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Co-founders revive German culture on campus with German club

By Brianna Cummings

Section: Arts

September 9, 2016

Brandeis has over 200 clubs, ranging from archery to debate, but one that people may not be aware of is German Club. German Club is a student group dedicated to promoting awareness about German culture. The club was recently founded by seniors Kristen Foaksman and Gilberto Calderin in the fall of 2015. Foaksman and Calderin have known each other since their first year and have bonded over their goal to create German Club.

“We met through our OL group. That is when we realized that we were both interested in German culture,” said Foaksman, the German Club’s president.

Although it sounds interesting, German Club is not a novel idea. Brandeis has had a German Club that existed for years before becoming dormant in the past few years.

“There was a German Club but it phased out, so we decided to revive it,” said Calderin, the publicist. “It was easier to bring back an already existing club, rather than create a new one.
In order to take part in German Club, one does not have to be German or even take German courses; they just have to be open to learning about German culture.” Both of the co-founders have a deep love of German culture. Calderin recently studied abroad in Germany’s capital city, Berlin. In addition to studying the city’s history and the rise and fall of the Berlin wall, Calderin also studied minorities in Berlin. Calderin says he would love to discuss this topic within the club.

“I am interested in helping debunk German stereotypes. I also would like to talk about the role Germany plays in the European economy and the situation in Germany with the refugee crisis,” said Calderin.

Kristen says her interest in German developed long before coming to Brandeis. “My mom is German but I also just find the language interesting. I find language interesting in general,” said Foaksman, who is a Linguistics major.

The club does not have a weekly schedule set in place, but the E-board will schedule meetings once or twice a month. Each meeting will be dedicated to teaching students about German culture.

“We are planning a cooking night and a movie night, and educating people on German culture by showing movies and baking German goods,” said Foaksman. “We want people to enjoy the German way of life without leaving campus.”

However, the German Club does have an event planned that will take place off-campus. In honor of Oktoberfest, the German Club plans on attending an annual Oktoberfest event in Cambridge in early October. Buses will take students to and from the event.

German Club is always open to new members and is very receptive to new ideas. “We have open positions for our E-board,” said Calderin. “We have a lot of big plans, including crossovers with other clubs,” said Foaksman, who is also the president of Russian Club. If students are interested, they can follow the club’s Facebook page or contact either of the co-founders about involvement in the club.

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