Now's the time to get engaged like never before. And, if you have a need that isn't being met, an interest that doesn't fit with existing clubs, or a cause that you care about, this is the perfect moment to start a new club at your college or university.
Depending on your school, there may be requirements for starting an official group. This could be anything from finding an advisor, having a minimum number of members, developing a mission statement and guidelines, creating social media, and filling out relevant paperwork. But before any of this, you need a smart, focused idea that's different enough from existing clubs but general enough so that other classmates will be interested. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Sustainable Living Club
Sustainability has never been a more important cause, and lots of students care about it and want to do more to help. There might already be clubs that look at the climate crisis on a larger scale from a political and social justice perspective, but there are lots of ways to bring the club closer to daily life such as sustainable causes in school and community, reducing single-use plastic on campus, buying sustainable school supplies—like the Recycled Superbreakand secondhand items, protecting local endangered species, and otherwise making the world around you a healthier place. One or a few of these goals could be enough—the Plastic-Free Club, for example, or you could create a club around holistic sustainable living.
Local Politics Support Club
Usually, political clubs on campus are affiliated with a particular party, candidate, or cause. But what's less discussed is the local elections that, depending on your residence status, you might actually be voting on during your time at school. Getting involved in local causes is also a way to make impactful change exactly where you are right now. Local politicians always need volunteers, so find a community issue you connect with—such as supporting representatives that will raise the minimum wage, for example and build a support group around it.
Niche Craft Club
If you like to unwind with a particular activity that seems unique to you, you might be surprised at how many other people like it too. Some colleges have "knitting clubs," where people drink tea and sit around quietly knitting and crocheting together. MIT has clubs for origami and puzzles, and participants can range from the casual fan to the pro. Appalachian State even has a Nerd Network, with activities from cosplay to video games and comics. This type of niche hobby offers the perfect break from schoolwork too.
Pandemic Support Club
Whether it's stress, grief, friendships and family dynamics, restrictions at home or school, changing life circumstances, or global news, dealing with the pandemic hasn’t been easy. Exhaustion and anxiety also sometimes goes unexpressed in favor of "getting back to normal," even though people may feel anything but okay. This group could offer discussions, informational resources, and a safe place to express feelings. It can also be a way to tap into positive self-care activities, whether it be shopping for a small bag for your mask and hand sanitizer or recommending a new show on Netflix. Think of it like Northwestern University's Happiness Club, but specific to these intense global circumstances.
Bad Movie Club
Clubs don't just have to be super-serious either. In case you're worried your club idea might be too niche, Bradley University has a club that just focuses on terrible movies. This would be a really fun idea to implement where you go to school: viewing parties can focus on food and community as you watch something trashy, comment out loud at the particularly terrible parts, and even dress up as characters (fans of terrible movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show like to do this).
These are just a few of the cool, niche, offbeat, or novel clubs you could start. Let us know on social media what clubs you're planning on starting this year.
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