Ethical dilemma discussion: What would you do?

Vocational Service calls on every Rotary member to exemplify high ethical standards in business and in their communities. If you find yourself in an ethical dilemma, we encourage you to use The Four-Way Test to determine the best solution.

You’re the incoming community service chair for your club and will be serving in this role for the first time. You have been approached by a local university-based Rotaract club to work together on a river cleanup project. Your club doesn’t sponsor this Rotaract club, which works with its sponsor club on other projects but also wants to make new connections. You’re excited about the opportunity to work with young professionals in your community and build a relationship with the Rotaractors. You present the project and opportunity to your club. Members who have been involved in a mentoring program at the local primary school for many years feel they don’t have the time to commit to this new project. They believe their ongoing tutoring project is already engaging youth and don’t see value in working with the Rotaract club. You believe that the Rotaract project could be the start of a long-term partnership and feel strongly that the club should accept the invitation.

What would you do?


5 thoughts on “Ethical dilemma discussion: What would you do?

  1. I think the idea the Rotaract club wants to reach out is good, and if your club feels that they don’t have the time to commit to an additional project. Possibly other clubs in the area might be a way to go

  2. Without club support, it really can’t happen. I’d help them reach out to other groups after checking with their sponsor. Their sponsor may prefer to work with them on it.

  3. Ask for volunteers….. if you have enough…move forward with the interact club. If you don’t have enough volunteers….. move on.

  4. I would reach out to our own community, asking for support for the project. I would personally support the project and ask if the club is willing to have a member of the Rotaract club come and speak about the project. I would use our social media to help promote the project and the existing connections in the school to try and get the interest of the school community and students. You can interconnect projects and interest areas within the club by working and using resources and connections unilaterally to achieve different goals. You’re not asking the already busy Rotarians for more work other than to share their knowledge and perhaps introduce them to the right people. This can be extremely helpful to the Rotaract Club with little effort from your existing members at workload capacity.

  5. The most ethical thing that you should do is be honest, to yourself, your Club, and the Rotaract Club (or Organisation) that has invited you to participate. Being honest with yourself would mean that you accept that your Club may not have the capacity to participate in the project. Being honest with your Club by telling them how you feel and what options are available for engaging with this project, as Sarah has outlined above. Being honest with the Rotaract Club and advising them what your Club’s decision has been and alternative options for broader engagement in their project.

    It must always be borne in mind that direct involvement in a project is not the only thing that a Rotary Club can do, but it does (and should) offer a platform for engagement in the broader community through sharing and networking.

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