurer, or the secretary should miss more than one DSC meeting unexcused, the executive committee will find a replacement. *** Appeals for excused absences can be made in writing to the Secretary and may be granted at the discretion of the DSC Executive Committee.
Article Four: Nominations and Elections
Section One: Nominations 1. Based on prayerful discernment, members of the Student Body are encouraged to nominate themselves or others for the following positions according to her/his gifts: Co-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Class Representatives, and GPSC Representatives (the number of persons [According to the allotment by GPSC of 1 for every 100 students.] who shall serve as representatives of the Divinity School to GPSC). GPSC Representatives shall be responsible for informing the student body about Men’s Basketball Ticket Camp Out. 2. When no nominee is brought forward, the DSC shall nominate an individual with his/her consent within two weeks after the general election. The individual’s name shall be brought to the next DSC General Meeting whereupon s/he will be voted upon by the DSC Elected Leadership. Section Two: Election Procedure 1. Elections for Co-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Class Representatives, and GPSC Representatives shall be held no later than the third week in February. Election for the Junior Representatives shall be held no earlier than the second Wednesday of September and no later than the first Wednesday of October. 2. Nominations shall be submitted to the Co-Presidents no later than two weeks prior to the election. All nominees for said positions will be posted in the student lounge and via E-mail. No other literature, written or otherwise, will be used except the nominations and posted reminders. A general student body town hall meeting with question and answer time shall be acceptable. 3. Voting shall be done by private ballot by the entire Student Body. 4. Election of the Co-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Class Representatives, and GPSC Representatives shall be determined by a majority vote of the entire Student Body. If no Candidate receives a simple majority, a runoff election between the two nominees receiving the highest vote totals shall be held within one week of the original election. 5. A.The DSC Finance & Nominations/Elections Committee (minus the current nominees) shall count the ballots within 48 hours of the initial election. Section Three: Tenure 1. The Co-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and Class Representatives shall begin their apprenticeship on the first Wednesday of March and shall serve a one-year term 2. Representatives of the graduating Senior Class shall continue to sit as members of the DSC until after graduation. Section Four: Vacancies 1. Elected positions shall be declared vacant by resignation, non-compliance to the attendance policy (Art. III, Section 2), or withdrawal from school. 2. A.In the event of a vacancy of any position, the DSC shall nominate an individual with her/his consent, and the individual’s name shall be brought in front of DSC for consensus approval.
Article Five: Resolutions
Any member of the group within the DSC desiring to make a resolution shall submit a finished document (with all attending documentation) to the DSC Secretary at least one week in advance of the DSC General Meeting and send a representative(s) to that DSC General Meeting to request a public forum to be held. 1. Upon three-fourths majority vote of the DSC voting membership the proposed statement will be passed for Student Body approval. A copy of the proposed change will be placed in a public place, most preferably the student lounge for one week. 2. Within one week of its public display a student-wide ballot will be held requiring a majority endorsement of the proposed statement as a "Divinity School Studnent Resolution." 3. If as a result of the public disclosure substantial additions, corrections, and/or revisions are made to the proposed statement, then a revised statement must be resubmitted to the DSC Secretary within five days of the posting. The DSC will then hold a called meeting, following the procedures outlined above.
Article Six: Amendments
Amendments to the Constitution shall be made upon the recommendation of two-thirds of the DSC and shall become effective upon approval of a majority of the votes cast by the voting Student Body.
Standing Rules of the DSC
The DSC shall operate according to the Constitution and the Standing Rules listed below. The Standing Rules may be amended by a two thirds vote of the General Body of the DSC. Commitment to Service The Divinity Student Council recognizes the importance of service and outreach both to our own community and to the community worldwide. Programs and ministries that foster service are held to be essential to the nature and purpose of the DSC. Service shall be central to the overall direction of DSC as it begins to plan and shape its programming for each upcoming academic year. Annual Funding Initiatives1 We, the Divinity Student Council, recognize our unique ability to support and encourage the community of students at Duke Divinity School. The following Annual Funding Initiatives have been determined by the DSC Leadership to be vital to shaping the Student Body in significant and ongoing ways.2 Requests for these funds shall be presented to the Finance & Nominations/Elections Committee. 1. DSC Emergency Grants, traditionally in the amount of $500 per grant, are deposited in the Divinity School’s DSC student emergency fund once per semester. The money in the DSC student emergency fund is under the supervision of the Director of Financial Aid. She or he has the authority to make decisions regarding the distribution of funds to students in crises. 2. DSC Service Awards 3. Duke Divinity Student Fine Arts 4. News Publications 5. Annual Housekeeping Celebration luncheon, November or December 6. Orientation Snacks Budget Standing Rules * The DSC will maintain two terms of budget o November Budgeting Process (to be completed by the end of the fall semester) for January 1 – June 30. o April Budgeting Process (to be completed by the end of the spring semester) for July 1 – December 31. * The Finance & Nominations/Elections Committee and Treasurer will publicize the budgeting process so that all organizations will be aware of the possible funding available to them. They will publicize a deadline for budget requests and will meet to determine organizational allocations. * Receipts shall not be reimbursed after six weeks has passed since the date on the receip Budgetary roll-over policy Any DSC account funds not expended during a budgeting period (Jan 1 – June 30 or July 1 to Dec 31) will roll-over as general funds available for use in the following budgeting period. Allotted funds not used in the budgeting period by respective student organizations are surrendered at the end of that period and returned to the DSC general fund. These roll-over funds will become available to be re-allotted based on new budgets submitted the following budgeting period. revised 04/25/08 1 Annual Funding Initiatives may not exceed 65% of the annual budget of DSC. 2 If a student group that is a member of DSC and that is supported by an annual funding initiative misses more than one meeting each semester, DSC holds the prerogative to find another group to support with those funds.
Administrative Guidelines For Student Organizations Duke Divinity School
This document may be changed by a 2/3 vote of the DSC Executive Committee Purpose: Student organizations in the Divinity School exist to enhance the spiritual, social, and intellectual life of students as well as that of the faculty and wider communities by building and sustaining Christian community. As such, student organizations exist at the pleasure of the Divinity School which has responsibility for their development and nurture. 1. Requirements: To be an official organization, the student group must observe the following: 1. Register with and receive official permission from DSC, and 2. File with the appropriate administrative office of DDS and DSC: 1. statement of purpose (if not a constitution), 2. budget (including the sources and amounts of all funds to be disbursed), 3. officers, 4. name of faculty advisor, and 5. schedule of meeting dates. 2. Faculty Advisor: Every organization will have a faculty advisor (or advisors) chosen from among regular Divinity School faculty and/or administrative (as opposed to support) staff. This person may serve at the initiative of the student organization but must be approved by DSC. The duties of the faculty advisor are as follows: 1. to serve as a guide to and resource for the student organization, and 2. to be informed fully regarding the organizational dynamics, meetings, schedule, budget, programs, and larger Divinity School interests in relation to this organization. No student organization is free to ignore, disregard, or circumvent the advice and counsel of its faculty advisor and is subject to loss of approval as a Divinity School organization should it do so. The faculty advisor is expected to nurture and foster the interests of the student organization as well as those of the Divinity School and its various publics. 3. Funding: Organizations are responsible for the generation, use, and monitoring of their own funds. 1. The DSC will have very limited funds annually: 1. to use as incentive money for student organizations whose programming may be particularly beneficial to the larger Divinity School community, and 2. to generate new areas of programming not presently covered by student organizations. This money will be assigned at the discretion of the DSC. 2. Student organizations are encouraged to consult with appropriate Divinity School offices regarding major programming for mutual benefit, usually one year in advance, to see if students and administration can cooperate in specific projects. Offices with specific possibilities include Continuing Education, Field Education, Communications, and Development. 4. Office Space: When possible, the Divinity School will make office space available to those student organizations whose specific goals, programs, and needs seem to require it. DDS administration will make decisions on space. However, it is understood that Divinity School faculty, administration, and support staff will be provided with space first. Where demand for space exceeds space available, student organizations will be asked to share office space. With the exception of the DSC office (whose telephone is expected to serve all student organizations) the Divinity School does not provide student offices with telephone service. Student organizations which have urgent need for in-office telephone service may request telephone installation and service at their own expense. 5. Divinity School Logo: The Divinity School logo and its constitutive elements (including but not limited to the representation of the cross and boat within a circle) are the property of Duke Divinity School and are not to be used without the permission of the Dean. Use of the logo is limited to those activities officially sponsored by the Divinity School and presented under the authority and control of the administration. Activities and events which do not meet these criteria but which are located at or have the Divinity School community as their principle focus may identify the focus of the event or activity (e.g., “The Third Annual Student Exegetical Forum at the Divinity School”) but they cannot use the phrases “sponsored by Duke Divinity School” or “Duke Divinity School” school in appellation (as in “The Duke Divinity School Third Annual Student Exegetical Forum”).