Under the Knife: Spanish Club enriches campus life with performances, food, cultural flair

La Casa Hispánica, better known as Spanish Club, is just one of the many cultural organizations on campus. The club teaches students about Spanish culture through field trips and events.

President of the club and Spanish major senior Kevin Marriott said these activities are what make Spanish Club so distinct. He said this is a special year for the club as it is the Geneseo department of languages and literatures’ 50th anniversary.

Beginning on Oct. 31, Geneseo’s language clubs will host cultural activities to celebrate the anniversary. On Nov. 1, as part of Spanish Club’s contribution, the New York City theater ensemble Repertorio Español will present the play “En el tiempo de las mariposas” in Wadsworth Auditorium.

In Wadsworth Auditorium’s lobby, the club will set up two altars in honor of the Mirabal sisters - the subjects of the play - and dedicated to Cuban-American salsa performer Celia Cruz in celebration of día de los muertos (Day of the Dead).

The club’s purpose is to show students the importance of language, especially since Geneseo is such a diverse community.

Marriott said that the club is “enriching the culture of Geneseo.”

The club exposes students to a variety of Hispanic cultural experiences, including visits to Hispanic restaurants such as El Rancho Viejo in Mount Morris, N.Y. and D’Mangu in Henrietta, N.Y.

Marriot said these trips are among his favorite experiences in Spanish Club.

“Spending time with people who share common interests” is an enjoyable way to learn about another culture, he said.

Spanish Club also organizes a trip to New York City that gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in Spanish-related activities. In previous years, the students attended a play in Spanish and ate at an authentic Spanish restaurant. Rose McEwen, associate professor of Spanish and the languages and literatures department chair, will lead another similar trip this spring.

The club continues its traditions each year, including the upcoming Spelling Bee, but also incorporates new ideas. So far this semester, Spanish Club has visited the Rochester Public Market to try foods from Juan and Maria’s Empanadas and hosted a meet-and-greet session for students to interact with professors outside the classroom.

The club is also making technological advances. Vice President junior Rebecca Fitzgerald said that Spanish Club makes a strong effort to be active on KnightLink. The club also rents a card-swipe machine from the College Union so that members can easily sign in at meetings.

Spanish Club offers many educational opportunities to students. As Marriott said, it is “diverse and [fun] for everyone.” Spanish Club meets at 7 p.m. in Welles 128.