Catalin Andrei Modiga, a senior computer science major from Romania, is relaunching the European Club at Southern to introduce European culture to other students on campus. Although the club was established in 2020, COVID-19 put a halt to its future plans, leaving it stagnant when students were sent home for quarantine.
As of 2021, Southern Adventist University was ranked the second most diverse regional university in the South, according to U.S News and World Report. Among one of the ethnic groups are students who have emigrated from Europe or who have grown up in European households.
“Not a lot of people have been to Romania, but there’s so much rich history there,” Modiga said.“I’ve been to France and Germany, and there’s so much beautiful culture there. I think just how beautiful these countries are in Europe that people don’t know about. I think that a lot of European diversity is overlooked at Southern.”
With a family that comes from Serbia and Croatia, Grace Sikora, junior computer science major, commented on the value the club could bring to campus.
“I don’t know many other Europeans on campus. It would be interesting to learn more about them and their cultures. I think it would be fun,” Sikora said.
Now with new leadership, the club has a few exciting events planned for the year.
“This semester is us getting up and going. There are a lot of unknowns, but I really plan on doing community service; that’s number one,” Modiga said. “I want to do a vespers, a game night, maybe a convocation. I won’t say all my secrets, but maybe a European market.”
Modiga explained that the European market would be a reflection of the markets he saw in Romania when he was a child, full of delicious foods and rich heritage.
“I want to make this a reflection of our culture,” Modiga said. “A lot of it is found in European markets. The markets are full but special. A big thing in Romania is during the week after class, you’d go out with friends or with family through the market. You’re looking at stuff and products to buy and then just eating while doing that. That’s something I fondly remember.”
Modiga first began thinking about a European club in the Fall 2022 semester. Last semester, he met a lot of other students from Europe. He wanted to establish a community within that European population on campus.
“[The club’s purpose is] to bring people together from all over the world, and especially people from Europe as well,” Modiga said. “There are many people from France, Germany and Austria, and a lot of Romanians on campus. It’s to bring them together to show other people what we do in our culture.”
Although the European Club’s premise is to showcase European culture, students of all nationalities are invited to join, according to Modiga. He hopes all students can find a community within the club.
“I really hope everyone joins, not just Europeans,” he said. “We can come together, become friends and learn more about each other and our cultures. I just want everyone to enjoy this. We go to school here. We should all be friends and family.”
Since the club is getting back on its feet, members are looking for students who would like to fill the positions of secretary and chaplain. If you are interested, email Modiga at email@example.com.