On Thursday, April 13, Campus Council approved the charter for the European Students Association (ESA), giving it formal status as a campus student organization. The group formed in November to represent the College’s European international students and global nomads.
“The ESA filled a niche that had not been filled yet and needed to be filled,” Jordan Griffith ’19, an at-large member of the Campus Council, said of the decision. “[W]e believe that the existence of the group will help students on campus understand our diversity better.”
Marco Roccato ’20, the president of ESA, said that the group was glad to have received their new status and felt it would allow them to do more in the future.
“Hearing the news from Campus Council made us more than happy,” Roccato said.
Even before being chartered, Roccato explained that the members of the group would frequently meet to spend time with each other, saying that those meetings had helped him bond with fellow European students.
“[A]fter one of our meetings, I was talking to a couple of our rising seniors in the group, and they were saying, ‘We didn’t have anything like this on campus for us,’” Roccato said. “And so, having the ability [to spend] time together and sharing a common identity as Europeans — it’s definitely nice for all of us.”
As a chartered school organization, Roccato said that the group first plans to continue and expand its current work.
In February, in lieu of official club status, ESA members worked with the International Students Association to reserve space for a European Dinner in Babcock Hall, where they also prepared the dishes.
Last week, its members also put together an informal European Trivia Night on the first floor of Lowry.
“[The International Students Association] was extremely great at inviting us to be part of the decision-making process,” Roccato said about the European Dinner. “We helped set up the event and did small presentations.”
At the European Trivia Night, audience members answered questions about European culture for prizes. He said that the club officers had purchased the prizes with their own money in order to host the event.
“We were more than happy to do that, to have something to offer to the people coming to the event,” Roccato said.
In the future, Roccato said that the ESA would expand the number of campus events it participates in and hosts.
Before finals at the end of this year, he said that he hoped to co-host a FIFA-inspired soccer tournament with the African Student Union.
The group’s budget for next fall includes the European Dinner and European Trivia Night, along with other events.
In particular, Roccato said that they hoped to host cultural events based on their counterparts in Europe.
He also said that they would consider entering IEW’s Culture Show as a group. “We’re all very excited,” Roccato said. “We’re looking forward to the next semester.”
At the same meeting, Campus Council also discussed the charter of the First-Generation Student Organization, but a final decision was not made due to what Griffith called a “procedural misstep.” He said he expected their charter to be approved during the Council’s next meeting.