he Knox College French Club has used its new apartment in Exec to increase its size and role on campus.
“The apartment gives us a place to host our meetings,” junior Katie Baer, French Club treasurer said. This has created less of a hassle compared to last year’s location at The Center for Intercultural Life. “It provides for a less formal atmosphere because it’s in a residential hall,” Baer said.
Last year, the club had only a small number of members, but has expanded to a double-digit membership. The club also tried to get a house, but was turned away as their application for special interest housing was late. Despite this, Director of Residential Learning Craig Southern was able to arrange for French Club to get an apartment in Exec. There are two other apartments in the building that house other club members.
The apartment, where meetings are held, is home to four members including Baer and club president junior Elise Hyser. The closeness of the executive members allows for an ease of communication when deciding on club issues. The living room also has many items of French paraphernalia, contributing to the apartment’s French vibe.
Professor of French Schahrazede Longou urges members to speak French while in the apartment.
“I’m happy to see my students learning outside of the classroom,” Longou said.
The growth of French Club has provided hope to expand to a theme house next year. In the new house, Longou “hopes to see students immersed in a learning environment.”
“[With a house] we will be able to have an open door policy and have a bigger space,” Baer said. Longou agrees and thinks it will be positive for the French Club and the French program.
The bigger space will also allow for events including speakers or musicians to be held in the apartment.
“We hosted the crepe event this term,” Surmak said, “but we had to host it at The Center for Intercultural Life since it was open to the public.” Outside of movie nights and weekly meetings, the club has to find non-residential space to host their other events.
With the bigger space, Longou looks forward to a bigger kitchen. “I hope for the kitchen to have French foods and spices,” Longou said.
The house next year will hopefully also house native French speakers. “[They] will enhance the learning experience,” Longou said.
Last year, the club lacked a budget, which limited the club’s presence on campus. “Having a budget will help us to have more events,” Surmak said. Some of these events include possibly a field trip to Chicago and a repeat of the crepe event held earlier this term.