Ambrose will soon be experiencing a little taste of Spanish spice, a newly organized Spanish club having met last Thursday in the Rogalski Center to discuss future activities and how they plan to share Hispanic culture around campus.
“Spanish needs to have a presence on campus,” sophomore member Morgan Schmitz said. “We’re thinking about doing movie nights, possibly a spelling bee, and even a scavenger hunt in Spanish.”
The club, which currently consists of approximately 12 members, was formed by Arturo Meijide, assistant professor of Spanish. While he plays an advising role and is not present at the meetings, he plans to make the Spanish Club an organization that can be seen and heard around campus.
“It’s a good way of promoting Spanish,” Meijide said. “I think that it is useful for students to know a second language and to have this informal environment to practice it in.”
Informal is definitely the current set up. Students came and went to last Thursday’s meeting as they pleased, offering their input while engaging in authentic Spanish conversation.
And while the majority of the students present were fluent, this wasn’t the case for everyone.
“It’s a growing trend,” sophomore Rachel Pasker said.
While she is not studying Spanish, Pasker sees the language as an important tool to have.
“A lot of jobs are looking at people that are bilingual, and that’s why I’m here,” Pasker said.
It is for this reason that Meijide insists that membership be open to all students, not just Spanish majors and minors.
“The goal is involving the whole campus community,” Meijide said. “Students need to be conscious about the importance of learning another language. Nowadays, it’s impossible to live in the real world if you are not conscious about other cultures and languages.”
However, for those students who are enrolled in Spanish courses, members hope they will be able to assist one another with homework, proofreading essays andhelpful tips about studying abroad.
Even though a dozen students attended the first meeting, the overall longevity of the Spanish club is not set in stone. Since starting at Ambrose three years ago, Meijide has tried every year to establish a Spanish club with little success.
“Because we are in a small department, we don’t have so many students,” Meijide said. “So in order to make it work, we need almost every student to be involved with this project.”
Meijide remains optimistic that this will be the year, stating that significantly more students have expressed interest in joining the club.
Junior Victoria Cook was involved with her high school Spanish club and remembers well the impact it can have on students.
“A Spanish club is a great idea to have on campus,” Cook said. “Not only does it allow students to interact with others who share their interests, but also it allows students to immerse themselves in a Spanish culture. And the best way to learn a language is immersion.”
Any student that is interested in joining the Spanish Club may attend their meetings held every Thursday in the Rogalski Center at 8:30 p.m.