Any student can start a club at UBC—and you could be starting the next one sooner than you think. The trick is, you might not see it coming: I definitely did not until my fourth year.
It all began about a year ago. Christmas break was just over, and school was in swing again, bringing the usual routine of classes and assignments. Thanks to a few clubs I was a part of, I had something to look forward to every week. With one problem: there was no club dedicated to what I wanted to do after I graduate, something called user experience (UX) design.
UX designers strive to make sure that users have an overall delightful experience with an organization, service, or product. UX design is generally about creating interactive systems of all kinds: digital platforms, online media, smartphone apps, and so on. Pretty much every tech company has one or several UX designers on the team, but we don’t hear about them as much as we do about, for example, software developers.
Time to act
At that point, friends kept asking me if there was somewhere on campus for students who were interested in UX to meet. There was no such place to my knowledge, and it was becoming clear one way to fix that was to build it from scratch.
So in February 2017, UBC UX Hub was born through the committed effort of many talented and passionate folks. As the president of the new club, I did my best to support and coordinate the team in establishing it. Very soon we launched our website, newsletter, and social media presence, held our first events, and signed up several dozen new members. Everything worked out!
Do’s and don'ts
The process of starting a new club is fairly straightforward. If you want to give it a try, you can find a list of steps on the AMS website. Don’t be intimidated by how long it looks: it’s actually a plan for the entire first year of your club’s operation.
Here are a few things to consider when you’re just starting off:
- Make sure you have a strong support group. Starting a club isn’t something you can do on your own.
- Research the existing AMS clubs to be confident that your club is really adding something new to campus life.
- Brainstorm some realistic ideas for what your club’s events will look like. You may find those ideas helpful later on, and AMS will want to see them on your club application too.
- AMS will ask you to collect several dozen student signatures in support of your new club. It’s actually not as big a hassle as it sounds—that step only took a few days for us.
- Once your club is approved, commit to it! Hold the first meeting, appoint the key executives, and make sure everyone understands what to do.
- Don’t lose momentum. Organize regular team meetings, create an online presence for the club, and hold your first event. Be persistent!
What was the most exciting thing about building a community? New friends, new things to learn, new ways to feel empowered—to name just a few. As we were organizing the club, it was incredibly inspiring to watch it grow and gain more recognition.
I hope that my peers at the club feel the same: founding it has become a great experience of coming together to volunteer for the common good. It’s an experience to remember for a long time.