Are you interested in starting a vegan, vegetarian, or animal rights club at your school? Here are some steps to get you started!
First, join the VegYouth Alliance!
The VegYouth Alliance is an international alliance of school clubs that promote vegetarianism and veganism. The Alliance provides advice, support, and resources to student activists.
Make a rough draft of your club constitution.
What is a club constitution? It is a short paragraph on the purpose of your club, a timeline of your goals for the year, and a description of your club’s meetings.
Decide the purpose of your club. Will your club be a social group? Will your club be an activism group? Will your club be a discussion group? Or, will your club be all three?
Decide your goals for the year. What projects will you focus on? See this link for a list of potential projects. When will you accomplish these goals? Give yourself some informal deadlines.
Decide what you will do during meetings. Will you read articles and have discussions? Will you plan major events? Will you write letters? See this link for a list of things to do during meetings.
With the constitution in hand, apply for funding.
You don’t have to do this right away, but it’s highly recommended so you have funds from your school to hold meetings, buy food, take field trips, make copies, etc.
Next, find a faculty sponsor.
Faculty sponsors can either be super involved in every aspect of your club, or they can just provide you a room.
Do you have any vegetarian teachers? If so, ask them if they’d like to be your sponsor. If not, ask all of your teachers, whether or not they are vegetarian, if they would like to be your sponsor. If none of them say yes, then go around room to room and ask every teacher in the school.
Then, set up a weekly or biweekly meeting time, and decide when to have your first meeting.
Find out what your school requires you to do in order to establish a club.
Schools ask for different things. Schools usually need a list of members, a faculty sponsor, and a constitution. By the time you reach this step, you should already have a constitution from step one.
Make brochures to give to people interested in your club.
Make posters to advertise your club, and put them up around your school.
Find some members.
To find members, ask all your friends, make an announcement, or just walk around the cafeteria and ask anyone who is friendly. If your school has an activities fair, then set up a booth and ask people to join. Or, you can make (vegan) brownies or cookies and give them to anyone who signs up for your club.
Set up an email group, Facebook page, or Twitter.
Ask everyone who signed up for the club to be part of the groups.
Advertise your first meeting through posters, school announcements, your email group, your Facebook page, your Twitter, and any other outlets.
Finally, hold the first meeting!
Make a presentation about your club’s plans. Decide leadership roles. Many clubs have a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and publicist. But it’s also an option to have a leadership team, where everyone shares the work without labeling specific roles. However, it’s still helpful to divide the work.
There you go! Now you have started your very own vegetarian club.