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Starting a Club

Ana Purchiaroni, C'23

mario power up stars

On the Outside Looking In Blog

Do you know how hard it is to start a club? I sure didn’t. I did not come to the battle prepared, and I definitely didn’t collect enough coins.

Sometimes I feel like life is a video game. We collect coins. We jump through hoops. We race toward goals without looking back. In some way or another, we are all Mario. We get through one level and then have to beat a big boss to move to the next. Well last week I got through level one. I stepped out of my sleepy little town and started an adventure. Level one: Join clubs. Now, one would think level two would be attend meetings, 3 talk to new people, 4 make friends, 5 make plans, etc. I don’t know which button I hit. Maybe I didn’t save my game right, or someone must have been racing through the levels while I was gone, but I somehow skipped ahead to the first big boss of the game. Becoming the president of a brand-new club. Yes, that’s right. I skipped through the levels and jumped all the way to trying to start the Mount’s first ever K-pop Club.

Do you know how hard it is to start a club? I sure didn’t. I did not come to the battle prepared, and I definitely didn’t collect enough coins. First of all, you have to have a faculty mentor, so you need to have a professor who likes you enough to sponsor your club and be the liaison between you and the campus administration. Next you need club officers. A president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, the whole Congress, Senate, and House of Representatives. Well, at the very least you need a president and a treasurer. Luckily, I had a friend from Anime Club to help me out. You also need the names and emails of at least 10 people who are interested in your club.

This is the part that really got me. I almost lost all my lives during this battle. However, since I had my trusty faculty advisor, she helped me send an email to the entire student body to recruit people. I even got to try my hand at creating a flyer to gain people’s interest. It took nearly all day, but finally around 11 p.m. that night I got a 10th person to join my team! I was absolutely ecstatic and ready to submit the RSO (registered student organization) form. I celebrated too soon, as my eyes scanned to the bottom of the form there was a place to submit a “Club Constitution.” I used the helpful guide to writing a constitution from the RSO guidebook and continued on. I hit submit and I was ready to bust out the red solo cups and party streamers.

Hold on. Now I had to wait until my club is even approved. During this waiting period, I realized that my club may be a little controversial. I am a white girl, starting a K-Pop Club. Is that even allowed? Will I get canceled? Do I even know what I’m doing. With all these concerns floating around I decided to meet with the Center for Student Diversity. They told me it was fine as long as there is no cultural aspects to it, but to make sure to talk to the Asian Culture Club and get their approval. After discussing it with the president of the ACC, I was good to go and approved on two fronts.

Two or three days later, I got the email that said I was provisionally approved. Apparently, my constitution needed some work, so I decided to go to the source, the CSIB (Center for Student Involvement and Belonging) to get some help. They were very helpful. However their answers led to more questions and more responsibilities. Since my club is a dancing club, it would be considered a club sport. Go figure, kpop is now a sport everyone! This also means I would have to reserve the dance studio across the highway for the meetings. This also means I would have to talk to another office about my club to get liability waivers in case someone gets hurt and to decide how much the club funds would be.

When I got home, I felt defeated. How did little Mario get this far? All I wanted was a simple little K-pop club to talk about my favorite songs and groups and make some friends, and now I have to get all my new friends to sign liability waivers? Worst of all, I felt like I had to do everything myself. I really wanted to give up.

Obviously, I am coming to you from a better place, and ultimately I decided to stick with it. I realized that I am not completely alone, and I don’t need to rush around doing everything by myself. I have my club VP and club advisor and my family back home supporting me. If I want to start a club so much, I already got this far, I might as well stick through it, and I encourage you all to do the same. There are going to be times where you want to give up right in the middle before you know how things are going to end. Honestly, I don’t know how things are going to end for me, but it is worth a shot. If you start something and you work hard to start it, don’t give up because you never know what might come out of it. For me, I’m going to be the president. From a little Mario to full size Mario with a power up star, rolling through the level in full rainbow.

So, I did it. The interest meeting is officially next Friday at 7:30 p.m. in AC 220 (shameless plug, I know). Hopefully it will go well! I If you or someone you know is interested in K-pop dancing or just wants to know a little bit more about K-pop, let them know and I’ll see you there!

Ana Purchiaroni, C'23