This time last year, I stepped onto the Night Owl Cafe stage and performed a song that opened a door to many great opportunities.
Keene State College’s Aspire program held a karaoke night in the NOC, and a few friends of mine wanted to go. They had a blast performing in their native languages, but I didn’t want to sing.
Instead, I signed each song in American Sign Language in my seat. After catching the eye of KSC senior program support assistant Beth Zinn and other Aspire staff, Beth and I found our common love for sign and Deaf culture and decided we both wanted to make a way to spread Deaf awareness across campus. Our first idea seemed simple, we decided to form the Owl Sign Language Club.
Both Beth and I had never started a club before, so it was a long and complicated process. Before you start your journey, you need to buckle down and get the work done. Here is how you can become the founder and president of your own KSC club!
First, you need an advisor. Finding a staff or faculty member who shares the common interest for your club is important. If you don’t have someone in mind, start asking around. Chances are someone else has the same desire to start a club too!
After finding an advisor, you can email Coordinator of student activities and organizations Britany Gallagher, where she will ask you for a typed-out constitution for your club. This may sound intimidating, but it is really just a form for basic rules, guidelines and student requirements. My club’s constitution consists of why the club exists, our goals, who can join the club, officer positions and descriptions, and a few other sections. Beth and I took other clubs’ constitutions as a good reference for our own. Once finished and approved by Britany Gallagher, I presented it to a committee in Student Government to get approved before Beth and I attended the larger Student Assembly meeting to briefly explain our constitution and get approved there.
Congratulations! The hard part is over! Now you need to find a time to meet, a place (the website is 21Live, Student Government gives you step-by-step directions) and start promoting! I created flyers and facebook posts to bombard every official and unofficial class page with my club name, meeting dates and times!
Here is a tip; if you want to make sure you are selecting a good time for people, post a poll on the facebook class pages! That’s how I knew when the majority of students would be able to come to meetings.
Before you can get a budget, your club needs to be running for a full academic school year. For this, you need to maintain a good group of students and have an Executive Board. Once your president and treasurer are voted in, they become the ones to attend P-Card training (for your club budget) and are the main liaisons for the club. While your advisor is there if you need help, KSC really encourage students to learn and be leaders. So expect people to ask you to do most of the writing, e-mailing and meetings without your advisor’s assistance.
The process seems long and tedious, but once all the paperwork is done, you can start hanging flyers and get ready for your first meeting! I suggest writing an agenda and creating sign-in sheets (with name, ID number and email) beforehand so you can focus more on connecting with new members and having fun!
Angelique inchierca can be contacted at