Students connecting through French Club

Kyara Morales-Rodriguez, Campus Reporter

Eastern Registered Student Organizations, or RSOs, available to fit the wants, needs, and likes of members of the Eastern community. French Club is just the place for those looking to learn more about the French language and francophone, or French-speaking, culture.

Addison Gladu, a senior majoring in piano performance and general music education and minoring in French, is French Club’s president.

She said she joined French Club because she wanted to make the French language and culture a bigger part of her life and explained that in the RSO, people can learn the French language in order to fluently think, speak, and express themselves in the language.

Gladu also explained that French Club’s purpose as an RSO is to celebrate, study, and share the French language and culture with the Eastern community.

“We want to invite students from all majors, perspectives, and experiences to join us in our study of the French language and celebration of francophone culture,” she said. “We are an inclusive group, as you do not have to speak French to join, because we speak both French and English at club meetings.”

French Club has weekly meetings both via Zoom and in-person on Wednesdays at 5 pm. The weekly meetings allow the RSO’s members, which come from many different areas of study and experience levels with the French language, to come together and enjoy French culture.

Like all other RSOs, French Club was affected by COVID-19 and the guidelines Eastern set to prevent the spread on campus. Despite that, French Club has still found ways to have events throughout the school year that are both safe and fun.

“Most of our events have been on Zoom, but the few in-person events we’ve had were very safe and fun at the same time. We just had to get creative,” Gladu said. “We had to cut out the food-related events for now, as well as stay adamant about our physical distance.”

Before Covid began spreading in the United States, affecting how the RSO’s events were run, French Club had many fun and educational in-person events.

“Some weeks, we had special events, like the traditional French cheese and dessert tasting, during non-Covid semesters,” she said. “[We have also had] film nights, game nights, and culture nights.”

The organization also met up at Eastern’s Java Beanery and Bakery about every other week to have “La Table Française,” a French conversation table. “La Table Française” gives members of French Club a casual and relaxed environment in which to practice speaking French with others. French Club has found a way to still have this event by instead having it via Zoom.

So far this school year, French Club has held many events both via Zoom and in person.

“My two favorites were the French game night, where we played Charades in French, and our ‘Chalk the Campus’ event, where we wrote messages of positivity and global awareness around campus. At the ‘Chalk the Campus’ event, we also drew spooky pumpkins around campus,” Gladu said.

Gladu said that she hopes more people of all French experience levels find an interest in joining French Club.

“Specifically, I would love to have more francophone international students participate, as they always add so much to what we do, bringing their culture and perspective into the game,” she said.

 

Kyara Morales-Rodriguez can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]