Rotaract Statement of Policy

(extracted from Rotary Code of Policies of June 2010, p. 289)

This document constitutes the codification of the general and permanent policies of Rotary International for the Rotaract program. The decisions of the RI Board, the RI Conventions, and the RI Councils on Legislation in establishing such policies have been collected and compiled since 1910.

The existence of such a statement will make it easier for members of the Board, and those charged with the responsibility to administer the policies, to be familiar with all general and permanent policies currently in force. This should provide an important source of information for Rotaract leaders like you.

  1. The Rotaract program was created by and is an activity of Rotary International, who holds authority for the establishment of constitutional provisions, organizational requirements, and standards of procedure, as well as the protection of the Rotaract name and emblem.

  2. A Rotaract club is a Rotary club-sponsored organization of young men and women between the ages of 18 and 30 whose purpose is to provide an opportunity for young men and women to enhance the knowledge and skills that will assist them in personal development, to address the physical and social needs of their communities, and to promote better relations between all people worldwide through a framework of friendship and service, and whose goals are:

    1. To develop professional and leadership skills;

    2. To emphasize respect for the rights of others, and to promote ethical standards and the dignity of all useful occupations;

    3. To provide opportunities for young people to address the needs and concerns of the community and our world;

    4. To provide opportunities for working in cooperation with sponsoring Rotary clubs;

    5. To motivate young people for eventual membership in Rotary.

  3. Rotaract club programming shall consist of professional development, leadership development, and service program development as outlined in the “Standard Rotaract Club Constitution.”

  4. A Rotaract club is organized, sponsored, and counseled by a Rotary club or clubs and is established following the endorsement of the governor upon certification by Rotary International; its existence depends upon the continued sponsorship of its sponsoring Rotary club and continued recognition by Rotary International.

  5. It is recommended, but not mandated, that new Rotaract clubs have a minimum of 15 charter members.

  6. Within the framework established by Rotary International, the sponsoring Rotary club is responsible for organizing the Rotaract club and providing it with guidance thereafter.

  7. Rotary clubs which sponsor Rotaract clubs are encouraged to invite Rotaractors on at least a quarterly basis to their regularly scheduled meetings, project planning meetings, and special events, and are encouraged to review Rotary club membership potential within their Rotaract clubs on a periodic basis.

  8. Rotaract clubs are encouraged to invite their sponsoring Rotary club to Rotaract club meetings, project planning meetings, and special events on at least a quarterly basis.

  9. Rotaract clubs are encouraged to develop lists of their club members who might hold a Rotary classification as well as maintain lists of current and past club members indicating their interest in Rotary service projects, both lists to be shared with their sponsoring Rotary club(s).

  10. Where the Rotaract club is university-based, control and counsel by the sponsoring Rotary club shall be exercised in full cooperation with the university authorities, with the understanding that such a club is subject to the same regulations and policies established by the authorities for all student organizations and  extracurricular activities of the university (or other institution of higher education.)

  11. All Rotaract club activities, projects and programs shall be conducted in harmony with the policies of Rotary International.

  12. There shall be a standard Rotaract club constitution prescribed by Rotary International and subject to amendment only by the Board of Directors of Rotary International. As a prerequisite of its organization and certification, each Rotaract club shall adopt the “Standard Rotaract Club Constitution” and all amendments.

  13. Each Rotaract club shall adopt bylaws not inconsistent with the “Standard Rotaract Club Constitution” and with policy established by Rotary International. Such bylaws shall be subject to the approval of the sponsoring Rotary club.

  14. A Rotaract club may be organized and sponsored jointly by more than one Rotary club under the following conditions:

    1. The governor must give his approval, stating in writing that, in his considered judgment, the best interests of the district, the Rotary clubs concerned and the Rotaract program would be served by the proposed joint sponsorship.

    2. The circumstances must be such that the organization of separate Rotaract clubs, each sponsored by a single Rotary club, would create an artificial division of what is essentially a single body of young adults within the community or university.

    3. A joint Rotaract committee must be created with effective representation from each of the sponsoring Rotary clubs.

  15. Each member of a Rotaract club, agrees to accept and to adhere to the provisions of the constitution and bylaws of his club.

  16. Membership in a Rotaract club shall be evidenced by Rotaract club membership identification cards supplied to Rotaract clubs by Rotary International.

  17. The Rotaract name and emblem are the property of Rotary International and shall be preserved for the exclusive use of those involved in the Rotaract program. When displayed by individual club members, the emblems may be used without further information. When the emblem is used to represent a club, the name of the club should appear with the emblem. Where a Rotary district exists, it may use the respective emblem but only in conjunction with reference to the district and its number.

  18. A Rotaract club member shall be entitled to use and display the Rotaract name and emblem in an appropriate and dignified manner during the period of his membership in a Rotaract club. He shall relinquish such entitlement upon termination of his membership in his Rotaract club or upon the termination of his Rotaract club.

  19. A Rotaract club may be terminated:

    1. By Rotary International, with or without the consent, approval or concurrence of the sponsoring Rotary club, for failure to function in accordance with its constitution, or for other cause.

    2. By its sponsoring Rotary club, after consultation with the governor and the District Rotaract Representative, or

    3. By the Rotaract club itself upon its own determination.

  20. Upon termination of a Rotaract club, all rights and privileges relating to the name and emblem shall be relinquished by the club and by its members individually and collectively. The Rotaract club shall relinquish all financial assets to the sponsoring Rotary club.

  21. As a matter of policy, the Board does not recognize the right of any individual or organization except RI to circularize Rotaract clubs for any commercial purpose, except in the case of Rotaractors who are responsible for organizing Rotaract club, district and multidistrict meetings.

  22. Governors are requested to appoint district Rotaract committees, composed of Rotarians from various parts of the district, to assist the governor in publicizing the Rotaract program, promoting the organization of new Rotaract clubs, and administering the program of Rotaract within the district. Where feasible and practicable in the appointment of district Rotaract committees, there should be provision for continuity of membership by appointing one or more members for a second term.

  23. Governors should appoint one joint district Rotaract committee composed of equal numbers of Rotarians and Rotaractors. The district Rotaract committee chair (a Rotarian) and the district Rotaract representative (a Rotaractor) should serve as co-chairs of this committee.

  24. District Rotaract organization and meetings beyond the club level:

    1. A district with two or more Rotaract clubs must elect a district Rotaract representative from among their membership. The method of election shall be determined by the Rotaract membership. As a qualification for election to district Rotaract representative, a person must have served as a Rotaract club president or as a member of the district Rotaract committee for one year.

    2. In a district with one Rotaract club, the district Rotaract representative shall be the most recent, available past Rotaract club president.

    3. The district Rotaract representative will be guided and counseled by the Rotary governor and should work with the district Rotaract committee and other appropriate Rotary district committees.

    4. The district Rotaract representative in conjunction with other district leaders, should:

      1. Develop and distribute a district Rotaract newsletter;

      2. Plan, arrange, and hold a district Rotaract conference;

      3. Encourage attendance and participation at the Rotary district conference;

      4. Conduct Rotaract promotion and extension activities throughout the district;

      5. Serve as Rotaract information liaison to the RI Secretariat for the district;

      6. Plan and implement service activities (if approved by three-fourths of the Rotaract clubs in the district);

      7. Provide advice and support to Rotaract clubs in implementing their projects;

      8. Help coordinate Rotary/Rotaract activities in the district;

      9. Coordinate public relations activities for Rotaract at the district level;

      10. Plan and implement a training session for Rotaract club officers in the district.

    5. The purpose of the district-wide meeting of Rotaract clubs is to promote communityservice projects, increase international understanding and enhance professional development in a context of friendship and camaraderie.

    6. No meeting of members of Rotaract clubs beyond the club level shall have any legislative authority nor shall be so organized as to give the appearance of having such authority. Nevertheless, such a meeting may include ideas which might be of value as advisory observations to those involved at the district or other levels of Rotaract administration.

    7. At a district Rotaract meeting, a three-fourths majority of the Rotaract clubs in a district may vote to undertake a district service project and to establish a district Rotaract service fund to raise funds for this project. Contributions to such a fund must be voluntary. Such a project and service fund must be approved by the governor, and specific plans and instructions for the administration of the district project and use of the fund must also have the approval of the governor and three-fourths of the Rotaract clubs in the district. The governor must appoint a district fund committee to be responsible for collecting and administering the district fund, such committee to be composed of Rotaractors from the district and at least one Rotarian from the district Rotaract committee. The district service fund must be kept in a bank account which clearly indicates that the fund is the property of the district Rotaract organization and not the personal property of any individual Rotaractor or Rotaract club.

    8. All district Rotaract activities shall be financed by the Rotaract clubs in the district. No expenses of district Rotaract club meetings shall be paid by Rotary International. The cost of such meetings shall be minimal and within the financial means of those participating.

  25. Rotaract activities beyond the district level

    1. Rotaract Multidistrict Service Projects. Rotaract-sponsored service projects involving clubs in two or more districts may be implemented provided that such projects

      1. are, in nature and scope, within the capability of the clubs and Rotaractors in the districts to undertake successfully without interfering with or detracting from the scope and effectiveness of club activities in furthering the program of Rotaract at the club level;

      2. shall not be undertaken initially unless each District Rotaract Representative concerned has agreed to such a joint project and then, only after approval of two-thirds of the clubs in each district;

      3. shall be undertaken with the approval of the governors concerned;

      4. shall be under the direct supervision of the District Rotaract Representatives concerned; the custody of all funds contributed or collected for such projects shall be the responsibility of the district representatives concerned, through a committee of Rotaractors from within the districts involved, who may be appointed to assist in administering any such project and related funds;

      5. shall be undertaken only after the District Rotaract Representatives have jointly secured in advance the authorization of the general secretary, acting on behalf of the Board, to undertake the project;

      6. shall involve the participation by Rotaract clubs and/or individual Rotaractors on a voluntary basis, clearly presented as such; the cost of participation by a club or individual Rotaractor, if any, should be kept to a minimum, and not be implicitly or directly made an obligation in the form of a per capita tax, or assessment or otherwise;

    2. Rotaract Multidistrict Information Organizations. Districts may develop a multidistrict organization for the purpose of disseminating information and facilitating communication between Rotaract clubs in the districts concerned, provided that

      1. there is no objection by the governors of each of the districts concerned;

      2. authorization is secured from the general secretary, acting on behalf of the RI Board of Directors, to develop and maintain such an organization;

      3. the organization complies with RI policy or is subject to termination of its status by the general secretary on behalf of the RI Board of Directors;

      4. Rotaract representatives of the districts concerned comprise the membership of such organizations. Each District Rotaract Representative may appoint a member for his/her district organization, as needed, to carry out the activities of the multidistrict organization;

      5. funds needed to implement the organization’s activities (i.e. production and distribution of regional club directories and newsletters, dissemination of Rotaract program information, general correspondence) shall be obtained on a voluntary basis only;

      6. the organization has no decision making or legislative powers, except for decisions concerning the activities of the organization, for which each member (District Rotaract Representative) shall have one vote.

    3. Rotaract Multidistrict Meetings

      1. Rotaract worldwide meetings shall require the approval of the host governor(s) and RI director for the region, and shall also require approval of the RI Board of Directors. Proposals for such meetings shall be submitted by the host District Rotaract Representative and the proposal shall describe date, location, facilities, participants, program, budget and include proof of adequate liability insurance;

      2. Rotaract multidistrict meetings (not at a worldwide level), shall require that the host District Rotaract Representative provide a copy of the meeting proposal which describes date, location, facilities, participants, program budget and includes proof of adequate liability insurance to the governors concerned, and the approval of the host governor. The District Rotaract Representative shall inform the RI director(s) for the region(s) and the general secretary of the event;

      3. Rotaract exchange teams are encouraged when undertaken in accordance with the guidelines established by the RI Board;

      4. as part of the official program of the annual RI Convention, a special Rotaract forum one day prior to the commencement of the convention shall be arranged and implemented by RI, to include discussion of issues identified by the RI Rotaract committee as important to Rotaractors;

      5. the Rotaract pre-convention forum may be used as an opportunity to informally gauge Rotaract opinion on policy or program matters, with each district represented having one vote. Any recommendations made at the pre-convention meeting shall be forwarded to the RI Rotaract committee for its review and consideration.

  26. Leadership Training

    1. All incoming Rotaract club officers shall be provided with Rotaract club officers leadership training at the district level, such training to include a one to two-day leadership training seminar facilitated by the district Rotaract committee chair and the district Rotaract representative for all incoming Rotaract club officers, directors, and committee chairs to be paid for by the sponsoring Rotary clubs, or where circumstances dictate, by a mutually agreed-upon financial arrangement involving the sponsoring Rotary clubs, Rotary district, and the Rotaract participants.

    2. Rotary districts shall provide leadership training of district Rotaract committees on a multidistrict basis.

  27. Financing the cost of the Rotaract program:

    1. Rotaract program financial policy includes the following:

      1. Rotary International shall provide for Rotaract activities at the international convention and shall provide program materials to district Rotaract chairs, representatives, and Rotaract clubs.

      2. No part of the expenses of meetings of Rotaract clubs or groups of Rotaract clubs shall be paid by Rotary International, with the exception of the annual Rotaract Pre-Convention Meeting.

      3. Any fees, dues or assessments on the membership of any Rotaract club shall be nominal and shall be only for the purpose of covering the cost of administering the club; funds for activities and projects undertaken by Rotaract clubs shall be raised by such clubs apart from such fees, dues or assessments and shall be placed into a separate account. A thorough audit by a qualified person shall be made once each year of all the club’s financial transactions.

      4. It is the responsibility of the Rotaract club to raise the funds necessary to carry out the program of the club.

      5. Rotary clubs and Rotary district conferences inviting members or Rotaract clubs to participate in the programs of such clubs and conferences should subscribe to sufficient trip, accident and liability insurance to protect the Rotary club or district conference against any possible legal or moral obligation and liability.

      6. Rotaract clubs should not make general solicitations for financial assistance from Rotary clubs or from other Rotaract clubs.

      7. Contributions to fund district Rotaract service projects must be voluntary and cannot be made enforceable upon the individual Rotaractor or Rotaract club.

  28. As a matter of principle, Rotaract clubs are not authorized to assume membership in or merge with other organizations regardless of the purpose of such organizations.