How To: Start a Politics Club at School

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A political club helps you and fellow students become active and informed citizens. When you rally the troops to support a town referendum or community measure, you’ll have a crew to help you out. When big elections arrive, you’ll have a team to register voters and knock on doors for candidates.

  1. Decide your club's focus. If you're into local politics, focus on what’s going on in your town and how you can participate. If your club is more about national politics and youth issues, focus on that topic.
  2. Ask your school for classroom space. If that won't work, talk to people at your local recreation centers, churches, synagogues, etc. to see if they’ll lend you space for a weekly meeting.
  3. Ask a teacher, coach, or community leader to sponsor. You might need an adult adviser to help reserve a space or lead conversation. This is definitely not a must, but it could be helpful depending on your school policies. Find an adult who is politically active has knowledge of political systems, like a history or social studies teacher.
  4. Recruit members.Network your school and community for people who might be interested, and hold a few open meetings after school for people to test your club out.
  5. Decide how the meeting will run. You can have one member lead the meeting each week, bringing the issues that they care about to the table. Or, you can have everyone bring up several issues each week.
  6. Elect officers for the club.Politics in action! Hold brief elections and allow ‘candidates’ to explain why they’re the right person for the job. Most clubs should have a President, VP, and Secretary to handle the basic tasks.
  7. Cover the basics of government. In the first few meetings, hand out copies of the U.S. constitution, explain the electoral college, you get the picture. You could even try to invite a speaker from a local university or college or elected office!
  8. Comb through current events. Read the paper, websites, and magazines to find out what’s going on. Print or tear out what interests you or what makes you mad and bring it to the next meeting.
  9. Highlight this week's action. Let each member suggest an issue, but make sure there is a clear focus toward the end of the meeting. If you want people to take action (like hand out fliers for a candidate, publicize an upcoming vote, or start a letter-writing campaign) make sure each member is clear on the decision by the end of the meeting.
  10. End the meeting by asking each member to bring a specific issue or report on an action taken the next week. Make sure every club member has a job at the end of each meeting, even if it’s just bringing snacks for next time!