Leading a JCL Chapter:
Establishing a Club: Before you recruit students and hold a meeting, check with your school administration to find out the regulations for organizing an extracurricular activity. You may need to set up an account with your school’s business office to handle finances.
Your First Meeting: Your first meeting should be held early in the school year, in August if possible. This meeting should be devoted to discussing goals for the club, membership, dues, upcoming election of officers, and activities planned for the year. Scrapbooks from other JCL chapters may be borrowed to give your students an idea of what JCL is about; please contact a State Chair if you would like to borrow one of these.
Membership: Membership requirements are made at the discretion of the local sponsor. The NJCL constitution states that all members “shall be taking or have taken a classical language or a course in the classical humanities.” Many sponsors require that JCL members be enrolled in Latin, have taken four (4) years of Latin, or have taken all the Latin courses that their school offers. You will need to send a typed and alphabetized list of your club membership, along with your dues, to the State Chairs. Membership and dues are due by October 31st.
Dues: LJCL State Dues are $8 per student, if paid by the deadline. They are $9 per student if paid after this date. NJCL dues are $2 per person and may be paid through LJCL or directly to NJCL. You may pay state and national dues at the same time, using the membership form which is sent to you in August. You may also pay your ACL member dues using this form, if you have not already done so. Remember that as a JCL sponsor, you must be an ACL member! Keep these fees in mind when collecting dues from your members. You may also want to specify an amount that each member pays that will go to your club treasury. You may use this to purchase club T-shirts, spirit items for LJCL Convention, snacks for meetings, organizational materials, et cetera.
Election of Club Officers: At your first meeting, describe the various offices to your students. Elections can then be held at the second meeting. Your officers should be elected as soon as possible, so that you can send officer information to LJCL, and so that officers can attend the appropriate workshops at Fall Forum. You also have the option of electing officers in the spring of the previous year, but this eliminates opportunities for new and/or young students. Most JCL chapters have the following student officers:
- President: presides over meetings, attends all meetings and activities, plans and organizes activities for the chapter
- First Vice-President: oversees publicity for chapter, publicizes chapter events in school and local media, enters publicity in state publicity contest
- Second Vice-President: coordinates spirit activities for LJCL Convention
- Historian: constructs chapter scrapbook, designs chapter T-shirt
- Parliamentarian: organizes chapter elections, maintains chapter handbook and constitution
- Editor: distributes pertinent information to club members, coordinates local certamen team
- Technology Coordinator: manages the clubs online presence, specifically the club website but, if acceptable, the clubs social media; enters website in state and national website contest
You may also wish to create additional offices due to your clubs needs. Most local clubs do not have a Treasurer, as the sponsor typically handles all club funds. To see how the state board operates, please look under “State Board” and scroll to the specific position or look at the LJCL Constitution under Article VII.
Workshops for each office are held at the annual LJCL Fall Forum. These workshops are conducted by the LJCL State Officers, and are a great opportunity for your local officers to meet others who have similar responsibilities and to learn more about their office. When you have elected your local officers, please send a typed list of the officers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses to the State Chairs. This may be included with your membership form and dues.
Club T-shirts: Nearly all local JCL chapters create at least one club T-shirt each year. You may choose to have the shirt designed by the club Historian, you may design the shirt yourself, or you may hold a “design competition” among members of your club. You may want to take into account expenses when deciding on whether to have a long or short-sleeved shirt or what colors will be part of the design. T-shirts usually become more expensive with each color added to the design. There is a T-shirt contest at the LJCL Convention. To be eligible for this competition, the T-shirt must illustrate the convention theme for the current year. The theme can be found on the NJCL website and will be publicized by the State Chairs and the LJCL Editor as soon as it is announced in the fall.
Calendar of Events: Once you and your club officers have planned out the year, give all members a list of important dates for the year. This list should include all local club events and deadlines, as well as State and National events and deadlines. Keep this list posted in your classroom as well.