How to Start and Maintain a Club

How to Start and Maintain a Club

Kimi Matibag, Journalist

Many people have a passion they wish to share with others, and starting a club at school is a great way to reach people who share your common interest(s)! Of course, it’s easier said than done, most people don’t even know where to start when it comes to starting a club. After all, it requires so much paperwork and permissions from higher authority, but if you’re up for it, let me help you get on the grind! 


Find a good sponsor

There’s a perfect medium between an over-involved sponsor and a sponsor whose only contribution to your club is their classroom for your meetings. You do not want full autonomy or overdependence on an adult to tell you your next step because both will drive your club into a stalemate. Your sponsor should be involved to support you, advise you, and reach out to administration for you, but they should not be making decisions for you. They should be aware and up to date with everything that is going on, but not to the point where they’re managing everything as if they’re an officer themselves. Aside from responsibilities, get a sponsor you can get along well with! Being on comfortable, friendly terms with your sponsor creates a much more relaxed environment for you, your officers, and your members, and it makes it easier to approach them with questions and requests, too! 


Appoint officers you can trust and who will get the work done

It’s easy to promise 10 different people an officer position for your highly anticipated club, especially in the whirlwind of excitement, but DO NOT hand out officer positions like candies on Halloween. Every responsibility involved is important and impactful, and you’ll realize very quickly that assigning someone a duty just because they’re your friend and no other reason will be a bad decision (Note: elections aren’t held when a club is first started, because admin needs to be aware of the officers before the club’s official recognition). Sure, it’s a plus that you’ll easily get along with your officers if they’re your friends, but if they can’t perform their responsibilities properly and effectively, hate to break it to you but they’ll just bring your club down. Don’t be mistaken though, it is a good idea to appoint your friends, but only if you’re sure they’ll actually do their jobs. Go for your organized and responsible friends! Additionally, don’t have too many officer positions either, because it’ll become difficult to maintain such a large team. It may be easy in the beginning because everyone is enthusiastic from the adrenaline, but over time, more people just lead to more conflict and a higher probability of conflict (mostly conflicts of interest). Personally, I recommend having 5 officers, but the number is flexible depending on the club itself and its focus.


Have a meeting agenda and schedule in mind already (Be 3 steps ahead!)

Sometimes it feels like you have all the time in the world to come up with a game plan for your club, but in reality you have a small time frame. Objectively, you have months, but actually you have intervals of 2 weeks. If you have any plans to do fundraisers, events, or bring in food, you need to draft up a very specific proposal to give to both admin and StuGo for approval. Both organizations have tight schedules they’ll need to squeeze you into as well, so be mindful. Most of the time, administration needs up to 2 weeks to get back to you on a request, and for StuGo, there’s an assigned day of the week to vote on things. With all that being said, be 3 steps ahead! First, have an idea about what types of events you want your club to hold, so when your club finally forms, you can immediately draft up a proposal and give it to admin and StuGo ASAP! Second, know how you’re going to make money because all new clubs start with an empty bank account, sad I know, and no one can get you that mula except you and your members. And third, know when your club is going to meet, how often it’s going to meet, and what you’ll be doing during your meetings so you don’t waste anyone’s time! AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMUNICATE ALL OF THIS WITH YOUR SPONSOR! 


Set up a social media and Remind so your members won’t be confused

In the modern world, we are lucky enough to have the technology to mass communicate with a large group of people by a simple click of a button. A social media and some platform for announcements is absolutely essential to keeping everyone on the same page. Your members have their classes and other extracurriculars of their own and lead busy lives just like you do, so if you can’t get your news and updates out to all of them quickly, don’t expect them to show up to your next meeting prepared. I recommend you set up an Instagram account and have an officer dedicated to managing social media and club image/design. This responsibility is actually much more tedious than it sounds, and it requires a lot of attention and dedication! Your social media is what helps make sure the rest of the world knows your club is still alive and up and running. Make your social media attractive and try to build up your follower count! The more follows you have, the more ‘relevant’ and ‘legit’ your club appears. Also set up a Remind. If you don’t know, Remind is a communication app that allows you to text announcements to a fixed group of people through a join code. Remind is an amazing tool to reach out to all of your members at once and keep them up to date with the haps! 


Keep your club relevant (stay aware of public interest!)

Consistency is key and it shows people who are interested in joining your club that you are organized and you know what path you want to take. Don’t slack on maintaining your club because public interest is an unpredictable thing. Your club could be all the buzz one day but then the next day you won’t see anyone talking about it anymore. Act fast, because once you’ve lost the people’s interest, it will be very hard to get it back. Also, almost every person who considers joining a club attends the first meeting to get a feel of the environment, so just keep in mind that your first meeting’s turnout is NOT an accurate representation of how much interaction and attendance your club is going to get regularly. Never get too comfortable and stay on your toes!


Starting a club is indeed a lot of work, and maintaining one is undoubtedly even more, but the satisfaction one gets from the progress they make and the interaction and enthusiasm they receive makes it all worth it.