The Student Organization fair is this Tuesday Feb. 11, and while students search for academic, recreational, volunteer and career clubs, some lighter commitment organizations often go unnoticed.
While it’s important to network, there are fun clubs out there that create community over common interests. And what better way to create community than through food?
The University of Wisconsin has clubs that cater to different types of foodies. There are ones that honor specific cuisines while others explore a diversity of dishes.
There are even a few food clubs for people with allergies and tolerances, offering outlets to tasty alternatives. Some are even educational or offer a volunteering aspect, like Challah for Hunger or the Campus Food Shed.
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In this list, we’ll talk about UW organizations that either focus on the food aspect or are too interesting not to include. We’ll start with the club that defines Wisconsin, linking a group of people to one common dairy item.
Badger Cheese Club
The Badger Cheese Club offers students a chance to learn about artisan cheeses and how they’re made, and enjoy them with other cheese-lovers.
The group meets every three weeks for cheese tastings, guest speakers and club projects. They also host a list of field trips and social gatherings that members are able to attend.
The BCC is a student-run club for anyone attending the UW — undergraduate or graduate — with a deep love for cheese. To join, there’s a $15 fee for new members and $10 each semester for returning members.
For those who have celiac disease, gluten intolerance or other bread-related illnesses, Gluten-Free Badgers provides its members with a network of sources for their dietary restriction.
They help students find safe restaurants and venues in Madison and advocate for more options, especially in dining halls.
They offer gluten-free food at their bi-monthly meetings, plan events and outings and invite speakers. As long as you’re a student, you don’t have to be gluten-free to join. There’s one fee of $10 for the academic year, and then you’re free to explore a lack of bread paradise.
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Multicultural Cuisine Society
What’s more fun than exploring a world of food? The Multicultural Cuisine Society is for any student interested in exploring food from different cultures.
The club works to promote cultural education and teach its members about foreign culinary practices. By having students plan bi-monthly meetings, programs and activities, the MCS puts students in charge of their search for foods across the globe.
At $15 per semester, undergraduates, graduates and faculty can join and partake in this incredible cultural experience.
Cray-Z for Crayfish Club
Crayfish are a staple for any Louisiana boil. But in Wisconsin, they’re a growing ecological concern. Cray-Z for Crayfish is trying to change that.
The club spends its time learning about the Orconectes rusticus, an invasive species of Lake Mendota and Menona. They host information meetings and sometimes decorate mason jars for pet crayfish.
In warmer months, the group goes crayfish trapping around the creeks and lakes of Madison and brings them back to campus.
At the end of the semester, the Cray-Z for Crayfish Club has a crawfish boil for all its members. After the $5 membership fee, the fun is available for any student on campus.
WUD Cuisine Committee
Last on our list is WUD Cuisine Committee, a club of the Wisconsin Union Directorate. The group learns about Wisconsin’s food system through meetings, speakers, field trips, cooking demonstrations and tastings.
They provide a variety of diverse meals to their members and even give them space to cook great meals that stick to their student budget.
The WUD Cuisine Committee meets every Thursday and includes biweekly discussions with members of the Madison food community. and all funds are covered by the Wisconsin Union Directorate.
All in all, what sets food clubs apart from others is the sense of community shared with a meal. Food crosses every culture and ideology, most celebrations and everyday life.
When you’re a student living on your own, it’s nice to join a group for food and discussion once and a while. These five clubs and more provide great opportunities for foodies to meet other foodies and help them learn how food really builds a community.
To check out any of these clubs, go to the Student Organization Fair this Tuesday, Feb. 11 from 5-8 p.m. at the Kohl Center.
The university showcases hundreds of student and faculty-run organizations, so if you’re not too crazy about food, you’ll for sure find some way to get involved on campus.