Find Your Pack
Many wild animals know packs of one can only go so far. You’ll have more success — and influence more people to help you save wildlife — if you’re not a lone wolf. Your school may already have environmentally focused clubs that you can join — green clubs, sustainability clubs or clubs centered on animal issues — or you can ask existing clubs to look at the important environmental issue of meat production and wildlife protection. Not finding the right club for you? Start your own.
5 Tips for Starting Clubs:
1. Learn more about starting a club at your school. Many colleges have a student government that approves new organizations on campus. Check their webpage or ask a friend who is in an existing club. Some schools have deadlines for applying to start a new club, so check if this applies on your campus.
2. Find other students with similar interests. Hold a preliminary meeting on campus or reserve a table at a campus event or job fair to find out who’s interested in the same things you are and what ideas they have for your club.
3. Recruit a faculty advisor (doesn’t have to be in an environmentally related department).
4. Consider meetings, goals and activities for your club. Who will be your leaders? How often will you meet? What kinds of projects will you take on? Involve others who are excited about your club in the conversation to share ideas.
5. Once you have an official club you’ll want to host events and start some campus-initiatives. See our Top 5 Ways to Make Your Campus Extinction-free for ideas of where to start.
10 Tips for Making Your Club a Raging Success
1. Decide on a short, catchy, wildlife-friendly name for your club, along with a mission statement, symbol, slogan or motto and a theme.
2. Choose a regular meeting time and place for your club. Don’t be shy about sending out meeting reminders to club members and new recruits. If there’s food, students will come. Check out our Cheap & Easy guide for great ideas on ways to keep your club fed and feeling good about protecting wildlife too.
3. Recruit club members: put a notice about your club in the school newspaper, post flyers and ask teachers to let you mention your club at the beginning of classes.
4. Start a Facebook page or email account for your new group. Ask campus newsletters (such as for your dorm, your class year, your major, etc.) to include a statement about your new club in their next email.
5. Decide on goals. Be realistic and think about goals that are relevant to students, your campus and wildlife. What can you achieve in one semester? One year? Don’t forget to celebrate your victories, whether it’s a successful cookoff, a well-attended event or new meatless options in dining halls.
6. Combine fun activities with events that are academically, professionally and personally helpful for club members to build up their resumes and experiences. Consider cook-offs and other fundraisers, organizing a campus-improvement initiative, or a community-focused activity. Reach out to community members, host a speaker, organize a workshop, or just hold a pizza and movie night.
7. Pick strong leaders from different classes who will listen to all club members, be fair, and add energy and direction. Vote on “officer” positions like president, vice-president and secretary. Pick someone different to be a note-taker each meeting. Other roles might include promotional officer (in charge of advertising, flyers and getting the word out), event manager and treasurer (in charge of fundraising, expenditures and bookkeeping). Some schools have rules about official officer positions, so make sure to read all the guidelines for your school.
8. Stay in touch with your faculty advisor and ask them for help. Often your faculty advisor can help you plan a calendar of events in connection with campus events, make connections where needed, and resolve disputes when necessary.
9. With new schedules, classes, homework, sports and everything else that makes up the college experience, many students hit a mid-semester fatigue. Make sure your club stays on track by hosting fun, supportive events that everyone wants to join in, like study nights, study breaks and movie nights.
10. Partnering with campus and community members, local farmers and food co-ops will also help spread the message that taking meat off your plate is the best way to take extinction of your plate.