Part of the college experience includes enjoying a variety of clubs available to students. While there is often a wide selection to choose from, your ideal club offering may not currently exist at your school. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your idea of a preferred club. In fact, all you may need to do is start the club yourself.
Starting a Club at College
Many students are surprised to learn that they can actually start new clubs on campus. In fact, the process isn’t even that difficult and most schools are supportive of many unique club ideas. Your first step to starting a new organization is to confirm that a current club doesn’t exist that meets your needs. Most universities have web pages displaying every offering on campus, so take the time to examine the entire list.
If you don’t find an official club that covers your preferred subject, you will need to reach out to the appropriate university office. Typically, this will be the office of Campus Life, Student Activities, or something similar. Then, work with them to determine what paperwork is required and what other aspects must be prepared before you can submit for full approval.
Often, you will need to gather a minimum number of prospective starting members and create a general design for governance. You may also need to create a functional set of rules within a charter, as well as appropriate bylaws and create a working name for your organization.
Attract New Members
Whether you can advertise for new members at a college event or if you have to find your own mechanisms, there are multiple ways to get started. First, see if there are appropriate bulletin boards throughout the campus, such as at student centers or the entrance of the library. This gives you a place to post flyers in highly visible places.
You can also branch out into something a little more unconventional for initial advertising. For example, you can create custom clothes at T-Shirts Ninja. Then you and other prospective members can wear them around campus to help drum up interest. This is also a great way to show cohesiveness amongst members as you are all clearly identified and is incredibly helpful during large college events.
Schedule Your Meetings
Once you have your members and everything is approved, you can start scheduling your meetings. This allows club members to get together on a regular basis to manage club business and further your group goals. This includes setting meeting times as well as securing an appropriate space. For some groups, the location is less relevant if specific resources aren’t required. However, if you need spaces that offer particular features, such as access to equipment or tools, then the task of finding a location may be more challenging.
Depending on the nature of the organization, your needs in this area may vary from those of other clubs. This means you may need to adjust the frequency and duration of your meetings if you determine your needs aren’t exactly what was originally anticipated.
Over time, you will be able to better predict your operational requirements once things have been moving forward for a while. However, it is important to document any known procedures so that, in the future, when the organization is run by other students after you graduate, you know everything has been prepared to help them succeed.