Even without her favorite bread and cheeses, Bordeaux native and new French Cultural Program Coordinator Mathilde Bégu is settling in well.
Bégu arrived at Colorado College less than a month ago, but she is already helping to plan and host programs at the French House. The first official event last Monday afternoon, “Café Croissant,” invited anyone at CC to join for an hour of conversation in the cozy French House living room. Everyone was welcomed with warm, flaky croissants, as well as Bégu’s homemade lemon cake and coffee. French music played softly in the background for the duration of the event.
“I want to have this community on campus, a French family,” Bégu said.
Due to a variety of circumstances, the French House was without a CPC for most of last year, but this year they essentially have two. Along with Bégu in the traditional CPC role, Bea de Vaulx ’20 is the assistant CPC. De Vaulx lives in the French House and serves as the link between the students and Bégu. De Vaulx spent last semester studying abroad with a CC program in France.
According to de Valux, she hopes to make the house a “space to celebrate francophone culture” and speak French as much as possible.
She and Bégu collaborate to plan events. For Café Croissant, de Vaulx drove to the store, and they each helped shop for the food.
“So far, it is awesome,” de Vaulx said. “I think the other houses should have it, too.”
In addition to having a CPC and an assistant CPC, Sam Sanson ’20 is the French House Residential Advisor this year. They all plan to work together to plan interesting events for the residents and the general CC community. There are a total of 14 people living in the house right now, making it one of the smaller language houses on campus.
“We might combine RA and CPC budgets to have bigger events,” Sanson said. “Everyone is so busy to attend everything.”
So far, there was a first Friday welcome lunch for everyone living in a language house, and Sanson is helping to plan a water balloon fight between houses for later this block. Bégu and de Vaulx want to plan a movie night that will be open to everyone, with English subtitles accompanying a French movie.
“We are both really excited,” Bégu said. “We want to have a variety of events, including brunch and sports events — French outdoor games.”
On top of planning and hosting cultural events, Bégu will be teaching French language adjuncts. She wants to reach out to students on campus who have connections to France or other French-speaking countries to include them in the community.
“The francophone world is so big,” Bégu said. “French is spoken on every continent, and the cultures are so different.”
While they try to speak as much French as possible in the house, the requirement is lifted during Café Croissant to encourage anyone to come. It is a blockly event, held every second Monday at 2 p.m.