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Everyone goes to college to get a degree that will launch their dream career, but doing well in class isn’t the only thing that’s only your mind. You’ll also want to use your free time to meet new friends who share your interests. Learning how to organize a college club is an excellent way to do that. With the right tips, you’ll pull people together and start friendships that last a lifetime.
Who Creates College Clubs?
You might think that your college or university needs to establish every club. Although there will likely be many groups affiliated directly with college-sponsored teams or employees, most clubs exist because students started them.
Enjoy your first few weeks of school and take special care to notice what your experience is missing. Maybe there’s no place to talk to people about your favorite type of book or no one knows how to play the sport that captured your heart. Fill that gap by figuring out how to organize a college club with helpful tips like these.
Why You Should Start a Club
Sometimes students make peace with a missed opportunity. They might think they have to wait on experiencing a weekly knitting group again until they graduate and move somewhere else. It’s like tucking part of yourself away for four years, which no one should have to experience.
When you start a club, other people are guaranteed to join. They’ll find themselves in what your group offers and have a better college experience because of it. You’ll make friends and grow together, all because you organized a few club meetings.
Which Club Should You Start
The endless club possibilities might feel overwhelming. Check out the most common groups students create to determine the best type for your college experience.
Unlike tutoring clubs, an academic group relates to your degree but offers the chance to talk about related topics. You might start weekly meetings with people from your accounting classes to laugh about things that happen that week or bond over your hopes for the future. Sometimes you could work on homework or study, but your club will mainly be for relaxing with people working toward the same degree.
Are you interested in writing creatively or professionally? Maybe you want to become a professional photographer or work on the radio. Start a publication club designed for that interest. After becoming friends, the club members could even create their own publication through a blog to build a new social circle and express your shared passions in one format.
Community Service Groups
It’s much easier to feel at home on your campus when the surrounding community becomes familiar. Find people with service-oriented hearts and pick monthly volunteer causes in your city. You’ll make memories, help others, and build your resume while having fun.
International students and others from your country might bond over your shared cultures or similar experiences. You’ll connect over things that other students won’t understand, which may help you work through homesickness, loneliness, or anxiety.
Your college likely has a soccer club, but do they have a “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” themed sports team? Make one inspired by your favorite pop culture or literary phenomenon. It’s a unique way to meet others who grew up with the same material or find inspiration from the same content.
Spiritual or Religious Clubs
Strong spiritual or religious beliefs can become a solid foundation for friendships if you have a welcoming place to meet. Start a club dedicated to the ideas that define your world outlook or personal identity. Others will join and share that specific part of your life that might not come up with friends otherwise.
When your school has established clubs for students of major political parties, you can always start a separate group for another party or an opinion within those parties. You’ll find others who want to work toward the same future, which may turn into learning opportunities that reshape or reaffirm your worldview.
How to Organize a College Club
Once you have an idea for your club’s purpose, it’s time to start making it a reality. These are the most common steps students take to organize clubs, but it’s always good to double-check them with your university’s specific requirements. Those rules are likely in the campus activity, leadership and involvement center.
1. Define Your Club’s Purpose
What do you hope to achieve when your club meets every week or every month? Maybe you’ll discuss how to improve your mental health within the new challenges of university life. You might just want to bake together or catch up over video games.
Define the purpose clearly for yourself, your members, and any required university paperwork and your club is much more likely to succeed.
2. See Who Would Join
If your school is about to go on break, you should probably wait to start your club. Everyone will likely leave to make money or destress before coming back to continue studying. Wait until the campus is full before asking around to see who would join your potential club.
People can respond in-person or online through a social media post. If you don’t get much feedback, there may not be enough interest to start a club until later in the school year.
3. Request a Staff Advisor
Universities are responsible for the groups that meet on campus, so most colleges require a staff advisor assignment for every club. Check with your campus office that deals with clubs, leadership, or monthly activities to find out how you can find your advisor. Depending on your university, it may require a few meetings or additional paperwork.
4. Create and Complete Registration Forms
Your school will require a completed registration form that states the purpose of your club, how many estimated members it has and what you’ll do with everyone’s time. You’ll also need to create registration forms for members. The paperwork makes your club official and gives you helpful information, like where to send everyone’s club t-shirts or a group email about upcoming events.
5. Draft a Club Constitution
When you join an organization, accept a job, or start a new school, you must abide by their rules. Your club will also need to outline its rules in a constitution. Consider how you’ll expect everyone to treat others with respect, respond to deadlines for dues and communicate with the other members.
Once you have an idea, check out a sample constitution to perfect the outline and wording. No one will feel confused when they get a copy of the rules they can keep. You’ll also have unbiased reasoning to stop certain behaviors or situational escalations if you need it.
6. Inquire About Training
Universities often require club founders to sit down for training. They’ll explain what you’re responsible for as the club owner, how to access resources if you need assistance, and how to pass the club onto another leader when it’s time to graduate. If you don’t inquire about this training or complete it, the university may not allow your club to begin.
7. Spread the Word
You might have enough interested people to start your club, but it should continue to grow after it becomes official. Spread the word about your particular group through approved on-campus posters or social media posts. Whether you add two members or twenty, you’ll give others the chance to experience the same friendships and acceptance you needed when your club began.
Consider Organizing a College Club
You don’t need a degree or exceptional experience to learn how to organize a college club. If you have a founding idea in mind and a few interested members, your university will help you take the necessary steps to make your group official.