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Rotaract clubs will now be considered a part of Rotary International, as opposed to a program of RI, following a vote by the Council.

On the morning of its last day, the Council approved 381-134 a measure that acknowledges Rotaract clubs in the RI Constitution and Bylaws and elevates them as an important member of the Rotary family. Rotaract clubs will continue to have their own standard constitution but will receive greater support from RI.

"We need to be an inspiration to our young partners, so they will continue doing the great service that they do," said RI President Barry Rassin, who presented the measure. "This sends a strong message that they are truly our partners in service."

Rassin stressed that many of the other aspects of Rotaract clubs will remain the same. Rotary clubs will still sponsor Rotaract clubs, and will still support them. Rotaractors will also not be considered Rotarians and will retain their own unique club experience. The measure simply broadens the definition of membership in RI to include Rotaract clubs. 

The benefit to Rotary is the ability to learn more about Rotaractors and improve the support and resources it offers to help Rotaract grow. As Rotaractors become our partners in service, we will be able to better track their impact and expand our reach, supporters said.

(As an aside, individuals are technically not members of RI. Clubs are members of RI. This distinction helps explain why Rotaract clubs will now become members of RI, while the club's members remain Rotaractors and not Rotarians.)

Historical footnote: This is also the first time a sitting RI President has ever proposed an item to the Council.