Arts and Cultural Clubs Want YOU!

“Fall in Love With Fordham” This September While Getting Creative and Cultured


Published: August 25, 2010

Most returning Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) students know that there are plenty of arts and cultural clubs on campus, many which offer student performances, free ethnic cuisine and a chance for students with similar artistic passions or cultural backgrounds to get together and celebrate all they share with the campus community. But for freshmen, transfer students and even returning students, the long list of acronyms lining club mailboxes in the Office of Student Leadership and Community Development (OSLCD) can be daunting. How is anyone supposed to remember what all those letters stand for anyway? One way is to get involved with one of the many arts or cultural student organizations at FCLC.

This year, OSLCD, the department that oversees club programming, has designated the entire month of September as “Fall in Love With Fordham,” a month-long program of events in which OSLCD advertises student clubs’ events in order to help new and returning students learn about and get involved with clubs on campus, according to Dorothy Wenzel, director of student leadership and community development at FCLC.

If students become involved with an arts or cultural club, they have “the opportunity to come together with other like-minded students,” Wenzel said. “You get to create the kind of campus community you want to see if you take a leadership role in these organizations.”

During New Student Orientation, freshmen and transfer students have the opportunity to learn about student organizations at a dinner with club leaders, which takes place on Aug. 30 at 5:45 p.m. on the outdoor plaza. In addition, students can engage with club representatives during Club Day on Sept. 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

For students interested in musical theatre but not necessarily in the theatre major, Splinter Group may be the club for you. “We splintered off of the regular theatre department,” said Jessica Charles, FCLC ’12, president of Splinter Group. Theatre and non-theatre majors are welcome to audition for Splinter Group which puts on two shows a year. Fifteen to twenty dedicated members often double as cast and crew. Last year’s student-written musical theatre productions included “1998 Degrees,” which featured music from ’90s pop groups, and “The Finals Countdown,” which featured pop songs set to a story about the college experience. This semester, Splinter Group will put on the song-cycle “Edges.”

Similar to Splinter Group, Chamber Singers offers FCLC students the chance to exercise their musical talent regardless of their major. As the FCLC chapter of the Fordham University choir, Chamber Singers performs at the Fordham Founder’s Dinner, Festival of Lessons and Carols in December, and Spring Concert with their peers in the Rose Hill Concert Choir. In addition, Chamber Singers goes on tour, having performed in Washington, DC and Montreal and Quebec City, Canada in recent years.

“I know a lot of people come from high school loving to sing, loving to be a part of a musical ensemble of some sort, and Chamber Singers provides that kind of outlet,” said Sophie Stanish, FCLC ’12, president of Chamber Singers. Stanish hopes to organize a Karaoke Night with the Rose Hill choir as a means to bring students from both campuses together. At FCLC, Chamber Singers will be screening the classic musical “My Fair Lady” on Sept. 9.

“I think it’s nice when we have something to do most Thursday and Friday nights of the semester rather than no options to come together,” Wenzel said. “Most of the clubs that are doing the large-scale events tend to be our cultural clubs.”

For the second year in a row, the Polish Students Organization (PSO) will host Euro Night on Nov. 12 with Ciao, Hellenic Society and Gaelic Society. The event, which will take place in the Atrium and Student Lounge beginning at 7 p.m., celebrates the diversity of European culture with Italian, Greek, Irish, and Polish food and music.

PSO also sponsors an annual dinner outing to Karczma, a traditional Polish restaurant located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn taking place on Sept. 22. It has become a favorite PSO-sponsored event for members, according to Nick Sulicki, FCLC ’11, president of PSO. “We figured this would be a great way to introduce new members to Polish food as well as welcome back old members,” Sulicki said. In order to show their cultural pride, PSO members also march with Rose Hill’s Polish Cultural Exchange in the Pulaski Day Parade each October.

“Sometimes people will get intimidated by cultural clubs because they feel like they have to be that sort of culture to be part of that club,” said Monica Hanna, FCLC ’12, president of the Middle Eastern Students Association (MESA). “But it’s definitely not like that with MESA. Half our executive board is not Middle Eastern.” Students only need “a love for learning about other cultures and an open mind,” according to Hanna, in order to get involved with a cultural organization on campus.

At MESA’s biggest event of the year, the Sultan’s Soiree held in the spring, LC students have the opportunity to learn about Middle Eastern culture and tradition via regional food and music, a performance by a belly dancer, and a student performance of the debkah, a traditional Middle Eastern line dance. On Sept. 16, MESA is sponsoring a dinner outing to the Turkish restaurant Ali Baba.

“Certainly the department [OSLCD] couldn’t do all this. We have a small staff,” Wenzel said. “We couldn’t create the kind of campus culture [student club leaders] have been able to create.”