Often times, leadership is cast as a burden; various rulers opting for the tired line perhaps to throw ambitious younger folk off the scent and make them bored of the very thought. Well, in politics it usually works, because that’s where leadership and rulership have a very thin line separating them in definition.
In voluntary organizations however, it is expected that the blessings of leadership should be voluntarily accepted and customarily relinquished. The annual Rotary leadership changes have made sure of that- or have they? Largely, I would say it’s a resounding ‘yes’ but there are still pockets of clubs that have failed or refused to relinquish leadership and- while handing over the presidential chain for example, have failed, ignored or refused to relinquish the accompanying paperwork and documentation. So here’s to you Rotaract club members and board in all your capacities; the basics of how your club should look like.
It is my hope that club members can start taking a more active approach to calling their club leadership to account.
You may already know that if your club is chartered, it must be listed as an active club in the official Rotary website (www.rotary.org). In fact, all chartered clubs are listed prior to issuance of the charter certificate.
Upon being registered, one of the club members is appointed (by popular choice and ability) as charter president (CP) and this president has the permissions to update the club membership on this rotary website until the expiry of his/ her membership upon which he/ she shall log in and update the membership to indicate the next President. This helps to ensure that the next president gains Rotary permission to update the membership of the club for the duration of his/ her term and also let’s Rotary International know that the club is respectful of the single year rotational presidency.
If however this policy (regular updates) isn’t followed for a couple of years, the Rotaract club will be listed as inactive and delisted altogether. It would require a fresh registration and a new certificate issued for the club to be recognized as active again.
So, here’s the question members;
- Are you, as a Rotaractor recognized in Rotary International? (If your president hasn’t updated the club membership, you ain’t an official Rotaractor). An RI recognized Rotaractor must have an RI membership ID (issued upon member update on rotary.org ).
- Is your Rotaract Club listed as an active club in the above website? If you can’t find it in the website, sound it out to your president and have it rectified (a re-registration should be done if need be). Every Rotaract Club has an RI ID.
It is imperative that the sitting president ensure that he/ she is the one listed as president and not someone from a couple of years before. The District Rotaract Representative or your sponsor Rotary Club president can help you follow procedures to change this.
We all wish to be a part of a proper Rotaract Club and so I appeal to all club leaders; don’t aspire to be rulers but please, do hand over the full authority upon expiry of your presidential term. To leave the next leadership a pack of feathers with which to lead is not only improper but kills your own club in the end. It costs nothing but an internet connection to update your club. There are clubs with a current membership north of 35 yet still have only the charter members registered at RI.
While we aspire to serve our communities, let’s also remember to work for the betterment of our very own members for the sake of their Rotary future. It is disheartening to be an active club member for five years only to discover that you don’t even have a Rotary ID. You don’t get that upon induction; you get it when your name is added to the Rotary database.
Cheers, Peter King Oloo