Start your own school club

Start your own school club 
By Walter Ang
May 30, 2001
Philippine Daily Inquirer

School has just started and you're raring to join one of the many campus organizations available. The only problem is, you don't feel like joining the Math Club and you re not interested enough in writing to try out for the school paper. The sound of Chemistry Society makes you cringe and the Drama Guild feels too intimidating to join.

None of the organizations or clubs offers anything that you might remotely be interested in. Too bad, what's an energetic, enthusiastic, eager person like you to do? What if, say, you're really into the esoteric arts and want to get in touch with other persons who like to read rune stones? Start your own organization, of course!

Getting started
First thing you have to do is figure out what it is exactly that you're interested in. Make sure that there aren't any other orgs that cater to your idea already. If your search ends up in zero, then you re on your way to making waves. You'll have a good chance of succeeding if you've got something different to offer. A few years ago, an organization for homosexuals was put up in the University of the Philippines. So far, none of the other Catholic universities have followed suit. Yet.

Your org doesn't have to be politically motivated, however. It can be about anything under the sun. If you're into cars, you could initiate an Auto Action Club. Want to start a crochet club? Go right ahead.

Second step is to ask your school authorities for the proper procedure in starting an organization. Certainly, you'll need to complete some paperwork, like filling out an application form and writing down a constitution. It helps to ask around for copies of the constitutions of other organizations, so you'll get an idea of how to draft yours. Of course, if you're going to start a Young Business Achievers Club, borrowing the papers of the school's Dance Club might not be too good an idea. But you never know what useful ideas you could utilize!

Next, you'll need to look for people who share the same interests. You can't have a club if you don't have members. Usually, there's a requirement for the minimum number of members for the school to approve your application. Ask around, set up posters, pass around flyers. Wear a funny hat and grab their attention. Once you know you're not the only person in school who wants to save the rainforest, you'll have to decide on a set of officers.

This special group of people gets to handle the nitty-gritty of running an org. From paperwork to logistics to reservations to handling money, they hold the structure in place. So when everybody runs off to the next Outdoors Club-sponsored mountain climb, someone will still have to stay behind to type up the project report, finish up the financial report, talk to the sponsors. You get the idea.

Paperwork is a given when you're managing a school organization. It helps to have someone on board who doesn't mind typing excuse letters and filing documents. Someone who doesn't harbor murderous thoughts against the school secretary is an added bonus, especially if you need a lot of papers signed by the principal or dean.

Once your application has been approved, you can start planning activities for the schoolyear. This is tricky since you don't want to schedule anything that'll coincide with long exams. The Auto Action Club can plan campus exhibit and motor parts sale, kicking things off with a motorcade. A car auction with proceeds going to charity doesn't sound too bad either. The Comics Coalition could have a sale and invite local comics artists to grace the event. Workshops on drawing and comic book production can also be held. The newly established Felicitous Society of Jane Austen's Admirers could perhaps schedule tea drinking sessions and spirited readings of the author's works, or even fashion shows featuring modern takes on empire-cut gowns. How's that for fun?