Started about a year ago, the Russian Club is open to all students on campus who wish to learn and experience more about the culture, cuisine and rich history of Russia.
“You don’t have to speak Russian to join,” said current president Dallin Kauffman. “We invite all who are interested in the culture, history, and language of Slavic countries.”
The club was founded by a visiting teaching assistant named Masha Gorshkova. She elisted Kauffman’s help, along with Matt Joseph and Andrey Pearce.
According to the club’s Facebook page, “The UVU Russian Club is designed to help students learn more of the language and culture of Russia and Eastern Europe by promoting cultural activities within the UVU community. The primary goal of the club is to establish progressive relationships with Russia and its neighboring Slavic countries.”
The club has achieved this goal by holding events that often boast between 40 and 60 attendees.
“In October, we had a dinner of traditional Russian borsch (beet soup) and pelmeni (meat dumplings). The Russian Consulate General to Utah, Rusty Butler, also came to that event as our guest speaker,” said Kauffman.
“In January we enjoyed some more Russian food and celebrated the Russian New Year by watching the Russian equivalent of It’s a Wonderful Life.”
The club held a special event on Saturday, Feb. 26.
“We are co-sponsoring a fundraiser dinner for a family here in the valley that is trying to adopt a girl from Russia with Cerebral Palsy,” said Kauffman. “The mom of this family is Russian and is a nurse herself and so she will be able to take much better care of this girl.”
The overall cost of the adoption is $35,000. Kauffman and the club are hoping to gather donations that would ease the financial burden. The event featured guest speaker Mike Ramsdell, author of A Train to Potevka.
“We are also working on planning another fundraising event for the end of the semester to help raise money for a non-profit organization in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, that raises funds to help build and repair wheelchairs for the disabled,” said Kauffman.
Anyone interested in joining the Russian Club is encouraged to check out their Facebook page or find them on www.OrgSync.com