Although the German Department is relatively small, the German Club’s presence on the University of Massachusetts Boston campus is not. Always open to new student involvement, they hosted their own German Cultural Night: Mocktails and Pretzels in the East Resident Building’s Dining Hall.
April 18—With the help of the club itself, German Club Chancellor, Mitchell Ll. Cameron, was able to host a night of games and good food. Sodexo, the company who cooks all the residence hall food, made many traditional German dishes such as schnitzel, potatoes (die Kartoffeln), pretzels with mustard, chocolate cake, as well as the mocktails: Apfelschorle (seltzer and apple juice) and Glhüwein (spiced apple iced tea). German flags were set up around the cafeteria and where the food was being served.
Three tables were set up in a semicircle near the entrance with games and information pamphlets. Ligretto and Mensch were there for anyone to sit down and try. Ligretto is a game similar to Uno where everyone puts colored cards on the table in a succession of one to ten. Once a player gets rid of all the cards on the table, they shout Ligretto and win. Rounds go fast and two to six people can play. Mensch is basically Trouble without the plastic pop-up in the middle; a plain, rolled die is used instead.
Though it was mostly German Club members playing the two games, Marilu Lopez, a Mexican foreign exchange student who also works in the World Languages Department, sat down to join in a hand of Ligretto. Afterwards, when she was asked how she got involved in the night, Lopez said: “My friend told me; she invited me to come here. I want to know more about the German program for the reason I’m curious and I like [to] participate in this kind of event. To include more people is most important. I would love to come back here because I think that the university has to promote more of these events from other countries.”
Jennifir Huston, a member of the German Club, an intern with the World Languages Department, and a global ambassador at UMass Boston felt “it went great. I think it went awesome. The food was amazing, the people who came to help were amazing, and the games were a lot of fun. I’m glad I got a couple of really fun games that people could play and so I think it went pretty well.” She wants people to know that the German Club is fun. "You don’t need to know how to speak German to come—to join—the German Club. It’s a good way to meet new people and have fun learning a new language during the process, have a great time.” Huston studied abroad in Kassel, Germany and is part of the German Minor. UMass Boston does not currently have a German Major.
Chancellor Cameron sends out reminders for the weekly German Club meetings, or Kaffeeklatsch. Kaffeeklatsch is every Thursday in McCormack 4-214, from 4–6 p.m. Snacks and coffee are provided along with conversation. For those looking to fulfill a German cultural requirement, Kaffeeklatsch is worth half a point. Everyone is welcome to join.