updated November 1, 2022

The purpose of the Student Senate is to promote the religious and social life of the community; to advocate concerns of academic and community issues; and to implement and supervise activities affecting the students of Union. The Student Senate is committed to maintaining the voice and participation of all diverse student communities and constituencies in the Seminary. It provides a forum in which students can reflect and act together for their benefit and for the benefit of the entire Seminary community.

  1. Who is in the Senate?
    1. Executive Team
      1. Co-Chairs
      2. Secretary
      3. Treasurer
      4. Ministers of Fun (2)
      5. Historian
    2. Caucuses / Clubs
    3. Representatives
    4. Committees
  2. How to Bring Topics to Senate Meetings:
    1. Senate Meeting
    2. Open Forum
  3. How to Implement your Ideas:
    1. Working with your Caucus
    2. Propose an Independent Project/Event
    3. How to Reserve a Room
    4. How to Spend Money

Who is in the Senate?

Executive Team


The Co-Chairs oversee everything across this document in addition to attending several meetings with staff and faculty. They meet with Abby at least twice a month. Please share your ideas and concerns at least 48 hours in advance to ensure they are discussed at these meetings.


The Secretary is responsible for taking notes at Senate meetings, running elections, and circulating announcements across our listserv. Please read the Election note here. The Fall elections are quickly approaching!


Self-explanatory, but the Treasurer is responsible for creating and managing the budget. Please review the Budget note here, and submit your caucus’s budget by September 23, 2022.

Ministers of Fun (2)

The Ministers of Fun are responsible for planning and hosting campus wide social events. If you have an idea (e.g., yoga classes, study breaks, walking tour), share your ideas with them.


The Historian is the most recent addition to the Executive team. They are responsible for managing Senate archives and documenting the history of our student body.

Caucuses / Clubs

Caucuses are generally centered around a shared identity, whereas clubs are centered around a shared interest. Both function to build community across campus and organize events for their membership.


Representatives oversee activities and events for their entire class. If there is an idea or concern that is specific to your class (e.g., 1st year MAR), they should be your first point of contact. From there, they will communicate with the executive team and/or appropriate administrators.


Students on committees meet with staff and administrators several times a year to discuss topics from Academic Affairs to Development. Please check the Senate website to note when these committees meet, and bring your ideas to the appropriate representative before that date.

How to Bring Topics to Senate Meetings:

Senate Meeting

Senate meetings are held on Wednesdays once a month from 2-4 pm. All Senate meetings in AY22-23 will be hybrid to ensure that our students studying remotely have an opportunity to participate.

The first part of Senate meetings is dedicated towards check-ins. The Secretary will receive and publish updates from other executive members, representatives, caucuses, and committees ahead of the meeting. Students may ask questions about these updates or other topics. Submit ideas to the agenda at least 24 hours in advance of the Senate meeting.

Open Forum

The second part of Senate meetings is an open-forum. Ideally, a student or group will bring an idea to the Executive team one week in advance. Topics can be geared towards our internal community (e.g., disability accommodations at UTS) or external community (e.g., abolition in NYC). Time slots will be assigned based on the number of requests.

If more than one group proposes a topic for a month’s Senate meeting, the Executive team will decide how to choose. It is possible multiple topics can be discussed or that some are pushed to the following month’s meeting.

How to Implement your Ideas:

Working with your Caucus

Bring your idea to your caucus, ideally at the beginning of the school year when budgets are drafted. If your idea pops up after budget submissions, no worries! Take a look at your caucus’s current budget and see if there are opportunities for co-sponsorship or external funding.

Propose an Independent Project/Event

If you have an idea outside of the purview of our caucuses, you can submit an idea using this proposal template. Co-chairs will review the idea with the executive team, Dean Abby, and appropriate administrators. Because meetings with the administration are monthly, biweekly at best, please start this process well in advance. Funding will be generally drawn from the Senate’s “special funding;” in rare cases, there may be available funding from administrative offices.

Please see how the executive decides what to (not) fund.

How to Reserve a Room

  1. Contact Shirley Arana asking if the room of interest is available for the time and day
  2. Submit this facilities form

How to Spend Money

The first day to spend money is September 1, 2022.

The last day to spend money is April 30, 2023.

Option 1: Preferred

Purchase your items from a vendor that can provide an invoice approximately two weeks in advance. Send the invoice to the treasurer who will complete the purchase and keep a copy of the receipt.

Option 2:

Purchase your items on a personal credit card and keep the receipts (an image is fine). Send the receipt to the treasurer who will submit this information to Alberta McCants. Alberta will request a reimbursement check from Union’s business office on your behalf. You will also need to fill out a W-9 and sign it so that they can be paid by the seminary for their purchases.

Reimbursement may take a few weeks, and that may introduce financial stress for those who use their personal credit cards. Therefore, we highly recommend option 1.

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