Starting a New Club:
When Apprentices and/or faculty wish to explore interest in a special area outside of classes, they may choose to form a club. Each club must have a faculty adviser, an Apprentice president and at least 3 members. Two advisers might be preferred in certain situations, as in a very large or active group.
Not more than one new club will be approved per month, and they may not be approved that often. “Academic” clubs (i.e., clubs that correspond directly with GSW classes or departments) have approval preference over purely “social” clubs.
New clubs will be probationary for 6 months. During this time the club must demonstrate its ability to remain active, run itself, and comply with all club guidelines and requirements. After being in place six months and successfully holding a second election, the probationary club will be granted a "formal" club charter.
Founding a New Club:
When Apprentices and/or faculty wish to explore interest in a special area outside of classes, they may choose to form a club.
1. Decide what kind of club you want to start, such as theme (what it's about) and goal (what its members will do), and think of an initial descriptive name for it (the name may end up changing later).
2. Check to make sure that you are not duplicating a previous club.
3. Find a faculty adviser. You may ask a favorite teacher or one whose area of expertise relates to your club's theme/goal. Faculty members are encouraged but not obligated to assist with Apprentice activities such as clubs, so you may have to try a few times before someone agrees to serve as adviser. Two advisers might be better in certain situations, as in a very large or active group or one functioning under timeframes and deadlines -- as in the student newspaper.
4. Talk about your idea with other Apprentices and see who’s interested in helping you start a club. A good way to do this is to post a note in the Great Hall, or in your House/Lodge forum. You'll need to find at least two other Apprentices beside yourself in order to proceed.
5. Work with your adviser to develop a “Club Charter.” In this, give your tentative club name, your adviser, your initial president, your list of at least three Apprentice members, and a description of your club’s goals and proposed activities. Submit this to the Dean of Students.
6. Once the Dean of Students has approved your Club Charter, contact him or her re: creating a forum and user-group for your new club. The club adviser serves as moderator of the user-group; prospective members join through the “Usergroups” function on the forum main page, and are admitted to the club by the user-group moderator.
The club adviser also serves as forum moderator, along with the club president and other members if requested by the adviser. Please contact the Dean of Students re: setting or removing forum moderators.
Once your club is up and running, do the following steps in this order:
1. Publicize it to the Apprentice body through a post on the General Chatter forum.
2. Talk about what offices you want to have and who might make good officers. Every club must have a president; other officers are at the club’s option.
3. Hold elections for the offices you have decided to have in your club.
4. Take some time—a week or two—to get to know each other. Discuss your hopes and dreams for the club. Brainstorm ideas for club activities -- do you want to have online rituals, fundraisers, information-sharing? (Note: remember that any and all of these decisions can be revised at a later date, if the club’s directions change.) During this phase, you may also wish to continue promotion your new club on the forums, encouraging more people to join.
5. Have fun!
Guidelines for Club Membership
As with every school, the Grey School views club membership as a privilege, meaning that Apprentices earn the right to join clubs by keeping up with their classes, and by progressing at the recommended level. We love clubs; we know they're fun and that they can be very useful and teach you a lot. But they must come second to class work. Hence, we suggest Apprentices use the following guideline:
Apprentices may belong to one club for each Level of study. Example: an Apprentice studying at Level 1 could belong to 1 club, a Second Year Apprentice to 2 clubs, etc.
Requirements for Club Presidents
GSW faculty members may belong to as many clubs as they wish. GSW Captains, having proven their ability to be outstanding Apprentices, may also belong to as many clubs as desired. Acting Prefects and Captains cannot be club Presidents during the same term.
Serving on the staff of Grey Matters or on any of the school committees (marketing, publicity, etc.) does not count toward club membership. However Apprentices are cautioned not to take on too much and are reminded that completing classes is their first priority.
All club members should show regular progress in their class work while in the club. Club advisers have the right to ask Apprentices to temporarily become inactive in the club if they fail to progress in their schoolwork.
Putting Clubs on Hiatus and/or Disbanding Clubs
Clubs that cannot find an appropriate faculty adviser or a qualified club president will be put on hiatus.
In the event that it is not possible for a club to continue, the Dean of Students should be contacted and a decision made regarding placing the club on hiatus or disbanding it. The Dean of Students may also decide that a club needs to go on hiatus. A club may go on hiatus for one 6-month period; its forum remains with a message describing the hiatus. During a hiatus period, clubs may be reactivated—under existing club guidelines—with no red tape needed other than notifying the Dean of Students regarding the new or returning adviser and the Apprentice members.
Once a club is put on hiatus, it must show evidence of having a willing faculty adviser, must have at least four members (including the one President), and must post a new “About This Club” thread on the forums in order to be taken out of hiatus.
Clubs that are on hiatus for 12 months will be disbanded.
Once a club is disbanded, it is permanently removed from the school site. If interest is rekindled in the future, the shut down club must go back through the “starting a club” process from the ground up.
Guidelines for Club Leader/Officer Positions
The GSW has two types of students: Apprentice Wizards and Magisters. While all are eligible for club offices, the GSW administration would prefer to see clubs led (in terms of officers, planning, etc.) by the Apprentices, mentored by the faculty advisors.
• Apprentices should not hold office in more than one club. There are two very good reasons for this: one, being a club officer takes time away from schoolwork, and two, we want as many Apprentices as possible to have a chance to serve in leadership positions.
• Apprentices serving as Prefect or Captain should not simultaneously serve as Club President.
• In following that leadership idea in another direction, it is desirable to choose club leaders who don’t already have other leadership positions (e.g. a newspaper staff job, another club office, an active committee position, etc.).
• If no Apprentice is available or qualified to serve as President, a faculty member may do so.
Advice for those Considering Club Presidency
Running a club should be something fun, not a chore, so here are a few things that might help you decide if taking on the responsibilities of a Club President are for you.
1. Is the club focus something you are interested in outside of your GSW activities? If it's something you find yourself doing regularly or reading about as part of your day-to-day life, that's a sign that you have a consistent and deep enough interest in the subject matter.
2. Are you someone who likes to ask and answer questions? Club activity and discussions often need a lot of help to be maintained and one of the duties of the president is to keep encouraging interactions. Posting and lamenting that no one is posting is not the way to go. Starting regular conversational threads and answering questions is a great way to show your club is active and fun, which then helps get others to post and chat.
3. Can you keep track of the time? Twice a year the clubs need to have elections, and update their About This Club statements, and these are really the only official duties of the president. Setting an automated reminder on a web calendar like iCal or Google Calendar is a great way to not miss the two equinox deadlines. Starting the nominations on the 1st of September or March, and having that period be open for about 10 days allows club members time to participate. Then hold your election period for another week, and that will leave you with a few days to either prepare your club statement or to hand-off the club to the next president so that they can meet the deadline.