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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

French and Francophone Club revitalized in the Brandeis community

Published: March 28, 2014
Section: News

This year, Leslie Kamel ’16, Samantha Way ’16 and Breanna Vizlakh ’15 have decided to revive Brandeis’ dormant French and Francophone Club.

Brandeis is known to have hundreds of different clubs that cater to an array of interests and causes. It may come as a surprise that something as prevalent on a college campus as French did not have a club that was consistently maintained. The French Club will now return with the purpose of celebrating and promoting “awareness of French and Francophone culture.”

The club’s priority is to generate interest in French and Francophone history, art, politics and literature, and will provide “unique opportunities for growth and development of French language skills in a comfortable environment.” The club is open to anyone in the Brandeis community.

“There was a French club at Brandeis in the past, but by the time we came, it was no longer active. After speaking to professors in the French department and conducting brief presentations in their classrooms, we noticed a genuine interest and excitement for a restoration of the club,” Kamel said.

The club is not yet officially established but does have an Executive Board consisting of seven active leaders who meet on a weekly basis in Farber Library. Students have been working closely with the faculty members of the French and Francophone Studies department as they work to become a chartered club, as well as introducing the club to students in French classes.

Vice President Vizlakh hopes the club will serve as a staple in the extracurricular community at Brandeis.

“My vision for this club is to establish a permanent niche in the Brandeis community,” Vizlakh said. “I feel very strongly about the benefits and exciting possibilities this club has to offer to all Brandeis students, and I believe that there is a genuine interest from students in all French levels in having this club available to them.”

Vizlakh also discussed what the club’s plans are for the future, including events that they hope will take place to encourage more participation within the Brandeis community.

“As a club, we plan to create exciting events that attract all students, regardless of language proficiency and to create a relaxed, enjoyable environment in which all French and Francophone students can come to practice their language skills, socialize and learn about French and Francophone culture,” Vizlakh said.

Some things that the club wants to emphasize include film, food, French culture and of course, the language.

The club’s first event will be held on Tuesday, April 1, from 5-6 p.m. in the Castle Commons. Immediately after, the club will go before the Student Senate to petition for recognition as a club. If they are granted recognition, club members can look forward to monthly events that are planned to take effect during the Fall 2014 semester. Some of these events include eating Francophone foods, watching films and participating in events hosted by the French Consulate.

“My hope is to share my interests and passions with my peers and to offer all Brandeis students an outlet that lets them take the knowledge they have acquired within the classroom and apply it in a friendly club atmosphere,” Kamel, the club’s president, said.