One of the first prominent memories a college student will have is of their first Organization Fair. All of the organizations – from dance teams to science clubs to public relations groups and everything in between – will be included in a sprawl of posters and handouts, and all will have excited members trying to get new students to join their organization. It can be a both fun and overwhelming time for new students.
But imagine one of those organizations being a campus cheese club!
Believe it or not, such clubs actually exist, and are growing in popularity. Cornell has had one for years, the College of Charleston has one, as does SUNY Purchase, and Tufts just recognized theirs a few weeks ago. Those are just a few of the many schools that have cheese clubs as recognized organizations on campus.
These clubs are more than just a place for people to gather and eat cheese; they’re a learning experience as well. Cornell’s cheese club has formed a close relationship with Murray’s Cheese shop, and has tasted cheese fresh from their caves. More recently, they have started making their own cheeses.
Events these clubs hold can range from cheese tastings to guest speakers like the one from Murray’s, and many are looking to expand.
“This is a long-term goal, but we are looking to establish relationships with some of the businesses that are involved in the cheese world, especially around here,” Zachary Graziano, one of the founders of the new Tufts University Cheese Club says. “So we’re trying to establish a relationship with the cheese retailers that we’ve been shopping with when we started, to make sure they know what Tufts Cheese Club is.”
All of these groups have different ideas and goals for their individual groups. But there’s one thing that unites the members of these groups together: a deep love and appreciation for cheese.
“What I like about it is there isn’t a political hierarchy,” says Conor Ward, a member of Tufts University’s Cheese Club. “No one is here for any reason, except that they like cheese.”
This sounds like a perfect situation, but how does one start a cheese club at their own school? According to Zachary Graziano and his co-founder, Ryan Johnson, it’s all about communication.
“I met Ryan probably the first day… and we had a conversation about cheese, and I told him about this idea that I was thinking about over the summer that I wanted to start a cheese club here,” Graziano says. “We ended up having our first meeting within a month.”
And this communication is what’s keeping them going to this day.
So essentially, all you need is to find a group of people who also love cheese, find a time where you can all enjoy cheese together, and you’re already halfway there. Go forth, college students! Let’s spread our love of cheese and start cheese clubs everywhere!Photo Credit: Featured image courtesy of Emerson College