Club brings romance language to campus
Published: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 12:03
Although there are no Italian classes offered at USU, there is an organization on campus dedicated to the language. Italian club offers a chance for both students and members of the community to learn more about the language and its culture.
The Italian club started meeting about four weeks ago when some friends decided to get together to practice speaking the language.
“Apparently it existed several years ago and it died, and so we just brought it back,” said Scott Heninger, a junior majoring in psychology.
Many members of the club served missions in Italy for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including Heninger.
“Since then I’ve really wanted to find a way to practice it more,” Heninger said. “You forget it over time, and especially here in Utah, there aren’t very many opportunities to practice.”
Heninger is the president of the club. He convinced several other people who served missions in Italy to help him give the organization the reboot. Like Heninger, they want to be able to continue using Italian rather than lose the skill because they aren’t speaking it often enough.
“I just want to keep up my skills and keep improving,” said Jonathan McGarry, a USU alumnus who graduated in English and is applying for the MBA program.
At first, the club was intended for those who already speak Italian.
“The original idea was that it could be a good place for people to refresh their Italian,” Heninger said. “I mean, like a good place just to hang out and have conversation.”
The plan changed when they realized they could include people who haven’t yet learned Italian.
“This last time there were ten people there, and three or four of them didn’t speak any Italian at all,” Heninger said. “They just wanted to learn, so now we’re split into two groups.”
When the club meets, those who speak Italian separate from those who are are beginning to learn. They practice conversing in Italian while a fluent speaker teaches those who do not know the language.
“A lot of people want to learn Italian just because it’s Italian,” said Michael Winward, a freshman majoring in wildlife sciences.
Practicing the language isn’t the only activity the club participates in.
“We want to do a movie night sometime,” Heninger said. “We want it to be a fun thing and a great way to practice.”
The club will also have various cooking nights where they make authentic Italian food.
“Several of us have actually been there, so we know some real things that we can do,” Heninger said.
McGarry said if they can get enough interest, they may be able to petition the school to offer Italian for credit.
“I know there are a lot of students in music who have to take some sort of language classes,” McGarry said. “I think we could get a lot of interest and I think that we could get classes offered on campus.”
The members have big plans for their club, but they are still not sure exactly where it will go.
“We’re kind of still adapting, trying to figure out how we’ll do it because we’re brand new,” Heninger said.
They hope to bring people together to experience the Italian language and culture.
“Italian is the most beautiful language in the world,” Heninger said. “It’s super fun to speak and it’s a good time. It’s fun kind of people who come, and anyone can learn.”
McGarry said the Italian club is an opportunity on campus for people who are interested in learning Italian, learning about the culture, the language. He said those interested may help to promote Italian on campus can get involved.
Italian club meets every Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Old Main 006.
“It doesn’t matter what your level is of the language — everyone’s welcome,” said Winward. “It’s a romance language, which means it’s full of love, and we love everyone that wants to know more about it.”