Draft Constitution (2017) Articles 15-23
Article 15 Duration of Membership
Section 1 — Period. Membership shall continue during the existence of this club unless terminated as hereinafter provided.
Section 2 — Automatic Termination.
(a) Membership Qualifications. Membership shall automatically terminate when a member no longer meets the membership qualifications, except that
(1) the board may grant a member moving from the locality of this club or the surrounding area a special leave of absence not to exceed one (1) year to enable the member to visit and become known to a Rotary club in the new community if the member continues to meet all conditions of club membership;
(2) the board may allow a member moving from the locality of this club or the surrounding area to retain membership if the member continues to meet all conditions of club membership.
(b) How to Rejoin. When the membership of a member has terminated as provided in subsection (a) of this section, such person, provided such person’s membership was in good standing at the time of termination, may make new application for membership, under the same or another classification.
(c) Termination of Honorary Membership. Honorary membership shall automatically terminate at the end of the term for such membership as determined by the board. However, the board may extend an honorary membership for an additional period. The board may revoke an honorary membership at any time.
Section 3 — Termination - Non-payment of Dues.
(a) Process. Any member failing to pay dues within thirty (30) days after the prescribed time shall be notified in writing by the secretary at the member’s last known address. If the dues are not paid on or before ten (10) days of the date of notification, membership may terminate, subject to the discretion of the board.
(b) Reinstatement. The board may reinstate the former member to membership upon the former member’s petition and payment of all indebtedness to this club. However, no former member may be reinstated to active membership if the former member’s classification is in conflict with article 11, section 2.
Section 4 — Termination Non-attendance. [See article 7 for exceptions to the provisions of this section.]
(a) Attendance Percentages. A member must
(1) attend or make up at least 50 percent of club regular meetings in each half of the year; or satellite club meetings, or engage in club projects, other events and activities for at least 12 hours in each half of the year; or a proportionate combination of both,
(2) attend at least 30 percent of this club’s regular meetings or satellite club meetings, or engage in club projects, other events and activities in each half of the year (assistant governors, as defined by the board of directors of RI, shall be excused from this requirement).
If a member fails to attend as required, the member’s membership shall be subject to termination unless the board consents to such non-attendance for good cause.
(b) Consecutive Absences. Unless otherwise excused by the board for good and sufficient reason or pursuant to article 12, sections 3 or 4, each member who fails to attend or make up four consecutive regular meetings shall be informed by the board that the member’s non-attendance may be considered a request to terminate membership in this club. Thereafter, the board, by a majority vote, may terminate the member’s membership.
Section 5 — Termination Other Causes.
(a) Good Cause. The board may terminate the membership of any member who ceases to have the qualifications for membership in this club or for any good cause by a vote of not less than two-thirds of the board members, at a meeting called for that purpose. The guiding principles for this meeting shall be article 10, section 1; The Four-Way Test; and the high ethical standards that one should hold as a Rotary club member.
(b) Notice. Prior to taking any action under subsection (a) of this section, the member shall be given at least ten (10) days’ written notice of such pending action and an opportunity to submit a written answer to the board. The member shall have the right to appear before the board to state the member’s case. Notice shall be by personal delivery or by registered letter to the member’s last known address.
(c) Filling Classification.When the board has terminated the membership of a member as provided for in this section, this club shall not elect a new member under the former member’s classification until the time for hearing any appeal has expired and the decision of this club or of the arbitrators has been announced. However, this provision shall not apply if, by election of a new member, the number of members under the said classification would remain within provided limitations even if the board’s decision regarding termination is reversed.
Section 6 — Right to Appeal, Mediate or Arbitrate Termination.
(a) Notice. Within seven (7) days after the date of the board’s decision to terminate membership, the secretary shall give written notice of the decision to the member. Within fourteen (14) days after the date of the notice, the member may give written notice to the secretary of the intention to appeal to the club, request mediation, or to arbitrate as provided in article 19.
(b) Date for Hearing of Appeal. In the event of an appeal, the board shall set a date for the hearing of the appeal at a regular club meeting to be held within twenty-one (21) days after receipt of the notice of appeal. At least five (5) days’ written notice of the meeting and its special business shall be given to every member. Only members shall be present when the appeal is heard.
(c) Mediation or Arbitration. The procedure utilized for mediation or arbitration shall be as provided in article 19.
(d) Appeal. If an appeal is taken, the action of the club shall be final and binding on all parties and shall not be subject to arbitration.
(e) Decision of Arbitrators or Umpire. If arbitration is requested, the decision reached by the arbitrators or, if they disagree, by the umpire shall be final and binding on all parties and shall not be subject to appeal.
(f) Unsuccessful Mediation. If mediation is requested but is unsuccessful, the member may appeal to the club or arbitrate as provided in subsection (a) of this section.
Section 7 — Board Action Final.
Board action shall be final if no appeal to this club is taken and no arbitration is requested.
Section 8 — Resignation.
The resignation of any member from this club shall be in writing, addressed to the president or secretary. The resignation shall be accepted by the board if the member has no indebtedness to this club.
Section 9 — Forfeiture of Property Interest.
Any person whose club membership has been terminated in any manner shall forfeit all interest in any funds or other property belonging to this club if, under local laws, the member may have acquired any right to them upon joining the club.
Section 10 — Temporary Suspension.
Notwithstanding any provision of this constitution, if in the opinion of the board
(a) credible accusations have been made that a member has refused or neglected to comply with this constitution, or has been guilty of conduct unbecoming a member or prejudicial to the interests of the club; and
(b) those accusations, if proved, constitute good cause for terminating the membership of the member; and
(c) it is desirable that no action should be taken in respect of the membership of the member pending the outcome of a matter or an event that the board considers should properly occur before such action is taken by the board; and
(d) that in the best interests of the club and without any vote being taken as to his or her membership, the member’s membership should be temporarily suspended and the member should be excluded from attendance at meetings and other activities of this club and from any office or position the member holds within the club;
the Board may, by a vote of not less than two-thirds of the board, temporarily suspend the member as aforesaid for a reasonable period of time not to exceed 90 daysand on such further conditions as the Board determines.
A suspended member may appeal or refer to mediation or arbitration the suspension as provided in article 15, section 6. During the suspension, the member shall be excused from fulfilling attendance responsibilities. Prior to the expiration of the suspension period, the board must either proceed to terminate the membership of the suspended Rotarian or reinstate the suspended Rotarian to full regular status.
Article 16 Community, National, and International Affairs
Section 1 — Proper Subjects. The merits of any public question involving the general welfare of the community, the nation, and the world are of concern to the members of this club and shall be proper subjects of fair and informed study and discussion at a club meeting for the enlightenment of its members in forming their individual opinions. However, this club shall not express an opinion on any pending controversial public measure.
Section 2 — No Endorsements. This club shall not endorse or recommend any candidate for public office and shall not discuss at any club meeting the merits or demerits of any such candidate.
Section 3 — Non-Political.
(a) Resolutions and Opinions. This club shall neither adopt nor circulate resolutions or opinions, and shall not take action dealing with world affairs or international policies of a political nature.
(b) Appeals. This club shall not direct appeals to clubs, peoples, or governments, or circulate letters, speeches, or proposed plans for the solution of specific international problems of a political nature.
Section 4 — Recognizing Rotary’s Beginning.
The week of the anniversary of Rotary’s founding (23 February) shall be known as World Understanding and Peace Week. During this week, this club will celebrate Rotary service, reflect upon past achievements, and focus on programs of peace, understanding, and goodwill in the community and throughout the world.
Article 17 Rotary Magazines
Section 1 — Mandatory Subscription. Unless, in accordance with the bylaws of RI, this club is excused by the board of directors of RI from complying with the provisions of this article, each member shall, for the duration of membership, subscribe to the official magazine or to the magazine approved and prescribed for this club by the board of directors of RI. Two Rotarians residing at the same address have the option to subscribe jointly to the official magazine or the Rotary magazine approved and prescribed for their club or clubs. The subscription shall be paid on such dates as established by the board for the payment of per capita dues for the duration of membership in this club.
Section 2 — Subscription Collection. The subscription shall be collected by this club from each member in advance and remitted to the Secretariat of RI or to the office of such regional publications as may be determined by the board of directors of RI.
Article 18 Acceptance of Object and Compliance with Constitution and Bylaws
By payment of dues, a member accepts the principles of Rotary as expressed in its object and submits to and agrees to comply with and be bound by the constitution and bylaws of this club, and on these conditions alone is entitled to the privileges of this club. Each member shall be subject to the terms of the constitution and bylaws regardless of whether such member has received copies of them.
Article 19 Arbitration and Mediation
Section 1 — Disputes.
Should any dispute, other than as to a decision of the board, arise between any current or former member(s) and this club, any club officer or the board, on any account whatsoever which cannot be settled under the procedure already provided for such purpose, the dispute shall, upon a request to the secretary by any of the disputants, either be resolved by mediation or settled by arbitration.
Section 2 — Date for Mediation or Arbitration.
In the event of mediation or arbitration, the board shall set a date for the mediation or arbitration, in consultation with disputants, to be held within twenty-one (21) days after receipt of the request for mediation or arbitration.
Section 3 — Mediation.
The procedure for such mediation shall be that recognized by an appropriate authority with national or state jurisdiction or be that recommended by a competent professional body whose recognized expertise covers alternative dispute resolution or be that recommended by way of documented guidelines determined by the board of RI or the trustees of The Rotary Foundation. Only a member of a Rotary club may be appointed as mediator(s). The club may request the district governor or the governor’s representative to appoint a mediator who is a member of a Rotary club and who has appropriate mediation skills and experience.
(a) Mediation Outcomes. The outcomes or decisions agreed between the parties as a result of mediation shall be recorded and copies held by each party, the mediator(s) and one copy given to the board and to be held by the secretary. A summary statement of outcomes acceptable to the parties involved shall be prepared for the information of the club. Either party, through the president or secretary, may call for further mediation if either party has retracted significantly from the mediated position.
(b) Unsuccessful Mediation. If mediation is requested but is unsuccessful, any disputant may request arbitration as provided in section 1 of this article.
Section 4 — Arbitration.
In the event of a request for arbitration, each party shall appoint an arbitrator and the arbitrators shall appoint an umpire. Only a member of a Rotary club may be appointed as umpire or as arbitrator.
Section 5 — Decision of Arbitrators or Umpire.
If arbitration is requested, the decision reached by the arbitrators or, if they disagree, by the umpire shall be final and binding on all parties and shall not be subject to appeal.
Article 20 Bylaws
This club shall adopt bylaws not inconsistent with the constitution and bylaws of RI, with the rules of procedure for an administrative territorial unit where established by RI, and with this constitution, embodying additional provisions for the government of this club. Such bylaws may be amended from time to time as therein provided.
Article 21 Interpretation
Throughout this constitution, the terminology "mail," "mailing," and "ballot-by-mail" will include utilization of electronic mail (e-mail) and internet technology to reduce costs and increase responsiveness.
Article 22 Amendments
Section 1 — Manner of Amending.
Except as provided in section 2 of this article, this constitution may be amended only by the council on legislation in the same manner as is established in the bylaws of RI for the amendment of its bylaws.
Section 2 — Amending Article 2 and Article 4.
Article 2 (Name) and Article 4 (Locality of the Club) of the constitution shall be amended at any regular meeting of this club, a quorum being present, by the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of all voting members present and voting, provided that notice of such proposed amendment shall have been mailed to each member and to the governor at least ten (10) days before such meeting, and provided further, that such amendment shall be submitted to the board of directors of RI for its approval and shall become effective only when so approved. The governor may offer an opinion to the board of directors of RI regarding the proposed amendment.
Article 23 Incorporation
This corporation shall be a non-profit corporation. Its purpose shall be charitable and benevolent and to encourage, promote and extend the object of Rotary International, and to maintain the relations of a member club in Rotary International.
Insofar as the provisions of the law of the State of New South Wales under which this corporation is incorporated shall permit, this corporation shall be subject to the jurisdiction of Rotary International.