COL Highlights

PDG A S Venkatesh (right) at the COL session.

Representatives from the Districts worldwide gathered at Chicago to review and vote on proposed legislations at the COL held from April 11 to 15. It discussed over 180 proposals during the week. An account.

  • RI dues to increase, by $4 a year, over three years. This means you pay $60 in 2017–18, $64 in 2018–19 and $68 in 2019–20. Welcoming the increase, PRIP Rajendra K Saboo said: “I come from a part of the world where $4 is not a small amount. But I ask ‘What has Rotary given me … Rotary has made me a better person. What price do you put on that?’” RI Treasurer Per Høyen and Vice President Greg E Podd have also favoured the rise.
  • Clubs get freedom on when and how often they meet, mode of meeting, etc. At least two meetings a month mandatory. Six membership criteria replaced with the simple requirement that a member should have good character, good reputation in the chosen profession and is willing to serve the community. The clubs can now “choose their own members without a checklist,” which encourages membership growth. Rotaractors can now join a Rotary club as ‘associate members.’
  • Mandatory subscription to at least one official Rotary magazine reinforced. Rotarians living at the same address can subscribe jointly to a regional magazine.
  • A separate Council on Resolutions (COR) will be created leaving the COL free to deal exclusively with enactments. The COR will meet online once a year to make recommendations, to the Board.
  • Instead of 15 committees, smaller clubs to have five committees — club administration, membership, public relations, TRF and service projects.
  • References to admission fees in the bylaws will now be removed.
  • More clarity on the role of the RI president to serve as motivational leader for Rotarians and act as chair of the Board.
  • A new club will now need a minimum of 20 members to get chartered.
  • Smaller districts merger approved, as also dividing larger ones. Of the 535 districts, 8 have fewer than 1,000 members. Board to get more flexibility to do so.
  • The COL approves creation of Membership Committee that would be appointed by the Board, with eight members on a three-year term.
  • In an eco-friendly measure, the COL did away with the rule that 10 printed copies of proposed legislation should be sent to DGs and COL members, as they are available online.
  • It affirmed polio eradication as RI’s priority.

Voted Down

  • Extension of RI Directors’ term to three years.
  • That a DG needs to be a Rotarian for at least nine years instead of the present seven years.
  • Changing the size of the Council —Proposal for nine representatives from each zone rejected, as also suggestion that two Districts send one representative to COL.
  • Both resolutions to raise or lower the age for entry to Rotary from the present 30, to 35 or 25 rejected.


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