Restricted Clubs


As their name implies, Restricted clubs are clubs where only people that meet certain requirements can become members. These requirements are usually of two types:

  • Professional  - the club is restricted to members of a professional association.
  • Educational - the club is restricted to members who have achieved a certain educational or professional accomplishment level.

These requirements must be public and may not go against the core principles or bylaws of the Foundation.

In general, a limitation is considered valid if any person, regardless of their circumstances, is able to fulfill it through their own effort and willpower.

For example, requiring membership in a specific organization or movement is allowed only if such an organization is non-discriminatory:  as far as Agora is concerned, there's no difference between a club that is only for men and a club that requires members to belong to an organization that only admits men. Both are considered discriminatory and are not allowed.

Here are some examples of valid and invalid limitations. For the non-valid limitations, the reason is indicated.

  • Limited to doctors
  • Limited to lawyers
  • Limited to Boy Scout members (despite the name, Boy Scouts of America does admit girls as well since 2018)
  • Limited to Mensa members
  • Limited to Men    (discriminatory based on gender)
  • Limited to Women (discriminatory based on gender)
  • Limited to Spanish Nationals  (discriminatory based on nationality)
  • Limited to Christians (discriminatory based on religion)
  • Limited to PMP-certified project managers
  • Limited to members of the IEEE
  • Limited to physicists
  • Limited to members that have completed the Basic Educational Path
  • Limited to professional speakers
  • Limited to members of the Socialist Party (discriminatory based on ideology)
  • Professional astrologers (against the bylaws - popularization of science and critical thinking)
  • Limited to straight people  (discriminatory based on sexual orientation)
  • Mothers-only club (discriminatory based on gender)


Note that the validity or not of a limitation may be country-specific.

For example, if a country allows both men and women to become lawyers, a lawyers-only club is valid. However, if only men can become lawyers in that country, a lawyers-only club would not be allowed.

Age Limitations

As in the case of Public Clubs, a Restricted Club may have an age limitation under the same limitations explained for the Public Youth Clubs.


Meeting Venue

Restricted clubs are free to pick whatever venue they want for the meetings, as long as it doesn't act as an additional layer of discrimination for members.


Guests And Visitors

Restricted clubs must accept visits at least from the following collectives:

  • Officers of the Agora Speakers International Foundation and members of the Agora Speakers International Board of Directors (for auditing, compliance, and mentorship purposes)
  • Agora Ambassadors
The right of the above collectives to visit a Restricted Club does not imply that they are allowed to do whatever roles they want. It's up to the club to define what roles the visitors can perform at a club meeting.

Our recommendation is the following:

  • Agora Ambassadors: Evaluations, Section leadership roles (e.g., Debate moderator, Hot questions leader, etc.), and Workshops

Unlike Public Clubs, Restricted clubs are not required (but may do so if they want) to accept guests from other clubs or the general public, regardless of whether they would meet the membership criteria.

Financial Requirements

In terms of finances, Restricted clubs need to follow the same rules as Public Clubs.

However, unlike Public Clubs, Restricted clubs pay a fee to Agora Speakers International of $40 (USD) per member per year. The fee is paid at the joining date of the member and is valid for one year.


Listing Requirements

The following information is shared about Restricted clubs, and it must be kept up to date by club officers.


Club Information Shared
Information Type Shared with
Club name, number, and chartering date Public
Meeting schedule Agora Ambassadors and Agora Foundation officials
Meeting venue Public
Club Officers and their contact information Agora Ambassadors and Agora Foundation officials
Fee structure Public
Club finances Agora Members
Visiting Restrictions Public
Speech Content Restrictions Public
Club Contact Information Public
Awards and Badges Public
Club Languages Public


Adherence to the Agora Educational Model

In terms of adherence to the Agora Educational Model, Restricted clubs need to follow the same rules as Public Clubs, with the following exceptions:

  • In addition to the general speech content restrictions that Public Clubs may enact, Restricted clubs may additionally limit the speech content to topics of interest to the membership as long as these limitations are clearly related to the membership limitations.
  • It's acceptable to promote the hosting professional association or organization that acts as a membership requirement. For example, if a club restricts membership to only IT professionals belonging to the ACM, it's ok to promote the ACM within the club.


Contributors to this page: agora .
Page last modified on Tuesday May 18, 2021 16:41:57 CEST by agora.