Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
For those who don't speak German, Kaffeeklatsch translates to “coffee party,” and it’s a coffee party every Wednesday at 4 p.m at the German House (Hillside 5F, not to be confused with HILL Suite 5F).
Well, “party” may not be the appropriate term. There’s usually no music or dancing, but there is coffee. There are also cookies, straight from the oven (some days, literally). With plenty of coffee and cookies, the weekly Kaffeeklatsch are laidback and conversational. And very yummy.
No one remembers when exactly the Kaffeeklatsch meetings began. I know when I was a freshman they had them, so they are at least three years old. Regardless of the age, it’s become a tradition and main staple of the German Club. They always precede and then continue after the regular meetings, helping to keep everyone full and caffeinated.
One of the biggest draws of the German Club is the free food, whether it's at the meetings or the events. Call it bribery or whatever you want, but it is something the club always strives to have. The weekly Kaffeeklatsch is the best example of this. The way I see it, the Germans take their food and drink seriously, so the German Club should as well. And free food is the best kind.
Correction: USG-funded food is the best kind. The cookies, coffee, and creamer come straight out of our rather generous budget. So we get to have Kekse (cookies) and Kaffee (coffee) at every meeting without making the club officers go broke.
You might say, “I don’t speak German so I can’t come to the Kaffie-coffee-whatever-it's-called, right?” Wrong. Speaking German is optional. The meetings are not conducted in German and most of the conversation is not. Of course, if you want to, we usually have the two German professors and a number of German speakers at the meetings. They would love to help you with your German. However, more often than not, the conversations are in English.
The point of the club is to promote and enjoy German culture. The point of the Kaffeeklatsch is to gather everyone interested in German culture and converse with each other. We usually get a good group of 6-12 people showing up, so there's never a lack of conversation. Even if you’re only remotely interested, you’re encouraged to stop by and have a cup of coffee and chat. The meetings start at 4:30 and run about 15 minutes, depending on how much needs to be talked about. Then we hang out some more afterwards and chat. Interested students are always welcome, and there’s always plenty of coffee to spare.
It's that time of year again. I don't mean mid-terms, either.
The German Club will host its annual Oktoberfest celebration on Friday, Sept. 30 at HILL suite 5F (a.k.a the International Suite). While alcohol can’t be served due to college policies, German food such as sausages and potato salad (it's technically Pennsylvania Dutch but we figured it was German enough) will be. There will also be the usual array of chips, pretzels, and soda. And streamers. No, they're not edible but it will make the suite look awesome and very German-like.
Normally the event is hosted at the German House, the club’s special interest house. If you've gone to Oktoberfest in years before, you probably remember this. However, due to size restrictions, this year it will be held at from 4:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m, though feel free to stay longer.
You might be wondering why the celebration is at the end of September, considering it’s called Oktoberfest. The famous Oktoberfest in Munich is a 16-18 day long celebration that begins sometime in mid-September. This year’s Oktoberfest started Sep. 17 and will last until Oct. 3, which is the national unification holiday. The unification holiday, if you're not familiar with German history, is the day when the country was officially united after the Berlin Wall came down. If Oktoberfest comes up right against the holiday, they extend it an extra day so they can party harder for a day longer. So technically, our event is right in the middle of the real celebration.
The German Club’s Oktoberfest won’t be quite as big or as long as the Munich festival, since the United Student Government would likely throw a fit if it was. It'd be great if we could budget a trip to Munich and really party it up there, but again, USG would take serious issue with that, and then there's those pesky issues of accountability and safety. To compromise, we hold our own. It's smaller but it proves to be fun every year. I've seen everywhere from 15-45 people show up at Oktoberfest celebrations in the past. The free food is a big draw (it's dinner without using a swipe) but also the party atmosphere brings people in. Especially after the end of a long, rough week and with mid-terms approaching, it's a good opportunity to kick back, relax, and listen to a mix of polka music and Rammstein (a very popular German band).
You don’t need to be a German Club member to come to Oktoberfest. The event is open to the entire campus and everyone is encouraged to attend. 5F is a handicap-accessible suite, so anyone with disabilities can come as well. If you enjoy parties and free food, then stop by on Sep. 30 and check it out.
- Friday, Sept. 30
- HILL Suite 5F (International Suite)
- It's free!
Monday, September 26, 2011
If you're still interested in joining more clubs this semester, you might want to start haunting the USG's clubs and organizations list. So far, about 50 clubs registered at Moravian College this semester. Katie Danstin of the Leadership Center believes there are at least 80 clubs on campus, though she is still waiting to hear back from all of them. Because of this, I can't provide a complete list of this semester's clubs just yet. Follow this blog for a later update on the new clubs for this semester.
Club registration is a hectic time for both the United Student Government (USG) and for the clubs. After helping with the German Club's registration, I know partly how the process works. I can only imagine how difficult it is on USG's end.
Last semester (May 2011), Moravian College had 93 registered clubs and organizations. For a full list, see http://www.moravian.edu/default.aspx?pageid=1691.Those 93 clubs included:
- Academic Associations: These are the kinds of clubs to look into if you enjoy learning something new, whether it's a language, accounting, art, history, philosophy, etc. They host lectures and trips, and even parties on occasion. Basically I like to think of these as the "major clubs:" if you've got a major, there's more than likely a club for it, and you'll find it under Academic Associations.
- Campus Communications and Media: Aspiring journalists, writers, and radio personalities, ahoy! The organizations here deal with the newspaper, yearbook, radio, and magazines.
- Campus Life Organizations: These organizations are involved with the campus, whether it's USG representing the student body or IMPACT that keeps the students entertained and active on campus. They all help to better and provide services to the campus.
- Club Sports: They are the non-varsity clubs, such as the cheerleaders and the equestrian team.
- Community Service Organizations: As the name implies, they are volunteer community service groups that help the community, the campus, or even the environment.
- Health Awareness: It's another group whose category says it all: they deal with health awareness on campus, promoting good eating habits and sponsoring health-centered programs and talks.
- Honor Organizations: These are a bit different from the other organizations. You need to be nominated into these societies by participating in a certain major and meeting set requirements. They recognize achievement in their designated fields, such as political science and biology.
- Performing Arts: This group is focused on music and drama. Aspiring actors and musicians should look into the organizations under this header to see if there are any clubs they might be interested in.
- Religious Life: These clubs are focused on religion and spirituality with groups like the Christian Associations to the Muslim Students Association.
- Special Interest: This covers a wide range of clubs. All the organizations under this title don't belong to the ones above, so they are considered special interest. Such clubs include the Harry Potter Society, the Environmental Coalition, and political clubs.
What should be noted is that this list does not include Greek Life and the varsity sports. Those are separate from the USG-run clubs. USG’s listed organizations are what I plan to blog about. The Greek sororities and fraternities are in-depth and massive enough to warrant a totally separate blog, and the same goes for the varsity sports. Sorry if that's what you were looking for, but I think those organizations get enough coverage on campus. I'm speaking up for the smaller guys here.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Welcome to “The Club Scene,” my blog about the clubs/organizations at Moravian College. Although my blog is a requirement for my Online Journalism class, I chose this topic for three main reasons:
- Clubs help develop and nurture the interests and passions of the students.
- They help students meet new friends and develop new interests.
- The clubs need to spread word about them.
Let me elaborate.
Consider this: Moravian College is a small school. There are less than 2,000 students on campus. That’s smaller than some of the high schools in the area.
With such a small population, it’s hard to imagine any kind of diversity on campus. At a quick glance, most of the students you see here are white and are from Pennsylvania or New Jersey. That doesn’t exactly scream ‘variety.’
No, if you want to find the heart of Moravian’s diversity, you have to take a look at the clubs. There are several dozen of them just funded by the United Student Government (USG) alone; that does not cover all the sports clubs or the Greek Societies. I’ve been going here for nearly four years, and I’m still learning about clubs I never knew existed.
This myriad of organizations is the true reflection of diversity at Moravian. They cover a range of interests, from sports to languages to literature and beyond. They’re the best way for like-minded students to ban together and do (or talk about) what they love.
Secondly, there are over seven dozen listed organizations on campus. It means that, more than likely, there is something for everyone to do.
It also presents an opportunity to learn about new things and meet new people. I consider myself pretty curious. If something sounds even remotely interesting, I’ll want to look into it. Besides, why blog about one particular thing when you can write about a whole bunch of them?
The third reason I want to blog about the clubs is slightly more personal. I’m an officer of the German Club, and I know the struggles of getting word out about club meetings and events. I’m sure other clubs have the same problem. So I’m hoping if this blog can at least help spread the word, then I’ll consider it a great accomplishment.