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MUnGA matures

first_imgThe days of Greek student BBQs and booze cruises are numbered, as more progressive and mature community events become introduced into the semester’s calendar. The Melbourne University Greek Association (MUnGA) is spearheading a more educational and philanthropic trait in the student run clubs around the country.With a record 340 members this year, MUnGA has become a strong fundraising group for the community and has surprisingly taken the initiative to lobby for the re-introduction of Modern Greek at the university. The committee has seen a shift in what members want from their club, with many asking for more opportunities to learn from successful Greek Australians and engage in the wider Greek community of Melbourne. Showing the times, many new Greek migrants have signed to the club, hoping to engage with a familiar community.One of the biggest questions they ask president Yiannis Kallianis when they join is why the university doesn’t offer Modern Greek anymore. “A lot of the students at the club are from Greece and they’ve been here for the last two years or so and they don’t have any options,” he tells Neos Kosmos. That has pushed the club to lobby the Head of Language and Linguistics, Professor Alfredo Martínez-Expósito, to open a discourse on bringing Greek back to the faculty. “He has been very positive and open about it,” Mr Kallianis says.“One of his concerns was about the demand. I think there will be good demand purely because of Melbourne’s Greek population and from the latest figures of people coming down from Greece.”All of this initially started with just a short letter addressed to Professor Martínez-Expósito and has developed into quite a positive discussion that could eventually lead to resurrecting the language.The passion to study Greek is still visible today, Mr Kallianis believes. He sees it first hand with his members. “A girl from our committee, Demi Tsironis, who was born here, goes to Melbourne Uni, she goes to La Trobe every Tuesday just to do Greek there,” he says. Outside of their lobbying, the club has introduced a number of events designed to help students transfer into the working world and hear first hand advice from some of the community’s most successful professionals.MUnGA held a seminar with Justice Emilios Kyrou last year and was a major part of organising the business breakfast with AHEPA Youth and NUGAS. Hundreds of students were given the chance to mingle with established professionals and get some much needed advice on how to have a better edge entering their field.“We’ve received very positive feedback with the events,” Mr Kallianis says. As his presidency comes to an end in April, Mr Kallianis hopes to see the club continue to create more events catering to education and advocacy. “We need to start organising events that are of value to students, not just BBQs and booze cruises,” he says. “Events that don’t just look good on paper but help students with their career as well.”On top of their new events, the club has also raised $2,500 for the Greek Centre for Contemporary Culture. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more