On-campus club lives the sweet life
By Emmanuel Oduor
La Dolce Vita, UAlbany’s Italian cultural club quite literally means “the sweet life.”
Started in Fall 2010 by student Primo Stropoli, the president and founder of club says that the group was formed to provide students with a place to learn more about the Italian culture outside the classroom.
“We want to be a source of of Italian culture on campus and also create an opportunity for Italian American students, as well as those interested in Italian culture to get together and learn more about the Italian way of life, language and also correct any misconceptions about the Italian people,” he said.
However, a few weeks after the club was formed, the UAlbany announced that starting in the Fall of 2011, it would stop letting incoming students major in French, Italian, Russian, classics and theatre.
The cuts by the university did not have a negative effect on the number of students joining the club, instead it was the opposite.
“The club got a boost with the cuts that happened at the time because it put the club on the spotlight and it gave us morale to really get the club going and make it a legitimate club,” Stropoli said.
Apart from being a source of Italian Culture on campus, the club offers tutoring sessions for students who need help on brushing up their Italian, and they also organize events that run throughout the semester including movie nights, where classic Italian films are shown, pizzelle and cannoli parties, scopa, an Italian card game or bocce tournaments, Italian dinner nights and apple picking with different cultural clubs on campus.
Stropoli says that the club has organized four major events since creation in 2010. “We try and host a major event each semester. In the spring of 2010, we visited Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty because of if its significance to Italian American history,” he said.
Other events and places that the club has visited include the Feast of San Gennaro, the Italian American museum and this spring the club is organizing a trip to New York City to see the Broadway musical, Jersey Boys. “These trips are open to anyone and our trips are funded by the money allocated to us by the Student Association,” he said.
The club’s emphasis on educating students about Italian culture did not gone unnoticed.
In 2011, they were awarded the Student Association Purple and Gold award for Rookie Club of the Year and the following year, they awarded the Student Association’s Purple and Gold award for Best Cultural Club.
Stropoli says that the main requirement to run for an eboard position is passion about Italian culture.
Moving forward, Stropoli hopes that the club will become a prominent student organization on campus. “I would like the club to be a good source of Italian culture for students and also be a well established on campus like other clubs like Fuerza Latina,” he said.
Although they do not have specific meeting times, Stropoli says that the best way to get more information is by visiting there Facebook page, MyInvolvement page or emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org to join or learn more about the club.