Sometimes you start with nothing. You have no funding, no contacts, no members. So, how do you build something from nothing? Start small and expand. Talk with your neighbors and friends and see who might be interested in joining your organization. If you can’t convince your friends of the value of your organization, you’ll be hard pressed to convince the student activities council.
Once you’ve secured interest (at this stage your team may have a whopping two or three members), set up a meeting to discuss your plan going forward. Build out a recruiting and activities schedule. Most recruiting activities require manpower not money, and your meetings can be held in either a living space or other school communal area. In addition, start looking forward to the next activities fair. You may not have a table, but that doesn’t stop you from flyering. Often, the local library or computer center will offer free printing. At the very least, create a handmade poster with the group’s name and have members record the names and emails of interested students.
Once you’ve held some meetings and activities, you’ll have a more tangible sense of the interest in your group and the amount of money you’d like to spend. Assemble costs by planning hypothetical activities and contacting vendors for information on actual prices. By compiling actual numbers of members and expenses, you’ll have a much more convincing case that you can bring to your university. Now, you’re ready to apply for student council recognition.
It’s also important to be aware of the rules governing your budget. Some activities councils will not fund your group if you are already receiving money from another University channel. Follow these rules, and don’t forget to submit your application on time!