Student Body

Greetings from the Student Body President

Dear Incoming Students,

It’s my honor to welcome you to Starr King School for the Ministry! My name is Raphael Mills Warner and I am the Student Body President for the academic year of 2016-2017.

Some have relocated, some will be learning at a distance. Last year when I crossed the threshold of seminary, I was overwhelmed. Like some of you, I relocated my entire life to the Bay Area unsure of what the future held. No matter if you will be learning in Berkeley or from a distance, seminary is a life changing journey. You may make new friends and learn about new paths and ways of being. Above all else, you will learn much about yourself.

Seminary is not done alone. Starr King is a great community with amazing students, staff, faculty, and extended family. We come from many walks of life and religious traditions. We encourage everyone to get involved as much as they can. I am excited to see how you enrich us further. Do not hesitate to contact either me or the Student Body Vice President, Satya Tabachnick, if you have any questions or concerns.

I look forward to meeting all of you during orientation and to hear your stories. May this new journey be a blessing to you!


Peach be with you,

Raphael Mills Warner

Student Body President 2016-2017


Student Body Dues

This message is to inform you that the student body has voted to collect mandatory student dues at the time of tuition payment, categorizing the dues as a fee. The fee will amount to $17.50 per semester for all degree earning students enrolled for any number of credits regardless of residency mode. Certificate students will not be charged this fee. This fee will be charged during time of tuition payment for fall and spring semesters, but not intersession or summer.

Student dues insure the functioning of a resourced student body government. The purpose of student body government is to discuss the needs and desires of the students of Starr King, give feedback as a unified voice to the larger school, and work with faculty, staff, and administration to create a productive, healthy, and vibrant student centered learning environment. The student body also works to create community among students that we might support through the challenges and celebrate the rewards of seminary.

Student Body By-Laws

Article 1: Name

The name of this organization shall be the Student Body of Starr King School for the Ministry, herein referred to as the Student Body.

Article 2: Purpose

A. The purposes of the Student Body shall be:

  1. l. To strive to counter oppressions and to work toward a more just community in all our endea
  2. To provide leadership development opportunities for students preparing for religious leadership.
  3. To promote understanding of student interests to the faculty and staff of Starr King School for the Ministry (herein referred to as SKSM) and the Graduate Theological Union (herein referred to as GTU).
  4. To represent student interests at SKSM and the GTU.
  5. To enhance student life while in seminary by supporting and nurturing each other’s spiritual life and responding to our need for fun.
  6. To provide learning opportunities for stewardship of student body resources and SKSM.
  7. To nurture the freedom and integrity of the questioning mind and loving community, and embrace all persons of diverse backgrounds.
  8. To encourage the development of a spirit of interdependence, responsibility, and integrity.

B. In order to fulfill our purposes we will:

  1. Hold regular meetings.
  2. Elect officers.
  3. Establish a budget.
  4. Collect dues.
  5. Administer an emergency student loan fund.
  6. Select representatives to Student Body, SKSM, and GTU committees.
  7. Administer a social justice fund.
  8. Coordinate social justice activities.
  9. Carry out activities to achieve our shared purposes that the voting membership deems appropriate.

Article 3: Meetings

  • Regular meetings will be held at least once per month during the regular semeste The full student body of SKSM will be notified of meetings by email and postings at least 7 days prior to any student body meeting. The agenda of said meeting shall be organized by the Executive Committee and is to be included in the posted notification of the meeting. Each meeting shall include approval of the previous meeting’s minutes, a treasurer’s report, and any other business as necessary.
  • A quorum of the Student Body for the purposes of voting shall be constituted of ten percent (10%) of the Members eligible to vote in person or by absentee ball
  • Student Body business will be conducted by those voting members present at meeting Absentee voting shall be allowed on Student Body Business, should a voting member of the Student Body not be able to be present on the day of voting. In the event of absentee voting, votes must be put in writing and given to the Student Body Secretary no later than 5:00 PM Pacific Time the day prior to the Student Body Meeting. Votes may be hand written or sent and received via email. The Secretary will not share the results of the vote until the time in the meeting at which is appropriate.
  • The Student Body shall strive for consensus in all of its business decisions, with the exception of financial matte In all financial matters, decisions shall be made by vote requiring approval by a simple majority of the quorum.
  • An additional meeting may be called by any three voting members of the Student Body or the President or Acting Preside Notification of additional meetings shall be conducted in the same manner as regular meetings.

Article 4: Voting Membership

  • All students enrolled in a degree-granting program at Starr King School for the Ministry are voting members of the Student Body.

Article 5: Officers

A. Student Body officers have joint responsibility for planning and coordinating Student Body activities, as directed by the Student Body. The term of office shall be one yea In the absence of officers for a semester or more, the executive committee shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy. Specific duties are:

  1. President (s) : Student Body representative to the administration; appoints special student task force chairpersons; prepares meeting agendas and posts notice of meetings; presides at (facilitates) meetings, attends monthly faculty meetings, and helps plan the All-School Meeting
  2. Vice President(s): Performs functions of the President(s) in the event of Presidential absence. Coordinates Ministerial Fellowship Committee (MFC) reception and other activities and projects as deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee and/or Student Body.
  3. Secretary: Responsible for recording minutes to insure a written record of proceedings; maintains a file of the last three years of minutes; reads minutes of the previous meeting; prepares a copy of the minutes to be posted one week after the previous meeting.
  4. Treasurer: Maintains treasury; collects dues; writes Emergency Student Loan Fund checks and receives loan repayment; keeps a written record of all transaction The treasurer shall prepare a proposed annual budget in September for approval by the Student Body and recommend a sliding scale dues amount. At the last meeting in May the treasurer shall present a final yearly budget statement.

Article 6: Election Procedures:

A. Election Committee:

  1. The Election Committee will consist of one out-going Student Body Officer, one faculty or staff member, and one Student Body member who is not currently an officer or running for office.
  2. The Student Body will select the election committee at a regular meeting.
  3. The Election Committee will be responsible for the issuing of ballots, and the collecting, counting, and reporting of votes.

B. Nominations:

  1. Members of the Election Committee will accept nominations for Officers of the Student Body and Representatives to school committees, between the 2nd Monday of March and the Friday before spring break, noon PST.
  2. No person will be nominated for a position without that person’s prior consent.
  3. A list of those nominated will be prominently posted within 1 business day of the close of the nomination period.
  4. No nominee will begin campaigning prior to Campaign Season.

C. Campaign Season:

  1. Campaign Season will extend from Monday after nominations have closed until the elections.
  2. Campaigns will not slander opponents.

D. Voting:

  1. Voting for officers of the Student Body and Elected Committee Members will be held throughout the first full business week of April.
  2. Each voting member, as defined in Article 4: Voting Membership, will be allowed one vote.
  3. All voting will be by secret ballot, except in the case of absentee ballots. If a student needs an absentee ballot, they must request one no later than Tuesday 5 PM of election week. Absentee ballots must be returned to designated Election Committee Member by Friday 5 PM of election week.
  4. Ballots will contain a space for write-in candidates for each available position.
  5. The Election Committee will be responsible for tallying the votes, informing all contenders, and posting the results within 1 business day of the close of elections.
  6. Instant Runoff Voting. In each contest, voters will designate first preferences and subsequent preferences. If no candidate receives a majority, the candidate with fewest first preferences is eliminated and the secondary preferences on ballots for that candidate are recounted with the existing first preferences. This procedure is repeated until a candidate receives a majority, and is elected to office. In contests filling multiple positions, the procedure is repeated until just the number of candidates remain to fill the positions, who are elected to office.

Article 7: Committees

  1. Executive Committee: The Student Body officers constitute the executive committee.
  2. Elected Committee Members: The Student Body will elect the following members to the following faculty-sponsored committee
  3. Admissions and Scholarship Committee: Two student members will each be elected for one-year ter
  4. Curriculum Committee: Two student members will each be elected for two-year ter Their terms shall be staggered.
  5. Board of Trustees: Two student members will each be elected for two-year ter Their terms shall be staggered.
  6. Special Task Forces: Special Task Forces may be approved by the Student Body at any ti These task forces shall be appointed for a specific purpose to achieve a certain function or goal. Upon the completion of their task, the task force will be disbanded.
  7. When there are vacant seats on a faculty-sponsored committee, and the election to fill those seats for the year has already taken place, students will be appointed to committees for the remainder of the school year by mutual consent of the chair of the committee and the Student Body executive committee.

Article 8: Amendment Procedures

These by-laws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the quorum, provided that two (2) weeks notice of the proposed amendment has been provided in writing to all students and that the amendment has been posted in a prominent place during those two (2) weeks.

(Also refer to Student Body Fees in Student Finances.)