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Helping Out Together: How to Start a Student Club

Although there is a lot you can do for animals on your own, even more can be done when you get many young people working together! Starting a student club can be a lot of fun, and it’s a great way to join forces with other people sharing similar passions. A group of voices is more powerful than one, so if you really want to make a big impact, organizing a club is a great way to do it. Here are some steps for getting started:

  1. Find other people with similar goals to help get it started. Do you have friends interested in animal rights or welfare? Tell them about your idea to start a student club, and see if they’d like to help you organize it. If your friends do not have the same interests as you, ask around—many young people love animals and will want to help you help them!
  2. Figure out what your goals will be, and how you will accomplish these goals. You’ll want to be clear from the beginning on what you plan to accomplish, and how you will go about doing it. This doesn’t mean you need to have everything figured out right away, but it is important to have a general idea so you can present it to your school and to interested members.
  3. Get an advisor. During this phase you may need to find a faculty advisor, as many schools require them. Are there any teachers at your school interested in animal advocacy? If you’re not sure, simply speak with a teacher that you feel particularly comfortable with—they may not be able to serve as your club’s advisor, but they should be able to connect you with someone who can.
  4. Advertise your club. Pass out some fliers, or put a notice in the school newspaper. Describe the goals of the club and put the date, time, and location of the first meeting. Ask to be advertised over the P.A. system, and to be put on your school’s website. Social media can also be a wonderful and effective way to spread the word.
  5. Hold the first meeting. Welcome your new members and tell them why you created the club.  List what you would like to accomplish, and brainstorm further with them on how you can achieve your goals. Make sure you record the names of everyone who shows up, as well as their contact information. People love free food, so have some tasty vegetarian snacks on supply.
  6. Decide on your club’s name. At your first club meeting, vote on a name. If you would like a logo, brainstorm this as well.
  7. Educate.  Some of your members may not know about all of the issues you would like to work on. Make sure to educate these people in a positive way. Consider typing up a pamphlet to pass out, or creating a cool PowerPoint presentation.
  8. Decide how often you would like to meet and how your club will be run. Too many meetings or too little meetings are never good. Choose a balanced amount where people will still come and participate, and everyone will stay interested.  When it comes to leadership, you may want a president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary. If so, take nominations at the first meeting, and then vote for these positions during the second meeting. You may also want your club-advisor to take a more active role, or a different member to manage each meeting. Consider forming committees for each issue.
  9. Take action! Go out and make a difference. Make sure not to tackle too many issues at one time, though, as it may get too hectic.
  10. Keep advertising. As your club goes on, members will come and go, but it is important to keep recruiting new members. Continually promote your club through the school and on social media sites. The more members you have, the more you can accomplish, so don’t stop spreading the word.
  11. Have fun!  The best part of tackling animal issues with a group is that it is a lot more fun. Get to know your group, and always enjoy the work you do with them—your club’s members will take cues from you, so stay inspired and energetic about the cause and they will too.

Take some time over summer break to plan and strategize for your student club. By the time the school year starts again, you’ll be all ready to go out there and make a huge impact!

Check out Andrew’s blog at www.andrewpuccetti.com!

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