The idea of starting a clubnight is a rather simple execution nowadays. Any teenager with a laptop, a large iTunes collection of torrents can say they're a DJ, even though their claim destroys the definition of the term. So long as you have friends, a Facebook account, an overdraft to procure initial costs and patience, you'll be sorted. Here's how:
1. Sort out the music. Simple really; but one that is forgotten many times. Either choose a genre you like or a type of music that presents a gap in the local club scene, and stick with it. If it's a metal night, there's really no excuse to play dubstep.
2. Cater to audience? The unique quality to student-made club nights are the implicit meanings and ambience (to use pretentious language). Example. The USP of Phlebas is the friends = family: something that chimes well with the bro-claiming alternative crowd that's targeted. Figure out what will individualize your night: calling it a house party isn't enough anymore.
3. Facebook it. Add a load of people from your University, create an actual profile (makes it human, plus the timeline would be really interesting for promotion), then add people you have in your friends. This will always show at least one friend in common, allowing you to cheat the 'real-time serendipity' of Facebook. After this, spread the message through your University/student union/societies with relevant music tastes to bring more attention.
4. Venue. Spend time scoping out the pros and cons of various options as the quality of your venue will have a massive impact on your punters' experience. Easy to get to? Does it already attract your kind of people? What is its reputation? This will be the first time you'll have to dip into your pocket, so the cost is going to seem big. As a student, you'll accrue an overdraft through buying extortionate amounts of pointless amenities anyway, so you might as well place some finance into possibly useful projects.
5. Flyer it, poster it and time your night well. Freshers week is, without a doubt, the best time to push your night. With physical media like flyers and posters, you elevate yourself above all the other kids trying to do the same as you in club brand authority.
These are the simple building blocks to begin. Sometimes you're popular and the idea's popular, so it'll just fall into your hands. Others will take a long time to establish; but be patient and you'll get to the place of having a club night with a respectable crowd.
I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.