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How to be a club’s president?

Surviving guideline in VinUni, part 2. Written by a club president, for the new presidents of VinUni clubs.

So, you are chosen to become the inheritance of a club?

Or you want to create a whole new club in VinUni?

Whatever it is, you’re at the right address.

In VinUni, there are about 30 clubs and student organizations, equivalent to about 30 club presidents, and I’m one of them. As your senior, who has tried all the tastes you’ll try later, let me give you some tips to make the journey a bit easier for you.

1. SAM

Student Affair Management (SAM), just like their name, is the department that takes charge in everything non-educational related to students (educational stuff will go to the Office of Registrar), including student clubs.

When becoming a new president, the first thing you have to do is inform SAM. The staff there will guide you on what to do next, which I usually phrase as “doing paperwork”.

Yes, I know, I hate that too, but that’s the actual job of a club president: Doing paperwork.

The papers will vary depending on what you want to do, but there is something you must do before starting your project, that is: Inform SAM. No, I’m not joking, you must inform SAM first, because you need their permission to do it, especially with the activity that happens inside the campus. Nevertheless, after that event, you will need to submit some kind of paper to SAM, which I will mention in the next part.

“Then what if they don’t allow us to do our project?”

Throw it away, of course? Or you can consider doing it with another organization, outside VinUni, but I don’t think you can bring your club’s name with you.

“How about just doing it without informing? They’ll have no choice but to accept because it already happened.”

Do you hear anything? Yes, the naive lymphocytes are laughing at your face.

The fact is, SAM knows exactly what you’re about to do, and they’re well prepared to deal with the naughty kids like you. I know, because I used to be a naughty kid before, and if I have anything to say, that will be...Do your best, and try not to cry.

2. Club budget

Here, the reason why you cannot avoid fighting with SAM, and the reason why SAM has to take the villain role even though they want to be supporters.

Each year, depending on how good your presentation skill is, VinUni will give your club a fixed budget to handle the cost incurred. Let’s assume that number is 10 million VND. In the fall semester, you’ll be transferred 5 mil. If you spend all that money in that semester, you can receive the rest 5 mil in the Spring semester. But if you don’t, for example, you spend 3 mil on a project and still have 2 mil, you will not receive the remaining 5 mil. You’ll have to spend the 2 mil you have first before contacting SAM to take the rest.

In summary, you have 5 million VND to do whatever you want, and still have 5 mil more for prevention. Is that what you think?

Oh, you poor naive little sheeps.

Although the first 5 mil is transferred, BUT, you cannot spend it as you want. As I said before, you must, again, must, inform SAM whenever you want to touch the club’s budget. Usually, they’ll require you to write a proposal, listing out all the things you want to do in your project, from information, activities, management board, and finally, expenditures. Please put all your mind to the proposal, do it as carefully as possible, and remember to ask for feedback from your advisor before submitting. In addition, please prepare your mind too, because whatever you try, SAM is still not an easy meat to chew.

This is last year’s “Green Sports Day”. With big events like this, SAM may give you an extra budget if your proposal for activity is good.

With big expenses, you need a proposal, then what about small expenses, say for a bonding session of your club? Do you still need a proposal for that?

First, we don’t use our budget for bonding, we pay for it with our own money. You will understand the reason while running your club.

Second, I had written a proposal for a logo before, and it was one of the most ridiculous things I have ever done in my life. Just, like I said, inform SAM beforehand. If they ask you to write one, write it. But if they don't, congratulations, you still need to do paperwork, because a project proposal is not the only paper you need to do. Depending on your expenses, you will need a specialized document to prove that you really spend the money they give you for it. It can be VAT, receipt, contract, delivery records, any legal document with the exact amount of money you spend on it, and it has to be accepted by SAM.

This trouble leads to another trouble: What if the sellers cannot give you receipts for the things you need?

Well…then you need some tricks…I can’t say here because my club is different from your club, so you can ask SAM or your club’s advisor for more information.

3. Media

Not only a good leader and a careful audit, you also need to be an expert in media to be a proper club’s president.

I won’t tell you more about the advantage of promoting your club, since it’s too obvious. You can do it more or less, even not do, I won’t judge, because the way you lead your club and your expectations will not be similar to mine or anyone. The thing I want you to know is the final stage of your journey as a club’s president: The Club’s Annual Report.

Long story short, that’s the report of what you did in the whole academic year, including number of members, expense report, and the projects you did, with evidence.

“With evidence?”

Before and after the project, you need to do media for it on Facebook page (or any social media platform your club uses). Depending on your human resources, the number of posts can vary, or, if you are really lacking in media personnel, a pretty image with a brief description is okay. However, you must, I repeat, must have at least one post on your page about that project. My biggest mistake in the whole career is forgetting about our page, and believe me, you don’t want to experience the consequences.

“Career Day 2022”, the event that I used to make a lot of designs for when I joined my first club, an example of “doing media properly”.

So, even though you are a lowkey with an empty Facebook wall that doesn't even have an avatar, or have the same avatar for almost 5 years (like me), please do your best to build a proper page for your club.

There are many more things I want to share with you, the one who may sit next to me in the meetings with SAM this year, but this post is already too long, and I also don’t want to steal the job of your club’s advisor, so I will stop here. Hope that I have given you a basic idea of what a club’s president has to do. And, if you need any help, feel free to reach out to me and the other club presidents. We are all happy to support you.

See you at the Club Fair.




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