A Look Inside the “Things Ukrainian in Gettysburg” Club

By Laurel Bennett, Features Editor

Maria Christina Kardash ’26 (Photo Sofia Gutierrez/The Gettysburgian)

When Maria Christina Kardash ’26 came to Gettysburg College as a first-year, she immediately felt homesick for all of her Ukrainian traditions back home. 

“Everything from the language to the food was so distant in Gettysburg, that I knew I had to create some type of Ukrainian community,” Kardash explained.

This led to Kardash’s formation of the Things Ukrainian in Gettysburg club (TUG/Things Ukrainian). With the help of the Office of Student Activities and Greek Life and Adjunct Associate Professor of History James Krysiek, Kardash’s club got approved and began to grow. Now, between ten to fifteen people typically attend TUG’s meetings, the majority of whom are not Ukrainian.

“It warms my heart to see so many people of all different backgrounds wanting to learn more about my ethnicity,” said Kardash.

TUG member Andrew Thibaudeau ’26 praised Kardash’s positive energy and claimed it made the club so welcoming and organized.

He expanded, “Ms. Kardash, while maintaining perfect order in the club, allows the students to immerse themselves in any subject that they want, and therefore, we have seen many students become completely enthralled with this club.”

TUG holds weekly meetings every Friday at 6:00 p.m. For the first half of the meetings, the club will have a presentation on a particular cultural element, such as Ukrainian dance or music. For the second half of the meeting, TUG typically discusses developments in the War on Ukraine. 

“The meetings are very open and encourage dialogue in both sections, and we love to hear different opinions and perspectives,” Kardash said. “It really has been a blessing having to have such a welcoming and appreciative space for Ukrainian discussion.”

In addition to the weekly meetings, TUG also holds an array of fun events throughout the year.

About TUG’s events, Kardash elaborated, “We had a well-known Editor-in-Chief at Ukraїner International, Anastasiia Marushevska, give a talk, painted Ukrainian pysanky (special Easter eggs), made Ukrainian borscht and we will be baking Ukrainian Easter bread (Paska).”

TUG has worked with other groups on campus, such as Tri Sigma, to host events. The Ukrainian borscht soup-making event held by TUG and Tri Sigma in the fall semester of 2023 allowed a greater array of students to learn more about this traditional dish and Ukrainian culture. In the upcoming fall semester, TUG also plans to host famous Ukrainian Chef Yevhen Klopotenko.

“The organization offers one of the most robust, comprehensive, and engaging preliminary educations in a culture that someone could offer,” Thibaudeau said. “While there is a considerable amount of lecturing, there is an equal amount of hands-on experience, from baking with the club on the weekends to celebrating the holidays with some of your closest friends. This produces a world-class environment with world-class people, all while educating people about a very important section of our globe.”

Thibaudeau encouraged students to attend a TUG meeting and become involved with the club: “If you are interested in joining a thriving, energetic cultural club on campus, look no further than Things Ukrainian in Gettysburg. They accept anyone and everyone, and offer one of the most unique and variable experiences at Gettysburg College.”

This article originally appeared on page 18 of the No. 2 April 2024 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.

TUG held a Ukrainian borscht soup-making event with the sorority Tri Sigma in the fall semester of 2023. (Photo Courtesy of Maria Christina Kardash ’26)

Author: Laurel Bennett

Laurel Bennett ‘24 is the Features Editor for The Gettysburgian. She previously worked as a staff writer for the news and features sections. Laurel is a political science major and an English minor from Carlisle, PA. Outside of The Gettysburgian, she is a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, serves as co-president of Pre-Law club, and is an avid horse-back rider.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *