One of the best things that college can offer is the freedom to pursue your passion and find other people who share the same interest. When it comes to college clubs, you can either create one or join one. The former is the easy option, and this works if you want an already established club with a big membership. But if you’re inclined to lead and innovate, and you have a unique idea for a new organization that you can’t wait to set up, you can always take the challenging route of creating a club.
It’s exciting to become the founding member of an organization that could potentially grow and sustain itself with a continuous influx of members even after you’ve graduated. It’s like leaving a part of yourself behind for the college to remember you by. Moreover, having been the pioneer member of a successful club would look great on your resume.
Here are some tips for students that want to set up their own college-based organization:
1. Does Your Club Already Exist? Find Out!
Check out the latest roster of clubs in your college and list the ones that are in niche similar to what you have in mind. If there is a club already in existence, contact the members and find out if the club is still active. There are plenty of defunct organizations that are listed as active in college organization rosters. If they don’t hold meetings anymore, or the members have all graduated, you can add this bit of information in your letter of application to the administration.
2. Do the Legwork
Your organization has to be recognized by the college or university. Obtain the necessary papers from the student union or the administrative office that supervises student affairs. Complete the requirements for a charter. Take full responsibility of the club and declare yourself the club’s president. How you present yourself and your ideas will be the basis for approval.
Obtain signatures from a number of students to show that there is enough interest in your idea for an organization. The only reason why the school wouldn’t allow you to set up your club, besides the presence of a similar club in the college, is lack of interest.
Ask a member of the faculty to sponsor your organization. The school requires that your organization abides by the rules and having a faculty member guiding the club will ensure that. To choose your faculty sponsor, think of the relationship of your organization’s niche and a subject or course in one of the school’s academic departments. Professors that teach these subjects will be more inclined to help you than those that teach subjects unrelated with your group’s niche.
Ask about student funding and submit a preliminary budget for your organization. Prepare to answer questions related with how you came up with that amount, and which club activities would need the funds.
3. Weekly Activities
The best way to recruit members is to have a plan on which club activities you can do regularly. It doesn’t matter if you just watch a show or DVDs in your dorm room, as long as you keep the activities lined up. For instance, you can create a group for students that come from a specific region, in particular, the same region you’re from. You can have Sunday lunches together and prepare homey dishes for sharing. Homesick students like you who couldn’t go back home often because of budget constraints would appreciate the club activities that remind them of home.
4. Prepare Your Group’s Constitution
Besides your vision and mission statements, you will have to prepare a set of rules and regulations for your group. Indicate the membership selection process and requirements, as well as the responsibility of each member.
Photo Courtesy of BIGSTOCK