One of your club members, a well-known local business owner and an active participant in your club’s community service projects, has been sharing inflammatory political posts on their personal social media. Community members know that this person is a vocal and active member of your club, and over the past few weeks, their social media posts have started to impact your club’s reputation. What would you do?
One thought on “Ethical dilemma discussion: What would you do?”
While inflammatory statement is subjective, derogatory statement is more weighty and requires the Club’s direct and immediate actions. In the case of the supposed inflammatory statement, the Club can only react forcefully (expel the member) if such a member is spreading false information, but if on the contrary the member is being a positive advocate and thus incurring the wrath of a select few i.e irresponsible elites and masses, the Club may issue a public statement in an event not exclusive organized for that purpose, to distance the Club from such individual statements and reaffirm Rotary’s neutrality. Whereas it is not in the Club’s place to meddle in Club members personal affairs, when the Club is being negatively impacted by any member’s action, such a member depending on the degree of the offence, may be advised to stay away until the ill wind blows by, but in the case of an already popular Club associate, a statement distancing the Club from such a member is in order, and in extreme cases, if such a member is in total wrong doing, the Club may publicly announce the suspension or termination of such a member and give cogent reasons.
Whatever decision the Club decides to take, it must be a populist decision, meaning it has to be endorsed by the Board and voted for at the Club Assembly and if majority so votes then the Club takes action. The process is as important as the outcome as the way such matters are handled, sends a message and sets a precedence for other Club members.