Campus Ministries strive to promote understanding and appreciation of religious diversity and serve the spiritual wellness and religious needs of the campus community
It is the right of any religious or spiritual organization to send a representative (ordained or unordained) to work on the campus of Towson University (TU), and we respect the right of that representative to minister on this campus. However, we, the members of the TU Religious & Spiritual Coordinating Council (RSCC), deem it necessary to make this agreement with any religious or spiritual staff at TU who wishes to participate as a member of the TU RSCC.
The purpose of the TU RSCC is to gather into a cohesive, communicating, professional body all those who minister in the name of religion and spirituality at TU and who wish to participate in a council as colleagues. Our purpose is to better serve the campus community as well as the religious or spiritual institutions we serve as an official link with TU.
Membership carries benefits in personal, professional, and logistical areas. If one chooses not to participate, one will not receive the benefits of membership. Benefits include the chance to meet and interact with other religious or spiritual staff and to be officially recognized by the University through the Office of Inclusion and Institutional Equity. Other benefits include parking privileges, TU OneCard, reservation of facilities and other university privileges to better function on campus.
We are guests of the University and will act in accordance with the TU Policy on Campus Ministries 06-07.00. We are accountable to each other and need to hold each other accountable, and we are accountable to our appointing body.
- Application for membership must be
- made in writing to the current chair expressing the desire to be a member
- provide address, and phone number of the applicant
- be accompanied by a letter of appointment from an appointing body to whom the applicant is accountable. As an alternative, a letter of request from a recognized SGA-affiliated religious or spiritual group may be considered. In rare circumstances, the RSCC may consider accepting someone for membership absent either of the above
- include a pledge to abide by the RSCC’s Code of Ethics and Bylaws
- keep the chair informed of any changes in the individual’s mailing- address or phone number; and,
- be submitted to the chair one month in advance of the next regularly scheduled meeting so that this information may be disseminated to the RSCC members.
- any of the above requirements may be waived by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present provided there is a quorum.
- The chair will verify items in the application by the next meeting. The chair then presents the applicant to the RSCC for voting into probationary membership at the next regular meeting. The applicant must be present to dialogue with the membership and will leave prior to the vote. The chair will advise the applicant of the decision immediately after the vote. If accepted, the applicant will be allowed to immediately return to the meeting. Probationary membership is granted by a positive vote of the majority of those present, provided there is a quorum.
- After one full year of competent and consistent service to the campus community, full membership will be considered by another vote.
- Two tiers of membership exist in RSCC:
- Full membership:
- Must attend meetings
- Has seat, voice, and vote
- Associate membership:
- Must attend initial meeting; subsequent meetings optional
- Has seat and voice but no vote
- Full membership:
- There shall be at least one full member for each individual ministry. All others associated with that ministry may be associate members. The full member is responsible for communicating information to the associate member(s) of the ministry and will be held accountable for the associate member’s behavior according to the Code of Ethics and the Bylaws.
- Absence policy:
- For full members, three consecutive excused absences will be the maximum allowed.
- When three consecutive meetings are missed, then disciplinary action up to and including removal and requiring resubmission for membership will be decided upon by the membership.
- Full membership may be maintained by:
- attendance at the meetings;
- assuming an appropriate share of the responsibilities; and
- abiding by the Code of Ethics and Bylaws.
- Members may forfeiture membership if there is a failure to comply with any of the above. If the membership does not accept the given explanation for this failure, the member will be suspended. The chair will notify the member of the suspension in writing. If no written appeal is made or if the membership denies the appeal, the individual is removed from membership.
- If someone who has an organizational colleague who is already a member of the RSCC applies for membership between meeting times, they will be admitted to provisional membership until the next regularly scheduled meeting.
- The Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity will be an ex officio, non-voting member of the RSCC.
V. MEMBERS AND OFFICERS
- Three regular meetings a year will be scheduled - one near the beginning of each semester and one near the end of the spring semester. Special meetings may be called by the chair with one week's notice given to the membership. Only those items mentions as part of the official agenda can be acted upon at a special meeting.
- A chair and a secretary will be elected at the meeting near the end of the spring semester to serve through the same meeting of the next school year. The goal is to rotate these responsibilities among the membership over time.
- No official business shall be voted upon without the presence of a quorum. A quorum shall be more than fifty (50) per cent of the voting membership determined at the last regular meeting.
VI. OPERATING PROCEDURES
- General Privileges - All RSCC members are entitled to a parking privileges, TU One card, facility reservations and e-mail when available. The secretary will notify the Vice President of Inclusion and Institutional Equity of the current membership after each regular meeting. The Vice President will then inform the appropriate offices of the current membership.
- University Listings - At the regular meeting near the beginning of the spring semester, the secretary, or someone appointed by the secretary, will ensure that the student religious or spiritual organizations, RSCC membership, and local worship center listings are updated for publication in the various TU informational publications.
- Special Events - When the RSCC agrees to sponsor an event, costs and responsibilities will be shared by the membership, decided upon the voting membership.
- Campus Ministry Center (CMC) - The bulletin board calendar will serve as a reservation place for the CMC on a first come basis. If schedules conflict, the members involved should first try to resolve the conflict. Appeals may be made to the RSCC Chair. Office needs, including telephone calling, storage and counseling sessions are other main uses of the CMC. It sometimes serves as a lounge for students wishing to study and/or visit. Keeping these competing needs in mind, all members are requested to view the CMC as belonging to all RSCC members and to use immense consideration and compassion in its usage. The Bulletin Board in the main hallway is available for advertising special events.
- Religious Interest Cards - At the regular meeting near the end of the spring semester,
the responsibility will be assigned for the printing of the Religious Interest Cards.
Any religious organization or religious faith represented by the membership may be
listed and the student religious organizations served by the membership may be listed
- the members pay their group's appropriate equal share of the cost;
- the members pledge to share the card's information with all religious groups checked or circled on the card;
- the members pledge only to contact students indicating interest in their religious affiliation/sponsoring religious body or student organization; and,
- the members share responsibility for distributing, collecting, and sorting of the cards.
The chair and secretary will supervise the above process.
Changes to this bylaws may be made at any regularly scheduled meeting of the RSCC by the vote of a two-thirds (2/3) of the membership present.
In our relationship with students
- We accept the TU Code of Student Conduct and affirm the integrity, judgment and contribution of each individual student.
- We affirm that any coercive efforts or attempts to manipulate that restrict a student’s freedom are unethical.
- We will give priority to the academic responsibilities of students in planning and promoting our student activities.
- When promoting our ministry, we will clearly identify ourselves and our affiliation. All advertising will clearly identify our sponsoring religious or spiritual organization.
In our relationship with the University
- We view ourselves as cooperative and active members of the university community, and encourage our students to do so as well.
- When exercising our freedom to question or dispute programs or policies, we will do so in a peaceful and professional manner.
- We will encourage our religious or spiritual student organizations to know and follow procedures and policies as stated in the TU Student Code of Conduct.
In Our Relationship With Each Other
- We affirm the value of a collegial relationship between RSCC members.
- The RSCC will assume the sincerity and good will of its members. In case of reported misunderstandings, we will assume proper motives and investigate with such expectations. We will grant one another the benefit of the doubt.
- We will create dialogue among RSCC members in order to increase understanding and mutual support of common mission to serve the university community.
- We will seek to represent the beliefs of other faiths accurately.
- Overall, we will seek cooperation whenever possible. We will respect the agenda of each campus ministry. We will treat one another as we would like to be treated.