Posted by John Borst on Apr 27, 2019
#1 in a Series
Making changes to Rotary’s CONSTITUTION and STANDARD ROTARY CLUB CONSTITUTION was impossible in 2019 as the 532 delegates rejected all 15 proposed changes while two were withdrawn.
The data shared below, however, must have an error present because items 19-10, 11, 12 and 15 show the resolution as the yes votes outnumbering the no votes yet the item was rejected. I attempted to contact Constitutional Services by phone however, the staff person was not in. I have since posting this, been informed that a super-majority of two-thirds was necessary to change a "Constitutional" item. It would have been appropriate for a note to be added to explain that on the PDF.
 
Obviously, an earlier generation of Rotarians wanted to make it nearly impossible to change what they had created. This is an era of unprecedented stress and strain on all types of enterprises. It is a legacy that has the potential to do real harm to Rotary. In effect we change while the Constitution governing us lags behind. It is a situation which in the long term is unsustainable. 
 
 
Screen shot of the PDF downloaded from Rotary International Website
 
The magnitude of rejection is stunning, when given the reverence that we all have for the Four-way Test, even a statement about it being our “ethical guide” could not make it into the preamble. Why would a key reality about Rotary be rejected? It would seem that the battles of yesterday are alive and well today.
 
Delegates also rejected three different attempts to incorporate environmental sustainability into the Constitution and Standard Rotary Club Constitution. Given the enthusiasm of the attendees at PP Ian Riseley’s Peace Building Conference “Environmental Sustainability and Peace,”one has to wonder just how out of touch were the delegates to COL.
 
Similarly, attempts to incorporate peace and literacy into our objects were rebuffed. Certainly, there is a gap between where the “Future Vision” has already taken us and where our Constitution stands. An attempt to bring congruity between our Strategic Plan and our Constitution in Resolution 19-17 by incorporating our Five “Core Values” also failed.
 
It takes three years to even get a resolution (the official term is the antiquated term is “enactment”) to the floor. One has to wonder why individuals, clubs and districts even bother. Maybe the drop in resolutions is a symptom of something bigger occurring.
 
The following chart is based on the “Preliminary Vote Results” and the “Proposed Resolutions” documents (PDFs). I have included the key proposal for each resolution so you can you see for yourself what was proposed. Words underlined and italicized are proposed additions, while words struck out are proposed deletions.
 
 
PRELIMINARY VOTING RESULTS FOR 2019 COUNCIL ON LEGISLATION
01-17
Avenues of Service, Object of Rotary, and Core Values
YES
NO
RESULT
19-01
To amend the preamble to the Avenues of Service
Article 6  Five Avenues of Service
Rotary’s Five Avenues of Service are the philosophical and practical framework for the work of this Rotary club.  The Four-Way Test is the ethical guide for all Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships.
213
282
Rejected
19-02
To amend the second Avenue of Service
2.            Vocational Service, the second Avenue of Service, has the purpose of promoting high ethical standards in businesses and professions, recognizing the worthiness of all dignified occupations, and fostering the ideal of service in the pursuit of all vocations. The role of members includes conducting themselves and their businesses in accordance with Rotary’s principles and lending their vocational skills to club-developed projects in order to address the issues and needs of society.
134
362
Rejected
19-03
To amend the third Avenue of Service
3.Community Service, the third Avenue of Service, comprises varied efforts that members make, sometimes in conjunction with others, to improve the quality of life of those who live within this club’s locality or municipality, in particular through the preservation of the environment through compliance with rules that allow access to clean water, to sanitation, to clean air, and to healthy nutrition.
120
381
Rejected
19-04
To amend the third Avenue of Service
3.               Community Service, the third Avenue of Service, comprises varied efforts that members make, sometimes in conjunction with others, to improve the quality of life of those who live within this club’s locality or municipality. This includes encouraging agriculture and farming by making various efforts, including the creation of year-round water resources, as well as research into and development of agriculture production.
69
430
Rejected
19-05
To amend the fourth Avenue of Service
4.               International Service, the fourth Avenue of Service, comprises those activities (including Rotary Peace Centers, exchange programs, Global Networking Groups, Inter-Country Committees, twin clubs) that members do to advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace by fostering acquaintance with people of other countries, their cultures, customs, accomplishments, aspirations, and problems, through reading and correspondence and through cooperation in all club activities and projects designed to help people in other lands.
 
157
344
Rejected
19-06
To facilitate the fourth Avenue of Service
16.010.3. Pairing Districts.
Every district shall be paired with a district from another country by the board in order to advance international understanding, goodwill and peace by fostering acquaintance with people of other countries.
4.               International Service, the fourth Avenue of Service, comprises those activities that members do to advance international understanding, goodwill, and peace by fostering acquaintance with people of other countries, their cultures, customs, accomplishments, aspirations, and problems, through reading and correspondence and through cooperation in all club activities and projects designed to help people in other lands.  Every district shall be paired to a district from another country for a period of three years in a manner determined by the board.
 
 
withdrawn
19-07
To amend the third, fourth, and fifth Avenues of Service
3.               Community Service, the third Avenue of Service, comprises varied efforts that members make, sometimes in conjunction with others, to improve the quality of life of those who live within this club’s locality or municipality by striving for positive peace and peace literacy in the community.
4.               International Service, the fourth Avenue of Service, comprises those activities that members do to advance international understanding, goodwill, positive peace and peace literacy by fostering acquaintance with people of other countries, their cultures, customs, accomplishments, aspirations, and problems, through reading and correspondence and through cooperation in all club activities and projects designed to help people in other lands.
5.            Youth Service, the fifth Avenue of Service, recognizes the positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, involvement in community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster positive world peace, peace literacy, and cultural understanding.
154
353
rejected
19-08
To amend the Object of Rotary
Article 4 Object
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
First. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
Second. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each
Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
Third. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
Fourth. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
 
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service in each Rotarian and to apply the ideal of service in one’s professional and personal life.
We believe that this application will ultimately lead us to achieve mutual understanding, goodwill, and peace among all people.
 
The core values of Rotary are service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership.
 
Rotary’s ideal of service is a philosophy of life that originates from the good intent of people to be compassionate and helpful to others. It undertakes to
reconcile the ever-present conflict between the desire to profit for one’s self and the duty and consequent impulse to serve others. This philosophy is the philosophy of service - “Service Above Self” - and is based on the practical ethical principle that “One Profits Most Who Serves Best.”
 
And to amend the STANDARD ROTARY CLUB CONSTITUTION as follows (pages 87-88 MOP)
 
Article 5 Object-same as above
 
111
396
Rejected
19-09
To amend the Object of Rotary
Article 4  Object
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
First.   The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
Second. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
Third.   The application of the ideal of service with high ethical standards in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
Fourth. Third.   The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service above self.
 
And to amend the STANDARD ROTARY CLUB CONSTITUTION as follows (pages 87-88 MOP)
Article 5  Object – same as above
 
221
280
rejected
19-10
To amend the preamble to the Object of Rotary
To amend the CONSTITUTION
Article 4  Object
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise activities and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
And to amend the STANDARD ROTARY CLUB CONSTITUTION
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise activities and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
 
 
320
184
Rejected*
(needs
2/3rd majority)
63.4%
19-11
To amend the preamble and the fourth Object of Rotary
Article 4  Object
The Object of Rotary is for all Rotarians to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
Fourth. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons Rotarians united in the ideal of service.
and to amend the STANDARD ROTARY CLUB CONSTITUTION
Article 5  Object -same as above
 
254
249
Rejected*
(needs
2/3rd majority)
50.5%
19-12
To amend the second Object of Rotary
Second.   High ethical standards Ethics and integrity in business and  professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful  occupations; and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
282
226
Rejected*
(needs
2/3rd majority)
55.8%
19-13
To amend the fourth Object of Rotary
Fourth- The advancement of international understanding, environmental protection and sustainable development, goodwill, and peace  through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
213
296
Rejected
19-14
To amend the fourth Object of Rotary
Fourth- The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service via the inter-country committees.
114
396
Rejected
19-15
To add a fifth part to the Object of Rotary
Fifth- The positive change implemented by youth and young adults through leadership development activities, involvement in community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich and foster world peace and cultural understanding.
296
214
Rejected*
(needs
2/3rd majority)
57.8%
`19-16
To add a fifth part to the Object of Rotary
Fifth he preservation of Planet Earth in its diversity.
 
 
Withdrawn
19-17
To add Rotary’s core values to the RI Constitution and the Standard Rotary Club Constitution
Rotary’s core values are the guiding principles of its organizational culture and include guidelines as to what Rotarians should prioritize and what actions they should take. These core values are:
  • Fellowship
  • Integrity
  • Diversity
  • Service
  • Leadership
218
285
Rejected
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