A roundup of action taken by the council on 27 April.
C ouncil on Legislation representatives Tuesday endorsed the concept of a new type of Rotary club, a satellite club, that would allow prospective members to become Rotarians through a host club while they wait for the satellite to gain enough members for its own charter.
Representatives voted in favor of asking the RI Board of Directors to propose legislation for the next Council on creating satellite clubs. Satellite clubs would differ from provisional clubs because there would be no limit to how long they could exist before gaining enough members for a charter. Also, prospective members would be considered full-fledged members of the host club until the satellite club gained its charter.
"Provisional clubs often fail to achieve the number of members they need to get their charter. Years of work by the host club go to waste and the provisional members often lose interest in Rotary, never to return," said John C. Williams of District 1150 (Wales), which proposed the legislation. "If satellite clubs fail, the members are far more likely to remain Rotarians because they are members of the host club."
Representatives were in a far less charitable mood, however, toward other proposals designed to create new membership categories. The Council
- Rejected a measure to create a category of corporate membership that would allow corporate members to designate up to three other people from their business or profession to attend meetings in their place for purposes of meeting attendance requirements. The corporate member would pay dues for the additional people, but they would not be considered members. Proponents said the measure would attract executives of large industries or big businesses who do not have time to attend regular meetings. But opponents felt the new category would change the nature of Rotary membership. “Rotarians are human beings. I have never yet seen a corporation walk through my club’s door to be a member,” said Kari Tallberg of District 1420 (Estonia and Finland).
- Rejected proposals to ask the Board to draft legislation for the next Council that would create associate memberships. Associate members would pay reduced dues of 50 percent, but would not have voting rights. The associates would have to become full members after two years. Opponents felt the measure would create two classes of members. Supporters felt the new category would allow prospective members, deterred by cost, to join for up to two years and learn more about the organization.
- Approved a measure that would preclude clubs from limiting membership based on sexual orientation. Enactment 10-40 amends the RI Bylaws, which already provide that clubs cannot limit membership on the basis of gender, race, color, creed, or national origin.
- Approved two measures that would make it harder for a member to transfer to a new club for reasons other than relocation. The first measure would preclude admission of a Rotarian who has terminated membership in one club to another until the former club provides the new club with a certificate confirming previous membership. The second measure would establish a 90-day waiting period, during which the new club could confirm that the prospective member has no outstanding dues or liabilities to the former club. (On Friday, the Council ammended the measure to include current and former Rotarians transfering to a new club.)
Read about the Council's action on dues increase.