Re: Aikido Club at College
I can probably tell you more if you give me some details (are you student, faculty, staff; are you planning on teaching the club or finding a sensei willing to visit; how long do you plan on staying at UC Davis, etc), but here is some general advice based on what I've learned.
First, develop a good relationship with whoever runs the facility that you plan on training in. If it is the gymnasium I would first work to get a list of those who are interested, then arrange a meeting with the person in charge to ask what they can do to help. Often they'll have acess to mats, special rooms, and other things that would be helpful. If you get them really excited they may even be willing to spend some money on the club.
Second, don't expect the first year to be easy. It takes time for the word to spread, and while you can get fairly large numbers to the first couple of classes, many will find it's not for them.
Third, expect to see the numbers drop with every batch of midterms.
Fourth, university clubs do not tend to develop a lot of depth. Students graduate and move on. I think of myself as a feed of students into the general aikido community, and that helps.
That being said, I love doing it. I started in a university club when I was a grad student, and loved that. Now I'm a professor, and three or four years ago a group of students approached me about starting a club where I work. The first year was hard, but now I have a great group of students to work with, and we seem to stay limited in numbers to the amount of mat space we have.
Good luck starting the club, and please let me know if I can help in any way.