Starting a Club

How to Organize an Academic Club

Close up middle school students playing chess in chess club
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For students planning to apply to a selective college, membership in an academic club is a must. College officials will be looking for activities that make you stand out, and club membership is an important addition to your record.

This doesn't mean you will have to feign interest in an organization that already exists. If you share a strong interest in a hobby or subject with several friends or fellow students, you may want to consider forming a new club.

By forming an official organization that really interests you, you are demonstrating true leadership qualities.

Wanting to take on the role of a leader is only the first step. You need to find a purpose or theme that will engage you and others. If you have a hobby or interest that you know enough other students share, go for it! Or maybe there is a cause you want to help. You could start a club that helps keep the natural spaces (like parks, rivers, woods, etc.) clean and safe.

And once you establish a club around a topic or activity you love, you are sure to stay more engaged. You might receive the added honor of recognition from the public and/or school officials who appreciate your initiative.

So how should you go about this?

  • If you are starting a club at school, you may want a teacher to serve as advisor as a first step. You may need a teacher or coach just to gain permission for using school facilities.
  • The teacher or advisor may be temporary. Sometimes, a teacher will start the first meeting and encourage students to follow through with organization.
  • The most important requirements for starting a successful club are interest and commitment.
  • Once you know you have a team willing to commit to a regular meeting time and a cause, you can manage the rest with ease.
  • Next you will need clear organization. Structure will keep the club together in slow times (like during a few heavy months of heavy homework and testing) or in the event of a disagreement.

Steps to Forming a Club

  1. Appointment of a temporary chairman or president. At first you will need to assign a temporary leader who will preside over the drive to form the club. This may or may not be the person who serves as permanent chairman or president.
  2. Election of temporary officers. The members should discuss which office appointments are necessary for your club. Decide whether you want a president or chairman; whether you want a vice president; whether you need a treasurer; and whether you need someone to keep the minutes of each meeting.
  3. Preparation of constitution, mission statement, or rules. Decide upon a committee to write a constitution or rule booklet.
  4. Register club. You may need to register with your school if you plan to hold meetings there.
  5. Adoption of constitution or rules. Once a constitution is written to everyone's satisfaction, you will vote to adopt the constitution.
  6. Election of permanent officers. At this time you can decide if your club has enough officer positions, or if you need to add some positions.

    Club Positions

    Some of the positions you should considered are:

    • President: Leads meetings
    • Vice president: Plans events
    • Secretary: Records and reads minutes
    • Treasurer: Handles funds
    • Historian: Keeps a picture book and notes
    • Publicity Officer: Makes and distributes flyers, posters
    • Web master: Maintains web site

    General Order of a Meeting

    You can use these steps as a guideline for your meetings. Your specific style can be less formal, or even more formal, according to your goals and tastes.

    • Call to order by the president or chairman
    • Reading and approval of the minutes from the previous meeting
    • Discussion of old business
    • Discussion of new business
    • Program
    • Adjournment

    Things to consider

    • When to meet and how often
    • How many members you can handle
    • How much funding you will need
    • Ways to raise money
    • Whether or not to have club dues
    • Activities for everyone to participate in

    Finally, you will want to make sure that the club you choose to create involves an activity or a cause that you really feel comfortable with. You will be spending a lot of time on this venture in the first year.

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    Your Citation
    Fleming, Grace. "Starting a Club." ThoughtCo, Feb. 24, 2018, thoughtco.com/starting-a-club-1857084. Fleming, Grace. (2018, February 24). Starting a Club. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/starting-a-club-1857084 Fleming, Grace. "Starting a Club." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/starting-a-club-1857084 (accessed May 27, 2018).