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Ontario State Council Website

Knights of Columbus

New Council Development - Round Tables
   •   875 Runningbrook Drive   •    Mississauga, Ontario, L4Y 2S4   •   

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Knights of Columbus Website



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Special Considerations

Election of Council Officers

Since a college council functions primarily between the months of September and May, section 128 of the Charter, Constitution and Laws of the Order (#30) provides that college councils may hold their elections from the first day of March to and including the first da of June. By allowing an additional two months in which elections may be held, college councils can facilitate the proper election of officers before semester exams and the conclusion of the academic year.

50% Per Capita Rebate

Secondly, under section 37 of the Charter, Constitution and Laws of the Order (#30), a college council is entitled to a 50% rebate of per capita taxes paid to the Supreme Council during the course of a fraternal year. Each September, a rebate check equaling 50% of the total per capita tax assessment paid for the fraternal year will be mailed to all college councils in good standing that have submitted both the February and August Semiannual Audits Report Forms (#1295) for the fraternal year.

State councils are urged to offer a similar rebate to alleviate some of the financial pressure experienced by college councils. College councils have a shorter period in which to conduct their activities and to collect needed revenue, and a per capita tax rebate program is one way that the state council can assist in this regard.




Throughout the fraternal year, college councils will be receiving information from Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Services for implementation of the current membership campaign. Memos containing campaign goals and incentives, suggested activities for implementation and a listing of membership recruitment aids are forwarded regularly to college council membership directors, grand knights and district deputies.

College Council Membership Report

Each month, college council membership directors, grand knights, membership directors and district deputies receive a two-part College Council Membership Report. The first part provides year-to-date membership recruitment and retention statistics for college councils Orderwide. The second part lists the college council division leaders. College councils have competed annually for special awards in total member and insurance member net gain and percentage gain. The awards will be presented at the annual College Council Conference, to be held in New Haven, September 16-18, 2005. Recognition of these awards by way of a congratulatory letter, article in the state newspaper or visitation by a state officer can assist in developing a sense of fraternity between state and college council members. State officers, executive secretaries and state council membership directors also receive this report, and should review it each month to ascertain the membership activity of college councils within their jurisdiction.

Member Retention

The retention of college council members is a growing concern, especially in the area of alumni and graduating senior members. An effective retention program for college councils would involve using a member interest survey to keep current members active, encouraging graduating seniors to transfer their membership to a local council, using the Notice of Intent to Suspend program and implementing other retention program ideas suggested by the Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Services.

Graduating Senior Members

It is very important for college councils to urge graduating seniors to transfer their membership to a local council upon graduation. Once a member has graduated, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep a current address, collect dues, or initiate a transfer. Grand knights and fraternal secretaries are instrumental in this process by continually reminding seniors to transfer as soon after graduation as possible.

Beginning in January, the Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Services conducts the Graduating Senior Program. Each college council financial secretary is asked to submit the council's list of graduating seniors. Once the list is received in Fraternal Services, a letter is sent to each graduating member asking him to recruit at least one new member before graduation and encouraging him to remain active in the Order by transferring his membership to a local council where he will reside. Enclosed with this letter is the flyer Continue to Weave The Cable (Item #4043) which explains this even further to graduating seniors, including a postage-paid reply card for transferring their membership. Come May, a letter of congratulations is sent by the supreme knight with a reply card, again encouraging the member to remain active by transferring his membership to a local council.

Once either of the reply cards are received at the Supreme Council, a letter of confirmation is forwarded to the graduate, notification is mailed to the local council's grand knight, and copies of the correspondence are sent to the state deputy and state membership director for follow up, if needed.

Experience has shown, that college alumni members are ready, willing and able to continue their membership in the Order. This transfer assistance program, therefore, is of great benefit not only to the individual alumnus, but his former college council, his new council, and to the Order as a whole.


State College Council Coordinator

States with college councils or looking to initiate a college council program should consider appointing a person to promote, oversee, and coordinate the college council program in the jurisdiction. The State College Council Coordinator should work closely with college council officers and district deputies while being the liaison between the individual college councils and the state. Though not a requirement, it is suggested that such a person be a graduate of the college council program and/or an individual who can relate to college students.

The Financial Secretary

At the October 1991 meeting of the board of directors, it was voted that new college councils may not be instituted unless a member of the faculty or staff of the school, or a permanent resident of the local community, has agreed to serve in the position of financial secretary. It was further voted that this regulation should apply to financial secretary reappointments in college councils.

The intent of this vote was to encourage financial and historical council continuity because of the frequent turnover of a college council membership. College councils should make every effort to find a permanent member of the campus or local community for the position of financial secretary. This is a position which has ben advocated by the Supreme Council office for some time, and it is now mandated by the board of directors.

Annual College Council Conference

For the past 34 consecutive years, members of college councils throughout the Order have enjoyed a unique opportunity to come together. Since 1970, the Annual College Council Conference has been held at the Supreme Council office in New Haven and has provided the proper setting for addressing some of the needs and challenges experienced by college councils.


Each college council is entitled to send one student representative to the conference, whose expenses will be reimbursed by the Supreme Council office. Upon arrival in New Haven, the representative will receive a travel expense check at the closing session of the conference on Sunday morning. Travel expenses checks are calculated based on travel by air or car. Detailed information regarding travel arrangements and expenses is forwarded to conference participants during the summer months prior to the conference. Each college council may also elect to send up to five additional members to the conference as visitors. Visitors attend the conference at their own expense.

Conference Activities

Conference participants enjoy a wide range of informative, educational and social activities throughout the weekend. Tours are given of the Insurance, Investments and Fraternal Services departments, as well as of the Museum and surrounding sites in downtown New Haven. Discussion workshops are usually conducted on topics such as fund-raising ideas, membership, recruitment/retention, council meetings, community/public relations, graduating services, ceremonials, leadership training and working with local and state councils. Conference participants are also taken to St. Mary's Church, the birthplace of the Order, for Mass and a guided tour. On Saturday evening, an awards banquet is held on the 22nd floor of the Supreme Council office building. Winners in each of the four college council divisions are announced along with the winners of the Outstanding College Council Contest.

Outstanding College Council Contest

Judging in the Outstanding College Council Contest is based on programs conducted in each of the Service Program areas (Church, community, council, family and youth) as well as membership recruitment/retention and insurance promotion. College councils are asked to describe the single best programming activity conducted in each category, and also to list other projects that they would like the judges to consider. Topics are presented to the councils which had the best activity in each of the Service Program areas. The Outstanding College Council trophy is awarded to the council that excelled in each of the Service Program areas.


State Council Leadership

College councils represent a unique aspect of the Knights of Columbus. Because of their location on college campuses, they are able to pool various resources and conduct activities that incorporate students, faculty and surrounding community. They are capable of conducting unique activities such as marathon dances for charity or athletic activities in the school gymnasium that other councils do not have the resources or facilities to conduct. Furthermore, college councils have a constant influx of students, potential new members that can increase council and state membership. At the same time, college councils must be concerned about graduating members and the loss of leadership. This is where the state council under the direction of the state deputy becomes essential to maintaining the council's continuity of programs.

By appointing district deputies who are eager to work with college council members and who are aware o the pressures associated with being a college student, the state deputy can help to ensure the continued progress of a college council's activities. Furthermore, by suggesting individuals other than students for the positions of financial secretary and trustee, the state deputy can ensure the continuity of leadership for an ever changing membership. Through this active interest on the part of the state deputy, college councils can receive much needed assistance in addressing some of the unique challenges associated with member retention and program development.

If your jurisdiction does not have a college council, institute one soon. If there are inactive or dormant college councils in our jurisdiction, consider these locations as primary reactivation sites. Appoint state officials who can research colleges and universities in your area to determine the feasibility of instituting a council. Contact activity directors, faculty members and Catholic chaplains providing them with information on the benefits of having a Knights of Columbus college council on campus.

Seek out student leaders and solicit their support for instituting a college council and provide them with the necessary materials for generating interest. Contact the Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Services for assistance in the development of a campaign program for schools in your area.

College councils are a unique aspect of our Order and focal point for our younger members. They are also a source of future leaders and the continued promotion of Columbianism. As district deputy, you can provide the necessary leadership to develop programs that will maintain interest and promote the tenets of our Order to a wider audience of young Catholic men.


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