Clubs and organizations on campus allow students who share a common interest the ability to express themselves in an outlet appealing to them. The French Club at Shepherd University extends an invitation to students with any interest in French culture.
The club started in February 2013 when students and faculty members agreed that there needed to be a French presence on campus. Since then, the French Club continues to give students the opportunity to broaden their horizons and learn more about Francophone culture as the club brings the best of France and other French-speaking countries to campus.
Co-faculty advisor of the French Club, Dr. Lois Jarman, brings years of experience, along with a passion for the French language and culture, to the club. Dr. Jarman emphasizes the importance of having some sort of multicultural recognition on campus and encourages all students to participate. In addition, Jarman explains that the French Club gives students the opportunity to meet new people throughout the campus and community due to the broad variety of the club’s members.
Previous experience with the French language is not required to participate in this organization. The French Club doesn’t necessarily revolve around the French language. It is not a club for bilingual students, but rather an organization that focuses on what the French culture consists of. Activities within the French Club are in English for the most part; nevertheless, students who partake in this club will inevitably walk away with an understanding of some basic French terminology. All that is required of a student thinking of joining is an interest in getting to know more about the French culture.
Meetings for the club take place on Mondays and generally the club will meet on a monthly basis. In addition to these meetings, there are various events that the French Club will host throughout the year. Members try to enhance the number of students in the club by implementing fun, crowd-pleasing activities. Previously, they have done poetry readings and a movie night.
Dr. Jarman explains some of the benefits of being a member of this multicultural outlet: “We make food! Last year we had a crêpe-making party at one of our meetings, we plan campus-wide events like our monthly movie nights, and generally have a great time!”
Additionally, the club will be doing a “story hour” for children at the Shepherdstown Public Library. Throughout the duration of the hour, local children will get to hear stories in French and take part in some hands-on activities. Dr. Jarman explained that the French Club members volunteer to help with the activities and some choose to read to the children and assist in teaching basic vocabulary.
“Story hour is a great way for Shepherd students to learn some French and help out,” Jarman said.
Story hour will take place the first Monday of every month from 4–5 p.m.