Who We Are
Every ARC member pledges:
- to serve the University of Michigan community by advocating for the moral, religious, and spiritual dimensions of university life;
- to support the university's exercise of free inquiry and its pursuit of the highest standards of intellectual and moral excellence;
- to represent one's own community and its purposes with honesty and integrity while treating other ministries and traditions with respect; and
- to safeguard the religious freedom, human dignity, and personal conscience of all individuals in the course of the activities and mission of ARC and its member communities.
Constitution of the Association of Religious Counselors (ARC) at the University of Michigan
ARC is a voluntary association of persons who are:
- Advisors of recognized religious groups at the U of M
- Staff persons of recognized religious organizations and campus ministries at the U of M
- Leaders of congregations whose ministry relates to university faculty, staff and students
- Persons in the U of M whose professional activity relates to ARC.
The ARC Executive Committee grants membership to ARC annually according to the membership criteria in the ARC Constitution (and supporting documents). A person applying for membership:
- Must have a statement from a sponsoring organization indicating that he/she is appointed by that group to work on campus
- Must have a statement of purpose of the group which must be filed with ARC and the statement must be consistent with the objectives of ARC
- Must pay annual dues.
- Will be given a copy of this Constitution (and supporting documents) and must be able to agree to it.
The privilege to vote on the Constitution, the Bylaws, and election of officers is ensured by regular participation in ARC meetings (at least three meetings in a given year).
ARC is a society composed of the above-defined persons, whose purposes are:
- To provide occasions for the exchange of ideas and concerns a) among the various faith perspectives of ARC members
b) relating to religious and ethical needs on campus
(ARC hopes to build trust and communication by interaction among the various religious counselors and group advisors).
- To provide opportunities for the exploration of cooperative approaches to religious work among students and faculty.
- To maintain mutually helpful relationships between ARC and the University and to speak to the University community when it deems appropriate.
- To provide for accountability among members for methods and programs of individual members or groups (See Executive Committee #3 below).
In order to safeguard and promote the professional relationships among the members of ARC, the Association underscores the importance of care, integrity, and respect among the various religious traditions that constitute ARC.
ARC recognizes the differences that exist among religious groups and the desire to promote one’s message. We encourage honest dialogue, open discussion, and vigorous debate of our various convictions and points of view.
However, recognizing the detrimental effect on our relationships and our mutual collaboration of dishonest, manipulative, coercive or disrespectful methods of presenting one’s message, members of ARC agree not to engage in such methods. Where tensions or perceived offenses arise, we will aim to speak to one another directly about them or address the issues through the mediation of the Executive Committee of ARC.
Methods of Procedure
- ARC will ordinarily meet once per month from September through May.
- Special meetings may be called at the request of the University administration, the ARC Executive Committee, or any five members of ARC who come from five different organizations.
- Voting is by a majority of the members at a meeting where a particular question is discussed and decided. Information about matters of great importance or controversy will be sent to ARC members before the meeting at which they will be discussed.
- The Association shall elect annually a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. To provide continuity, the Vice President (or another returning Executive Committee member) shall ordinarily become President.
- The Association shall elect five members-at-large who, together with the officers and immediate past President, shall constitute the Executive Committee (EC). The EC shall be selected in such a manner as to represent as nearly as possible the various religious traditions of the Association.
- The EC shall meet as necessary (ordinarily meet once per month) to plan programs and to carry on the business of ARC.
- The EC shall also provide the opportunity to hear concerns or complaints from any group(s) or person(s) about the activities of religious groups on campus, thus providing some form of accountability within ARC. These concerns could be brought to ARC at its meetings. When a complaint about the behavior of an ARC member (with respect to the norms outlined in this constitution and supporting documents) has been brought to the EC for mediation, the EC shall be empowered to determine whether that member is in violation of the terms of membership. If the EC concludes that such a violation has occurred, the EC shall revoke that individual’s rights and privileges of membership.
Revised March 8, 2002
Article I. Purposes of Association of Religious Counselors (ARC)
The Association of Religious Counselors (ARC) is an association of representatives from religious and spiritual communities that serve the students, staff, and faculty of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (UM). Committed to the central role of religion and spirituality in the development of the whole human being - body, heart, mind, and soul - ARC advocates for the religious, spiritual, and ethical dimensions of university life. ARC provides its members opportunities for networking, education, and advocacy. In addition, ARC facilitates communication and cooperation between its members and the University of Michigan. ARC is guided by understanding and respect for the societal, cultural, and religious diversity of the student community and the university environment that embraces it.
Article II. Purposes of the ARC Executive Board
The purposes of the ARC Executive Board, hereafter the Board, are:
- To serve as representatives of ARC to the University community
- To prepare events and programs for the ARC members
- To advocate for the religious, spiritual, and ethical dimensions of university life
- To foster communication opportunities for religious counselors on campus
Article III. Membership
Section 1: Persons eligible for ARC membership are those designated as counselors for their organization and are:
- Advisors of recognized religious groups at the UM, or
- Staff persons of recognized religious organizations and campus ministries at the UM, or
- Leaders of congregations whose ministry relates to university faculty, staff, and students, or
- Persons in the UM whose professional activity relates to ARC, or
- Others accepted into membership by the ARC Executive Board on an ad-hoc basis.
Section 2: ARC members commit to:
- serve the UM community by advocating for the moral, religious, and spiritual dimensions of university life;
- support the university's exercise of free inquiry and its pursuit of the highest standards of intellectual and moral excellence;
- represent one's own community and its purposes with honesty and integrity while treating other ministries and traditions with respect;
- safeguard the religious freedom, human dignity, and personal conscience of all individuals in the course of the activities and mission of ARC and its member communities.
Section 3: Establishing and maintaining ARC membership.
- Members must pay an annual registration fee, as determined by the Executive Board, in order to gain membership to ARC.
- The Executive Board may waive membership fee requirements in specific cases.
- Members commit to participating in at least three ARC programs during the course of an academic year.
- Failure to attend three programs in an academic year incurs probation. Failure to attend three programs the following year will result in revocation of ARC privileges, until the member attends at least 3 programs.
- Membership may be revoked by the decision of the Board if it is determined that the member violated ARC commitments in Article III, Section 2.
Article IV: Composition, Election, and Operation of ARC Executive Board
Section 1: The Board shall be composed of the following:
- ARC members in good standing.
- A minimum of five members are required to create a working Executive Board, and the Board should not be larger than ten members.
- The Board should be composed of a Chair and two Co-chairs, a Vice-chair, and other positions as determined by the Board. (See description below.)
- The Board will also insure that secretarial and treasurer functions are assigned to ARC Board members or ARC staff.
Section 2: Election of the Board shall be as follows:
- Any member of ARC may be eligible to run for a seat on the Board.
- Members may be nominated by the Board or through an annual nominations process to take place at the end of the academic year.
- In the event of more nominations than spaces, the outgoing Board will determine the composition of the incoming Board by majority vote.
- If a seat is vacant for one semester or less, then that seat shall be temporarily filled by an appointee of the Chair/Co-chair.
Section 3: Voting and Quorum
- All members of the Board shall have one vote. Unless otherwise described herein, all the decisions of the Board shall require a majority of votes of the members constituting a simple majority.
- A simple majority of Board members shall constitute a quorum.
Section 4: Meetings
The Board shall meet no less than 6 times a year, unless determined otherwise by the Board by a two-thirds (2/3) vote.
Section 5: Notice
Meeting dates and times during the year shall be decided upon by the Board before the beginning of the Fall semester. The full schedule will be sent by email to ARC members within two weeks after the dates and times have been decided upon.
Section 6: Attendance
- It is expected that all Board members will regularly attend meetings.
- Non attendance of three (3) scheduled meetings without sufficient reason within the academic year will be grounds for removal from the Board
- Other ARC members and members of the campus community are welcome to attend Board meetings with the consent of the Chair/Co-chair.
Section 7: Terms of Membership
- All members of the Board shall be elected for a two-year term. After serving their first two terms (four years), Board members have the option of running for a third term.
- After three terms' consecutive membership, the board member must take a hiatus of at least one year before seeking to serve again on the Board.
Section 8: Removal
A member of the Board may be removed from office upon a vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the Board.
Article V: Officers of the Executive Board
Section 1: The Board shall have the following officers:
- Chair/Co-chair: The Chair/Co-chair shall convene and chair Board meetings. He/she/they shall delegate and appoint Board members to work on Board tasks and functions as needed. Chair/Co-chair shall act as representatives for ARC on broader campus fora.
- Vice Chair: The Vice Chair shall preside at Board meetings and shall assume the duties of the Chair/Co-chair in his/their absence.
- Secretary: The Board shall designate someone to act as a secretary. This person shall attend meetings of the Board and shall keep a record of the minutes of all meetings and shall notify all Executive Board members of upcoming meetings.
- Treasurer: The Board shall designate someone to act as treasurer. The Treasurer shall, subject to the direction of the Board, keep full and accurate accounts of receipts and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board, the Constitution, or these By-Laws.
Section 2: Method for Election of the Officers of the Board:
Each year, members of the incoming Executive Board shall meet to elect or appoint officers from within the Board, beginning with the Chair, to serve one-year terms.
Article VI: Board Expenditures
- Expenditures for ARC programming in excess of $250.00 should be agreed upon by a majority of the Board.
- Proposals for funding from ARC members need to be presented in writing for discussion at a Board meeting.
- If more immediate decisions for expenditures are necessary, before the next Board meeting, the Chair/Co-chair will consult with the Board to establish whether there is a majority support for the expenditure and can approve that expenditure.
Article VII: Amendments of Revisions of the By-Laws
- A quorum of 2/3 of the Board membership is required to pass an amendment to the by-laws.
- When possible, the Board shall provide notice to the general ARC membership of upcoming changes in ARC By-Laws to solicit the input of feedback.