to those who came out to the Russian Club’s general interest meeting last week!

We had a great turn out and tons of enthusiasm, and we’re all very excited for what’s to come. There are already several things on our agenda including field trips, concerts, performances, literature and poetry readings, film viewings, and more food!

At our next meeting, be prepared to come with potential dates for our annual Brighton Beach trip and ideas for t-shirt designs. Additionally, we want to take a trip to Pearl Street Night Club  in downtown Northampton to see the Russian band Mumiy Troll in concert. Make sure to check your calendars to see if you are free on the night of Tuesday, October 6th because this is sure to be a good time.

We started off the year with some sweet treats (Thanks to our wonderful presidents, Ruth and Lara!) and tea from our very own samovar, and we’re sure to have some more tonight. So, come through at 7 p.m. to Hatfield 107, also known as the Russian Lounge, for some arts & crafts and lessons in writing in Cyrillic. And don’t forget your mugs and teacups!


What follows is a personal message from a relative :

“I thought Russia was easily the most wonderful, most terrible place
I’ve ever been to. It was colorful, repressed, bloody, frightening,
beautiful, breathtaking, choking, embarassing, and so on.

What epitomizes the stay in Russia for me was walking near the
Hermitage through thick orange-brown smog, there because their peat
bogs burn all summer long uncontrollably. Through the haze we saw a
woman walk by on 4 inch stiletto heels to a corner of the park. In
that corner was a gypsy with a scabby, nearly hairless bear. He poked
it with a stick now and then, and it would rear up and dance. The lady
put some coins in his hat and the bear bowed. The man poked it, it
bled, and sat down. The lady walked on.”

The year is winding down!

In conjunction with the two lectures in the coming weeks, the Russian Club has been invited to join the Russian department on a trip to the Russian Icon Museum in Clinton, Massachusetts on Saturday, April 25th. The trip is free. LET ME KNOW IN THE NEXT WEEK, please, if you are a Russian Club member and plan to come so that we can arrnage vans if need be. We will leave Smith around 9 or 10 and be back by the late afternoon.

Additionally, there is a lecture by Professor Shevzov on Monday, April 20th at 4 PM in the Russian lounge about the materials we’ll see at the museum. The first half hour of the meeting with be tea and Easter cakes. Yum!

Don’t forget that April 7th at 6:00 are club elections for next year. Come and vote or run!


The Russian Club will start the executive board transition after our elections on Tuesday, April 7th. The new board will be a group of dedicated Russian enthusiasts, ready to make next year’s club active, vibrant and welcoming. My priorities for leader traits include:
  • Dedication
  • Organization
  • Creativity
As you may know, the Russian Department is quite small and is in danger of being cut. This is excellent reason for the Russian Club to stay alive and provide activities for all students and faculty interested in Russian and Eastern European culture. The upcoming leaders need to be resourceful and persistent in emphasizing that RUSSIAN EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT. Next year I’d love to see the continued upkeep of this WordPress blog, an expansion of the Facebook group, more members, more advertising via posters all over campus, collaboration with the Five College Russian community (especially Amherst), field trips, meals, cinema showings, collaboration with the Smith Russian department, more lectures/speeches by faculty, and of course, an openness to the Smith and five college community. I want “Russia” to become less of a taboo word, and more accessible.
Lara and I have discussed the possibility of changing the name to the Russian and Eastern European Club. Perhaps next year this idea will come to fruition. Part of the transition process are budgetting meetings, which the new treasurer needs to attend (I will also be in attendance). Attending all leadership orientatin meetisngs is important in order that the new board doesn’t feel overwhelmed of confused about resource options. Here are the dates:
Budget Worksheets are due April 24, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. in the
SGA Office (Campus Center Room 206)

LEAP Workshops regarding the ORC budgeting process will be held:
Thursday, April 2 at 4:15 p.m.
Wednesday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Monday, April 13 at 12:15 p.m.
Wednesday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m.
All workshops will be in Campus Center 103/104

The Brighton Beach trip is officially on! Unfortunately, availability to participate in the trip is now closed because we had to rent vans in advance and can no longer procure another one.

We are meeting PROMPTLY at 7:45 AM at Public Safety and departing soon after.

Stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts or maybe Breuggers’ for breakfast, and hitting the road first thing in order to spend the maximum amount of time in NY. Bring a headscarf and warm clothes so that you will be able to go into churches or mosques should the need arise. I would also advise picking up some grab and go food to have as munchies. Try to pack lightly, as you probably won’t want to leave anything in the car in Brooklyn.

The official list of attendees is: Nina, Liza, Lara, Katia, Sonja, Em and Sofi.

We intend to arrive around lunchtime and head to Primorski’s, where Russian Club is going to pay for lunch. The rest of the afternoon will be spent wandering the shops, beach and various attractions of this “Little Odessa.”

At five o’clock we’ll leave back to Smith, and be in by 9:00 PM. Get excited!

It’s that time of year again: budgets are due soon and the transition from one executive board to the next will take place mid-April. Your current executive staff consists of your president, Em Bush (yours truly) and your treasurer, Lara Woodard. I’m happy to instate new positions, like website manager or sustainability representative. Elections will take place on Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 at 6:00 PM in Seelye 211 before the talk by Professor Glebov. If you wish to run for a position, shoot me an email at ebush@smith.edu and prepare a brief speech (less than five minutes please) about why you think your position is important, how you are qualified, and how you would run Russian Club in the future.

It’s been my pleasure to be the president of the Russian Club.

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