~ By Taylor Blaire Mosher, student writer for the College of Arts and Humanities

A new German Club has been established on campus for students hoping to learn more about German history, language and culture.

Hosted by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, the Fresno State German Club was officially founded in early November and has approximately 20 members from across several different colleges and majors. The club adviser, MCLL professor Dr. Amila Becirbegovic, encourages all students with an interest in or connection to German culture to consider joining the club.

“The Fresno State German Club is all about getting to know, and being a part of, the rich culture and history of Germany,” Becirbegovic said. “From practicing your German speaking skills to fun social events, such as the German film series, Oktoberfest celebration and the annual holiday party, the Fresno State German Club is open and welcoming to all.”

Still in a developmental phase, the club meetings currently consist of planning future events and organizing club structure, though the club will soon begin meeting twice monthly in addition to gathering for special events. The semimonthly meetings serve as an opportunity for students to practice speaking German informally and to talk to other German students and peers who are interested in German culture, language and history.

“German Club is a wonderful place to meet new people and get to know about the vast opportunities that German studies can offer,” Becirbegovic said. “Germany is a leading country in many fields, including computer science, medicine, biology, linguistics, music and the arts. The ability to speak German and increased familiarity with the culture and history can open many career avenues for undergraduate and graduate students.”

The president of the German Club, business administration junior Hannah Orloff, says the club has given her a new opportunity to connect with her culture and her family’s heritage.

“My grandparents are German immigrants. The rest of my family on my mom’s side still lives in Germany, so I have always been connected to the German culture,” Orloff said. “When the adviser for the German Club, Amila Becirbegovic, mentioned she was looking for officers, I couldn’t hold my excitement that I would have a chance to be a part of a club that would mean so much to me.”

The club has several events planned in the coming months including multiple film screenings and a German holiday celebration. The second installment of the German film series will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in the Science Building, room 143. The club will screen “Phoenix,” a film set in World War II that chronicles the story of a Holocaust survivor as she returns to the rubble of Berlin in search of her German husband. Becirbegovic will also give a mini-lecture about German film history and the Berlin School film movement prior to the screening, followed by a Q&A.

Becirbegovic says she started the club because she wanted students to have a welcoming space to learn about German culture, language and history outside of the classroom.

“The club provides an integral space for students to encounter the rich German culture, even if they are not yet familiar with the language and even if they are not enrolled in German classes,” Becirbegovic said. “Our club doors are open to all! German club is a great way to meet people from all over campus and be part of a fun, multicultural community.”

To join or learn more about the Fresno State German Club, contact club adviser Dr. Amila Becirbegovic at abecirbegovic@mail.fresnostate.edu or club president Hannah Orloff at sunshine13h@mail.fresnostate.edu.