Running a Club at Dartmouth!
This term, I became the student coordinator of the Arabic Club. It's been a great opportunity to work on my organizational skills – in this post, I want to share a bit about what it's like to run a club at Dartmouth!
For the Arabic Club, we meet weekly on Thursdays, from 6:30 - 7:30. Other clubs at Dartmouth have a similar time commitment, meaning that extracurriculars are low-stakes and mostly occupied with everyone having a good time and getting to know each other. One important thing I have to do weekly is send out blitzes (the Dartmouth word for emails!) notifying campus about the weekly club meeting. Everyone on campus gets these emails, which is helpful for inclusivity; almost all the clubs that meet are advertised to everybody, weekly – so, everyone is welcome to come! In these emails, I typically attach a flyer describing the theme of the meeting: for example, last week's meeting was focused on exploring Arabic dialects. In addition, I attach a short blurb and emphasize that everybody is welcome to come!
As coordinator, I have agency over how the meetings are run; I typically bring a small TV from my room into the classroom we reserve for the meeting, and we watch some relevant YouTube videos or movie clips in Arabic. Additionally, I usually print out some informational worksheets that can help ground our discussion. However, I usually just let the meeting flow freely, catch up with other students interested in Arabic, and don't always stick to the planned agenda. I find that it's more fun for everybody if the meeting is more informal and interactive; from my perspective, it's a great way to get to know people better and have an hour of fun!
Dartmouth also offers a variety of funding opportunities for clubs. For example, I was able to obtain funding for catered food at our movie night next week; this is extremely common, and the College is usually very helpful in allocating funds for food, drink, etc. And, of course, more people come to meetings when there is food offered!
So far, I have really enjoyed running a club at Dartmouth due to the casual and inclusive nature. For prospective students (and '27s!), make sure to keep your mind open to trying new extracurricular activities in college. Oftentimes, they're great ways to meet people you wouldn't have met otherwise!