by Abby Crowell
After years of the French club’s absence at Manhattan College, two sophomore girls have successfully set out to resurrect Le Cercle Francais.
The co-presidents of the club are Gillian Fleshman, who is double majoring in French and Spanish, and Lauren Schuster, a communications major.
Unfortunately, the original French club ceased to exist for many years due to lack of interest. But with its new leaders and their creativity, Le Cercle Francais now has a promising future.
This year, Fleshman and Schuster are seeking to rekindle the club due to their love of the French language and culture, an idea that conceptualized for the girls during last spring semester. The academic advisor for this club is language professor Nevart Wanger. Wanger inspired the girls to reconstruct the club.
“I had French class with [Wanger] both semesters last year. At the end of the year, she asked if we would be interested in restarting Le Cercle Francais Club. Since then, we’ve been working on bringing back Le Cercle Francais Club,” Schuster said.
Fleshman and Schuster are adopting some of the activities from the old club, such as crepe nights and French movies nights as well as creating new opportunities for members. This club offers cultural immersion by hosting fun events that simultaneously interact with the alluring culture of France.
In addition to the original events, the co-presidents plan to host a cheese tasting, a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art focused on French works, as well as nights dedicated to French music and artists. They would also be interested in devoting a club meeting time to practice French language.
This semester, Le Cercle Francais Club has already accompanied the Italian Club to an Italian opera performance written by a French author. After a successful experience the two clubs hope to join forces again to offer more opportunities to their members.
The activities planned for the future may occur next semester due to the lack of recognition by Student Engagement. Le Cercle Francais Club is currently in the process of being recognized as a formal club under the office, which will eventually result in a budget given by the school. As for now, Wanger and its members must pay out of pocket for the club’s activities.
At the point of its creation, Le Cercle Francais Club had only four members, but that number has grown to ten and is expected to keep growing. Those who are interested in joining the email list or learning more can follow their Instagram account: @mc_cerclefrancais_.
“There is no language requirement for the club. It is mainly a cultural club, you do not have to take French” Schuster said, who is no longer enrolled in any French classes.
After Le Cercle Francais Club becomes recognized as a club, Schuster and Fleshman plan on hosting meetings to further plan the upcoming activities for next semester. The next step for the club will be creating a board of positions to assist the two leaders.
“Being bilingual is important in the 21st century, knowing numerous languages helps in this society. Yet, you don’t have to learn the language, learning the culture is just as important,” Fleshman said.
Editor’s Note: Lauren Schuster is a staff writer for The Quadrangle.