Being a patron or the president of a school club comes with great responsibility. One does not only have to organize club events or plan fundraising activities for the club but also act as a leader, guiding other members of the club. According to Larina Kase, PsyD, “When we think of what makes someone a great leader, one characteristic that comes to mind is decisiveness. We do not envision successful leaders standing around appearing unclear and uncertain. Instead, we view them as people who are able to quickly arrive at their decisions and communicate the goals to others.”
Why Do Students Join School Clubs?
It is important to understand the motivations behind a student joining a school club, before figuring out ways to engage them effectively in the club. It is believed that school students mostly only join multiple clubs and societies during high school just because they would look good on their profiles, and perhaps would help them get into good society. However, even though this might be the case many times, there are still many students who join a school club primarily because they are interested in the activities that specific club engages in. In addition to this, sometimes the cause that a school club is working towards may seem inspirational to the students, allowing them to become self-motivated volunteers for the club. Furthermore, sometimes school students join clubs in order to build social connections with other people and find someone to talk to about their mutual interest.
Additionally, psychologist Susan Pinker wrote, “Direct person-to-person contact triggers parts of our nervous system that release a “cocktail” of neurotransmitters tasked with regulating our response to stress and anxiety.”
Ways To Effectively Engage Club Members
The key to a successful club or society resides in effective communication amongst its members. It is important that all members of the clubs have viable channels to express their opinions and issues to not only each other but those in the upper hierarchical levels of the club. Sometimes there is a huge communication gap between the president of the club and those who have recently joined the club that it leads to feelings of alienation amongst the latter. However, John M. Grohol, PsyD, wrote, “Two different people also have different levels of skill when it comes to communication. But better communication, because it is a skill, can also be learned.”
It is important that the leadership must interact with each other on a one-to-one level. A good way to do this is by planning excursion trips with all the club members. This will give them a chance to get to know each other in a non-work environment.
For any organization to run effectively, the leader must delegate tasks to his or her subordinates. In the same manner, a school club president must delegate responsibilities to club members. This will not only help in reducing the burden on a very few but will also make all the club members more involved in the operations of the school club.
- Regular meetings
Creating groups on WhatsApp or Slack is not the only way to interact with club members. It is important to hold regular club meetings, even if it is not for the entire club, people working in the same subdivision, or department, must meet regularly to discuss their goals and strategies. It is also a great way of ensuring that all the members are on the same page.
- An incentive system
School clubs may in many cases operate and function as normal businesses, however, the incentive system for both is inherently different. In the case of school clubs, students are not gaining any monetary benefit from their membership of the club; mostly many club members are only volunteering. Hence, the creation of a system that rewards club members for their work must be created in order to retain them for a longer time. The best way to do so is to invest in the personal and professional goals of your members. For instance, if it is a writers’ club writing training sessions can help those who are struggling. In addition to this, also ensure that their rights are met; this might even mean getting a better coach or counselor for your basketball team.
Therefore, by following the aforementioned ways school clubs can engage their members in healthy social activities, retaining their membership for a good amount of time.