My name is Antoinette Senjanovich. I am the president of the French Club at NEIU as well as a French Studies and secondary education major. Our current adviser is Mary-Ellen McGoey, who is also the associate professor of French for our Department of World Languages and Cultures.
Our club’s current mission statement is the following:
“We are an organization that will introduce, preserve, and discuss French culture in society. Together, we can demonstrate how important French culture is to the diversity of our university, this country, and, more largely, this world.”
But what does that mean? As a club, we try to introduce information to the university community about the importance of French culture and the French language. Our inspiration to do so stems from many places. For some of us, we have studied or are currently studying French language. For the rest of us, we simply like some aspect of French culture. Whether you know it, French is all around us. Do you like drama? Movies? Music? History? Literature? Food? Fashion? Traveling? All of these things and more can be directly tied to France, and if you find yourself interested in any of the above things, you would have something to gain from knowing how French culture and language has contributed to its development.
Last year, we had an event showing the history of French cinema and just how innovative early French filmmakers were. We have also visited French restaurants, such as Mon Ami Gabi and Le Bouchon. “The Conversation Café” opened its doors last year as well. Students were able to come and learn about the French language and culture, as well as enjoy coffee and eat pastries. Beginners, intermediate speakers, advanced speakers, and also non-speakers joined us for this event! We have participated in International Day, where we have baked goods to sell. We also take part in Mardi Gras celebrations around campus, and we have hosted events where people could make their own Mardi Gras masks.
This year, we celebrated National French Week on Nov. 8, 2012, with French professors Mary Ellen McGoey and Pamela Czech. We had contests where participants could enter to win a t-shirt from the store of the American Association of Teachers of French. We also had opportunities for students to sign up to become a French major or minor, and join French Club.
We’re open to all current students of the university community. It is not necessary to speak French – all meetings are conducted in English. If someone is interested in ANY aspect of French culture, has a passion for learning about it, or wants to share its importance with others, then we encourage them to join us. If you are looking for a resume booster, this could also help you out. As our world is becoming more diverse and connected each day, learning about other cultures is crucial.
We usually meet in the Language Lab (LIB-449, located on the 4th floor of the library) on Tuesdays at 3pm. To find out when we meet next, our future and current plans, to ask questions, or to be added to our e-mail list, please e-mail [email protected] If social networking is your preferred source of communication, please follow us on Twitter at @NEIUFrenchClub. For Facebook, please search “NEIU French Club,” like our page and become our friend. You can also visit our official website which can be found by going to www.neiufrenchclub.webs.com.
Merci becaucoup et à bientôt !