With the start of the fall semester of 2018, many new clubs, including Antiquities Club, Mixed Student Union and the Resident Hall Association, were officially created and debuted at the Student Activities Fair. Though creating a club takes time and has many steps, it can also lead to lifelong friendships.
A guide can be found on Wheaton’s website on how to create a new club. First, the club purpose and goal must be created, and an executive board and advisor (staff or faculty) chosen. A club constitution should be written, and then the club must register on Wheaton’s Engage website. After these steps have been completed, the executive board of the club can establish a meeting date and time (usually on a weekly basis), and, if needed, begin the process on getting approved by SGA.
Cory Breen ’20, President of the Antiquities Club, when speaking about her experience of creating a new club, said that she began her club because she wanted a space to express her love for the club topic “in a slightly less academic setting and to meet more people who have similar interests who may not be interested enough to have it as a major.”
Sierra Proft ’21, the club’s Vice President, also noted that it is much easier to start a club with more than one person, so that all of the responsibilities do not fall onto a single person.
Though the process of officializing the Antiquities Club is still an ongoing process, Breen noted that new club leaders should attend all of the offered SAIL training sessions. It is not difficult to start a new club, Breen remarked, but the executive board “should definitely be in contact with SAIL and eventually SGA,” both of which can help students through the process of creating their club. Breen continued to say that the “most beneficial thing to do as a new club is to meet directly with the SAIL team so that they can tell you the steps you need to take.”
When speaking on how long it takes to create a club, Breen mentioned how there are tiers to clubs: interest-based clubs, that have no need for a budget and are quicker to get SGA-recognized, and clubs that require an annual budget. For a new club seeking to have a budget, Breen said that the introductory process takes two years, which means that the Antiquity Club will not have a budget until Breen has already graduated. There must be a change in leadership during those two years, a certain number of meetings with SAIL and SGA, and the eventual defending of the club’s constitution in a meeting with SGA.
When asked to give advice for those who are thinking about create a new club of their own, Proft mentioned the importance of creating “a solid executive board” when creating an new club, and Breen said that they should “have a lot of passion for what they are doing, because it is a long process.” She noted that they should “choose an advisor in the beginning who can help [them] along the way, meet with SAIL, and be willing to make things happen and work really hard because it’s all worth it in the end when you get to meet people who are into the same thing and provide a space for people who have similar interests.”